Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Doesn’t stand up to scrutiny

Sutherland’s description of “partnerships” between Hydro-Quebec and Indigenous and local communities doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Sutherland points to the 2012 COMEX report about Hydro-Quebec’s “consultation” with the Cree. The report shows Hydro-Quebec was forced by a permit condition to talk to the Cree whose land it would destroy for yet another round of megadam construction. The 2002 permit condition followed almost thirty years of problematic relationships with local communities. In 2011, Hydro-Quebec still had not complied with the 2002 condition, repeatedly tried to be “excused” from talking to the Cree, managed to get two postponements, and was finally dragged to the table by the COMEX panel in 2012.

Not only did Hydro-Quebec behave badly and have to be forced to consult with the Cree, but the COMEX report details the destruction caused by Hydro-Quebec’s dam building mania. The report contains 72 pages, single spaced, setting out a litany of economic, social and environmental “impacts”– in other words, irreversible damage to human health, the environment, fisheries, caribou, and communities. Methylmercury poisoning, altered river flows, warming waters, depleted salmon and sturgeon stocks, decimation of caribou herds -- the list goes on.

Sutherland claims all this destruction is warranted and the deals with the Indigenous communities are needed because we must have hydropower to fight climate change. This is a lie. Hydropower dams are a climate disaster. For one, they destroy carbon-sequestering forests –a scientific, peer reviewed report out days ago shows the central forests play in fighting the climate crisis and preserving biodiversity. Hydro-Quebec has destroyed 6 million acres. Its’ La Grande megaproject alone destroyed 4,376 square miles of primarily Indigenous lands. Hydro-Quebec’s operations release massive amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas about 30 times worse than carbon dioxide. Hydropower greenhouse gas emissions are not accounted for by state or federal governments or on the international level, and they should be. By the time Hydro-Quebec’s current dam building boom is done, only two of Quebec’s 17 major river systems will remain untouched. More dams are planned.

There is no way to paper over the scale of Hydro-Quebec’s destruction. This electricity comes with unacceptable social, economic, and environmental costs.

Margaret E. Sheehan, Esq.
Lyme, New Hampshire

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15 Responses »

  1. Your letter doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Hydro-Quebec is a 100% provincial government owned and operated utility company. And the Cree don't live in skin huts on the plains and forested regions any more, they benefit from the electricity just like everybody else does(just as New Hampshire does). Even the Canadian experts say the caribou populations fluctuate and they are so wide spread that an accurate count can't be obtained, It is widely penned that the biggest threat they face is loss of forage from forest fires and predation. Counts range from 1.9 million animals to 2.6 million animals. One herd of caribou went from 190,000 animals in 1991, to more than 600,000 animals in 2002 to 400,000 animals in 2012. Canada has an estimated 34,000 boreal caribou scattered across 51 areas, Alaska has 49,000 Boreal caribou. And salmon, out of 2600 sites, only 137 are currently being monitored so once again no accurate counts can be made. And Methyl mercury is a naturally occurring element that is literally everywhere in trace amounts. China gives off more methane than the US and Canada combined. And the trees and plants die and regrow every year and they decay into dirt, but under water they don't come back again, so flooding a region from a man made reservoir actually reduces methane emissions because there is no repeated life cycle for the plants.


  3. Great letter that outlines both the destruction of the indigenous tribes' lands as well as countering the climate change claim that seems to be a rallying cry for HQ's supporters. Hope someone takes time to really understand this letter.

  4. Another environmental impact to consider by holding all this water behind hydro-dams is the natural springtime meltdown of snow pack does not occur each year to stir up the waters in the Gulf of Maine to ensure the health and welfare of the New England fishing industry. Progress at any price is not progress, Hydro-Quebec.

  5. This whole bully takeover that they are trying to do (with the Governors help), is a new low.
    Lies, lies and more lies.
    Shame on them.

    Canadas reputation as this clean "nicer"country is a farce.
    They are raping their land with their mining practices and all these hydro dams.
    Wasn't long so that they were still taking native children from their families to "teach" them a different way....
    That country has no problem destroying land and people for $$$.
    They are famous for saying "sorry",, but it's just a saying.
    Don't be fooled by their marketing.

    We have to take care of ourselves before they just plain take it all from us.

    No Corridor.
    No Gov Mills (asap)
    No Canadian or Spanish takeovers.
    No CMP tricks.
    No, No, No...

  6. Not the least of the detrimental effects of Hydro Quebec’s dams and dams they control in Labrador is the poisoning of Indigenous traditional food sources by contamination with methyl mercury. Totally unnecessary and totally unacceptable.

  7. Hydro can be clean and renewable if done right. The way HQ impounds vast areas of what was previously forest and "bullies and poisons" the natives is unconscionable. The "greenwashing" of dirty Quebec hydro is just one on several aspects of the NECEC that do not pass the smell test. I am glad it is being exposed for what it is.

  8. For the record,.... my agreement was with Margaret’s letter, not HBs comment.


  9. Since the paid off Governor is digging her heels in,
    We will put this to a State Wide Vote.

    And she will be gone after one term.
    That's what you get for turning your back on the citizens.
    Bad Behavior by Mills.

  10. Statewide Vote? Did I miss something? Since when have the people gotten to decide what businesses do or don't do? How about that new 22 windmill site that just got approved for Hancock county
    22 turbines
    600ft tall with a 13,200sqft footprint.
    10 miles of roads 4 miles use existing logging roads plus 6 miles of new roads, 40ft in width
    30 miles of transmission line corridor to be cleared and maintained.
    8 temporary meteorological towers 400ft tall
    5 permanent meteorological towers 400ft tall
    clear 110,000sqft of special wetlands and soil disturbance within a protected Inland Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat, that's pretty significant, oh and they are using the same herbicides that CMP is going to use.
    Owned by Longroad Energy out of Boston Massachusetts.

    Yet nothing but crickets from the peanut gallery on this project, huh?

  11. Actually this is the first I have heard hrtlss thanks for mentioning it. I will be sure to express concern when I call the PUC tomorrow about these proposed increases by CMP.

  12. Hrtlss, please get the petition going for the wind turbines, that can be your baby. It's difficult to fight every battle at once. #saynotonecec

  13. No one should be surprised that these projects go in "under the radar" of the public.

    These big companies love dealing with the likes of HrtlssBstrd, Janet Mills and anyone who can be bought behind the scenes.

    Awww, you can express your concern now... But it's too late.

    They come in,,
    buy out a landowner,,
    quietly buy off whoever they need to..
    Voila !!
    Then we hear of it.
    Too late.

    HB is "partially" correct about private property and our rights as property owners.
    But,,,, eminent domain would not exist if it were only about the property owners rights.
    Corporations should not be able to have it both ways, like they do now.

    I'm so grateful for those making all the noise about this BS Corridor.
    It may fail in the end but at least we got to about the crap out of some people.
    Notice... Mentioning a state wide vote got a reaction.. That's because it will kill the damn thing.and they know it. They hate it when the little people wake up!! LOL..

    No Frickin Corridor.

  14. Janet Mills coming under fire for supporting the Corridor plans. It took longer than I expected, but her identification with the Hillary Wing of her party made it inevitable. Expect it to grow.

  15. Hear hear, Sneeky. Everyone decries crony capitalism - until it is THEIR party/person doing it, making those connections and floods of dollars behind the scenes. Then they hide behind emotional appeals about "environment", "sustainability", "The children" (whose future they are mortgaging) and so on. What a nice scam they have going! You CAN'T oppose it, or you HATE the earth! If you oppose a policy - you HATE children, you want them do die! HATE! (see how it works?)

    Geez, wake up people, take a critical view of your government. Most already think PEOPLE are crooked, out to only make a buck - and they think the 'best and brightest' end up in AUGUSTA??? Wow, so naive - those aren't PEOPLE down there? LIMIT GOV'T NOW PLEASE.

    As always...done in one....VOTE HER, and THEIR, RADICAL PARTY, out. THIS time, their actions are going to hurt EVERYONE...will we learn NOW??