I’m sure people have seen ads and signs in support of the New England Clean Energy Connect project.

For context, the corridor is a project implemented by multinational corporation Avangrid to help Massachusetts fulfill its renewable energy contracts. The corridor is using hydropower from Canada, building a transmission line through 145 miles of Maine, including 53 miles of new corridor in working forest land.

This corridor violates Indigenous rights, written in a press release to the White House and the prime minister of Canada by Indigenous communities in both countries. Information was shared that the “electricity being supplied by Hydro-Québec will be generated by 33 hydroelectric plants that are unconstitutionally located on the ancestral territory of the Innu, Atikamekw and Anishinabek First Nations in Quebec.”

That’s not all; this project also has a negative environmental impact. Large hydro dams produce methane, a greenhouse gas that accelerates the effects of the climate crisis. Big hydro dams also cause environmental destruction such as flooding, deforestation and habitat loss.

Hydropower is a violation to the Endangered Species Act as asserted in a letter written by the Center for Biological Diversity on behalf of Innu Nation of Labrador regarding the Champlain Hudson Power Express project in Vermont. People shouldn’t be fooled; hydropower is greenwashed.

In conclusion, hydropower and the corridor are false green energy sources and are not solutions to the climate crisis as they have been marketed as by Hydro Quebec, CMP, and NECEC. As a youth from Maine and Massachusetts, it’s important to me that our beautiful states and communities are protected.

Madison Sheppard, Waterford

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