Head of Sierra Club Canada Says Hydro-Quebec Power Isn't Green

Oct 24, 2012

The head of Sierra Club Canada says Hydro-Quebec power can’t be considered green. He was in Plymouth Tuesday night. NHPR’s Chris Jensen was there and has this report.

John Bennett is the executive director of Sierra Club Canada. He’s been watching and fighting big hydro-electric dam projects in Canada for decades.

And he told about 100 people at Plymouth State University – including opponents of the Northern Pass project – that the electricity Hydro-Quebec produces by flooding huge areas is not friendly to the environment.

“It is not green because it actually affects animal migration, fish migration. It builds up mercury in fish that get into people. It actually deprives people, specially aboriginal people in Canada, of their right to use the land that belongs to them and it produces green-house gases in enormous amounts.”

But Northern Pass spokesman Michael Skelton said large-scale hydro “is clearly a green renewable source of power” and assertions to the contrary are part of the campaign against the project.

And Skelton noted the state’s 2009 Climate Action Plan included a recommendation “to import clean power generated from Canadian hydro and wind sources.”

The majority of the state’s task force – which included utilities as well as environmental groups approved that recommendation.  

However, the report notes there were a number of “no” votes by members who cited “potential environmental impacts.”

For NHPR News this is Chris Jensen