Maine Voices: Little inquiry into hydro project’s effect on marine ecosystems

CMP’s hydroelectricity plan powers forth even as scientists warn such efforts can hurt oceans.

STANDISH — As regulators consider a proposed transmission corridor carrying hydroelectricity from Quebec to Massachusetts through Maine, they should keep in mind that hydroelectric dams with large reservoirs and unnatural flow regulation comprise one of the most destructive forms of energy generation on Earth.

Thirty-seven years ago, in 1982, Hans Neu, a senior marine scientist with the Canadian government, warned in a column for the Marine Pollution Bulletin that Canadian reservoir hydro development might not only wreck freshwater ecosystems but also starve marine life. These large hydro projects, according to Neu, could have dire consequences for marine fisheries and our climate, and this required immediate scientific attention. Read more:

Commentary: Hydro-Quebec offers misleading claims about power’s climate impact

BY BRADFORD H. HAGER (Jan. 5, 2019)

Hydro-Quebec’s claim that – as paraphrased by Portland Press Herald Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy – the electricity they would send south is “produced with none of the carbon emissions blamed for global warming” is dead wrong, directly contradicted by scientific research sponsored by Hydro-Quebec itself. I care deeply about aggressively addressing climate change, and I agree with the Press Herald Editorial Board (Our View, Dec. 9) that the most important question in evaluating the proposed transmission line to Massachusetts is whether it will reduce total greenhouse-gas emissions.

The net carbon footprint of a newly created boreal hydroelectric reservoir

Making it Real: A Forum on Energy and Climate. Waterbury, Vermont August 12, 2018.

Researchers call for halting Muskrat Falls:

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Articles & Reports

Tripp Burwell. “Adieu, Romaine,” Forest Notes. Summer 2013.

Alexis Lathem. “Damming Muskrat Falls: Land and River Protectors in Labrador Recharge the Debate on  Mega dams.”

Alexis Lathem. “Rage On, Sweet Romaine.” Alternatives Journal, Jan.

Jacques Leslie, “Large Dams Aren’t Worth the Cost,” New York Times, Aug. 22, 2014.…/large-dams-just-arent-worth-the-cost.html

David Massel. “History Lingers at Muskrat Falls,” Niche. Sep. 21, 2016.

Ossie Michelin. “The Mighty Fight for Muskrat Falls,” Briarpatch. May 1, 1017.

Lois Parshley. “The Allure and Perils of Hydro power,” Undark. Nov 13, 2017.

Synapse Energy, “Hydropower Greenhouse Gas Emissions”



John Michael Greer. The Wealth of Nature. Economics as if Survival Mattered. New Society. 2011.

Patrick McCully. Silenced Rivers. The Ecology and Politics of Large Dams. London: Zed. 1996.

Jasques Leslie. Deep Water: the Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People, and the Environment. FSG. 2005.

Boyce Richardson. Strangers Devour the Land. Post Mills, VT: Chelsea Green. Reprint 1991.

Marie Wadden. Nitassinan: The Innu Struggle to Reclaim their Homeland. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. 1991.