The proposed Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) is a 330-mile long high voltage submarine power cable linking one-billion watts of Canadian generated hydroelectricity to New York City. This line would be constructed and operated by Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI) a partner of the Blackstone Group.
Recently, TDI, proposed several route changes for the project which will affect 17 different towns and communities and involve material changes in environmental impacts. The New York Public Services Commission denied the Applicants’ (TDI) May 27, 2020 motion for in person hearings on this issue.
NAMRA opposes the proposed CHPE as it provides direct monetary support to Candian hydropower and undermines the local energy economy in New York. According to a 2014 Environmental Impact Statement on the project, will only create 26 direct, full-time jobs for New Yorkers.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio must halt secret negotiations and promote local sustainable energy solutions. Since Earth Day Day 2019, Mayor de Blasio and his administration have been secretly negotiating to purchase electricity from Hydro-Quebec produced by destructive megadams in Canada. This procurement will require the construction of the Blackstone TDI-owned transmission corridor from Quebec to Queens known as the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE).
As of the 21st of September the PSC is allowing construction on CHPE to begin without an announced buyer for the power.
On May 5, 2020, the Peoples Climate Movement of New York released an open letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, Borough Presidents Adams, Brewer, Diaz Jr., Lee, and Oddo, Council Speaker Corey Johnson and All Members of the NYC Council on bold next steps forward from the economic crisis of Covid-19. NAMRA signed onto this letter which connects the Covid-19 crisis and the climate crisis. This letter asks New York leaders to commit to fighting the climate crisis in a fair, just, and equitable way.
On October 8, 2020, NAMRA joined the Center for Biological Diversity and the Innu of Labrador in filing a formal notice letter with the U.S. Department of Energy over its failure to fully address the environmental impacts of CHPE. This project would threaten endangered Atlantic Sturgeon Habitat and also threatens Indigenous communities and the environment in Canada.
CHPE is not a fair, just, or equitable solution to the climate or economic crisis that New York faces. It places the burdens of American electricity use on the backs of front-line, Indigenous communities in Canada where this power is being produced.
NAMRA’s Response to Governor Cuomo’s proposal to import more Canadian hydropower and build a transmission corridor (CHPE) from Canada to New York:
On April 22, 2019, New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio announced a Green New Deal for the City which includes Hydro-Quebec power from Canada. In a simultaneous press release, Hydro-Quebec embraced the chance to get the stalled CHPE project going.
CHPE is fraught with problems and NAMRA opposes the project on environmental and social justice grounds. Unfortunately, most of the permits are in place.
The New York section will cost $2.2 billion to construct. The project’s main investor is Blackstone Group, L.P., an American multinational private equity, alternative asset management, and financial services firm based in New York City. As the largest alternative investment firm in the world, Blackstone specializes in private equity, credit, and hedge fund investment strategies.
The $2.2 billion that will be invested in the Blackstone CHPE project is money that should be spent on local renewable energy projects and local, long term sustainable jobs. Locking in this infrastructure for destructive Canadian hydropower creates a disincentive for innovative, local energy solutions. This is a greenwash and climate disaster.
November 18, 2019: Hudson Riverkeeper withdraws support for CHPE.