Research from the Washington State University and testimony from Dr. Bradford Hager, professor of Earth Science at MIT, prove that hydro power from Hydro-Quebec is not clean. The vast and shallow water impoundments of Hydro-Quebec cause a relatively greater release of methane that has been stored in the forest soil and trees for thousands of years. The release of CO2 from hydro power from Quebec is not carbon free. The name “Clean Energy Corridor” only exists in ads supporting the NECEC. The official name is the “Central Maine Power Transmission line.”
\The claim that the transmission line will be only fifty-four feet wide in Segment 1 from the Canadian Border to the Forks deserves four Pinocchios, as does the claim that using public lands will not cause environmental damage. CMP/Avangrid/Iberdrola has already cleared fifteen miles in Segment 1. A Licensed Professional Forester performed an on-site review that concluded that the transmission line will be one hundred feet wide and constitute a clear-cut, as defined in Maine statutes. A 650-acre, permanent clear-cut will result, ensuring irreparable harm to wildlife, native brook trout and thirteen rare and endangered species.
Massachusetts will pay $950 million dollars to build the NECEC transmission line to meet electric utility contracts between Hydro-Quebec and three Massachusetts utilities. The recent agreement to provide a de minimus amount of hydro power to Maine through the NECEC is a political ploy to sell the NECEC and will not lower electric utility rates for Maine people. Ninety seven percent of the hydro power from Hydro-Quebec will enter the New England Energy Grid for customers in Massachusetts. The equivalent of 40,000 residential and business customers in Maine will receive hydro power, a savings of twelve cents a month according to the Naturel Resources Council of Maine. Do not be fooled by the deceptive ads about the purpose of the transmission line and who really benefits.
The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) concluded that the introduction of hydro power into the New England Energy Grid would reduce wholesale electricity prices in Maine by $19,000,000 annually over 15 years, a savings of $1.98 per month in retail electricity rates. This assumes that the wholesale price savings would be passed on to the retail electricity market. The stipulation agreement submitted to the PUC included $190,000,000 in electric rate savings for Mainers over 40 years, a savings of thirty-five cents a month in electricity rates. Monthly electricity rate savings would be only $2.45 from all sources in Maine. That is not worth the permanent destruction of the environment of the western Maine mountains.
Who really benefits from the NECEC, certainly Massachusetts? The Province of Quebec, which owns Hydro-Quebec, will gain $12.5 billion in profit. Iberdrola, the foreign owner of CMP and Avangrid, will realize $2.5 billion in profit. Maine will accrue environmental damage that will more than offset any economic benefit.