CMP’s New England Clean Energy Connect claims it would bring “clean energy” to Massachusetts from Canada (by tearing through the western Maine forest).

It claims it “would allow Massachusetts to meet its future carbon reduction goals.”

There is a problem with that claim. A big problem. That energy is not clean.

In testimony at an Army Corps of Engineers hearing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Dr. Bradford Hager stated, “the carbon footprints of Hydro-Québec’s power as documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature make it among the dirtiest hydro in the world.”

Additionally, the Natural Resources Council of Maine has pointed out that CMP’s claims of greenhouse gas reductions are unsubstantiated, misleading, or false. NRCM stated “CMP has provided no evidence that NECEC will be anything other than an energy shell game allowing Hydro-Quebec to shift sales from spot markets to a more lucrative long-term contract with Massachusetts.”

So this is really about Hydro-Quebec selling its dirty energy to customers willing to pay a higher price for it. It’s about Hydro-Quebec’s bottom line, not the climate.

Add to that recent news that Quebec says it plans to build even more dams to meet growing electricity demand. This would mean massive amounts of additional methane emissions from the organic matter trapped in the reservoir — and methane’s climate impact is much quicker than carbon dioxide, so it’s far more dangerous in the near-term.

The dirty assertion that NECEC would be clean, like the dirty project itself, should end once and for all.

Elizabeth Hamilton, Brunswick

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