Thanks for those thoughts, Pam, and for the reference to the earlier BDN op-ed.
Your assertions seem by and large technically correct. My take on them is only that they are (very) short-sighted, missing the much larger issue of the far-reaching effects of the hydrologic manipulation, which I think it is fair to call “the elephant in the room.”
I’ve been working on this issue for several years with the people who have been republishing Dr. Hans Neu’s research on the megadam effects on climate and the marine food-chain, which I summarized only very briefly in the piece I wrote.
These dwarf in significance (IMO) virtually every one of the factors you enumerate under “FACTS.” Who gets what goodies in the proposed Faustian bargain, and whether/how the landscape gets scarred, pale by comparison to the consequences of massive loss of solar reflectivity in the melting Arctic Ocean, the methane release of melting Canadian/Siberian permafrost, and the potential disastrous consequences of loss of North Atlantic circulation — all of which are directly due to megadams.
This isn’t about just HQ. Addressing HQ and its NECEC proposals and the maze of Maine laws/regulations is to miss the point. It’s about the whole misguided hydro effort in the Northern Hemisphere. The second article I passed on shows that HQ’s planned “footprint” will expand if it can develop the export markets needed to make its plans workable. Our contribution to increasing HQ’s export market is a contribution to the metastasis of that cancer.
In the end, if solar and nuclear and wind are technically problematic (and they are), it isn’t going to help us to turn to a technology which will be exacerbating global warming. What will save us will be figuring out how to reduce energy consumption, but that’s a whole separate issue.
at&t wrote on 10/31/21 11:52 AM: > > Dear Dick and HCCN: > Here are my thoughts > Pam Person > co-founder of Coalition for Sensible EDnedrgy and Maine Global Cimate Change > > On Sat, Oct 30, 2021 at 10:54 AM at&t <email@example.com> wrote: > > There is no totally clean, free from impacts energy — > three definitions you need to know: > transmission system – BIG lines that connect large amounts of power > into the distribution system > > distribution system ; the electric lines that go down our streets > > grid: all of the various power sources that provide our electricity > feed into our “grid” (called the Independent System Operator/IISO). > They decide which sources are used that day/minute/hour and what > prices to charge the utilities/ratepayers. ONE REASON THE FOSSIL FUEL > COMPANIES HATE HQ power is that HQ hydro line will supply a large > amount of really cheap power and the fossil fuel companies will lose > millions as they will not be used by the ISO > > think of all the dams in Maine – including Toddy and Alamosook and Hart > in Orland and the b ig ones throughout Maine –at least Hydro Quebec > dams provide energy and wildlife aquatic habitat- our dams mostly > provide habitat and high real estate values and real estate taxes to > local jurisdictions now that most paper mills have closed and millions > of gallons a day of water not needed. The methane from dams built years > ago is mostly disbursed at this point > > HQ transmission line from Quebec through Maine to Massachusetts – one > large TRANSMISSION line bringing in lots of power that is pretty safe > and will provide reliable clean electricity to grid > > think of the damage and upcoming danger from solar farms – > > * first the production of the panels, and what happens when solar > array is closed? > * then the removal of trees (Route 1 from Ellsworth to Orland two > solar farm being built and lots of tree removed)(sometimes solar > arrays are in agricultural areas – but then how do we get enough > acres to produce food needed?) > * then connecting the power produced (NOT a large amount per farm) > onto really unsturdy potentially unstable electric distribution > system — (go on road from Ellsworth to Orland and look at the > electric lines an d poles – they are already full of lines for > electricity, telephone, cable, internet –and during wind storms > sometimes get hit and fall from trees > * how are they safely going to connect a VARIABLE supply of > electricity – as solar is not produced 24 hours a day — into the > “grid and keep our homes supplied 24/365 when we turn on the lights > a night or when rainy and cloudy? > * I know utilities /distribution companies – CM P and Versant- are > concerned ab out how they are going to safely connect the solar > arrays. Ellsworth just put in a six month moratorium on solar > projects in Elllsworth – lots of companies want to build solar > projects as large tax credits now.– without planning for how they > are going to be integrated — that’s a large problem – seeing the > system issues…. > > I have been going to national and international webinars about how our > whole electricity production and supply and distribution system needs > to be reworked to accomodate the new intermittent sources – wind and > solar – and how storage/batteries are being developed but not yet to > scale needed. > > * where are batteries coming from an d what material needed to make > the batteries.now China > > * Electric vehicles are not a solution yet at scale needed – due to > battery issue and also the need for larger source of clean > electricity to plug in and potentially provide power from EVs to > system. how many recharging system needed? costs, where, who pays? > > in other words – we need to learn about whole system issues – these > are not simple not quick > > > here’s what I wrote about costs and benefits on HQ issue again – FYI > *Pamela W. Person* > > *August 15, 2021* > > *Information on* *the New England Clean Energy Connect corridor project* > > My husband and I became involved in energy issues when we joined the > large group, STOP, that defeated the proposed AES Coal-fired power > plant in Bucksport when we moved to Maine in 1989. In 1992, we > co-founded the all volunteer Coalition for Sensible Energy to work for > clean sustainable energy policies, which led to being appointed to many > state energy, environmental, transportation and climate change task > forces. I served as US Chair of the bi-national U.N. Global Program of > Action to Protect the Marine Environment from Land-based activities for > the Gulf of Maine from 2000-2004. I am on the national League of Women > Voters of the United States Climate Change Interest Group and our > Renewable Energy and Oceans subcommittees. I am also a Sister on the > Planet for Oxfam. For years before his death, my husband and I spent > hours driving through privately owned cut over forest industry/paper > mill lands in the Moosehead and Western Maine areas on their wide dirt > roads that go through streams without bridges. > I support the NECEC project for reasons outlined below. I am writing > this as a private citizen.I have not received nor requested any support > – financial or otherwise – from anyone for this statement of facts. > > *FACTS:* > *1. It is August 2021 *– *climate change is happening *_*faster than > anyone had predicted*_*and it is a present danger for all systems > globally – ecosystem, health, economic and social.* /*The > Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th assessment *//released on > August 9, 2021 (endorsed by 195 countries)/ /*states “human -induced > climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes > in every region of the globe. Evidence of observed changes in > ex*//*t*//*remes..has strengthened since the Fifth Assessment > report.”(Headline Statement A.3) */At the first climate change > conference I co-chaired in 1999, one of the lead authors of the > Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change opened the conference and > said no one knew for sure about climate change – models were predicting > gradual change over the next 50-100 years. Now*, *Dr*.* Paul Mayewski, > Director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine > defines what is happening as “abrupt climate change.” Things are > accelerating. > > *2.Massachusetts ratepayers pay for this project* The New England > Clean Energy Connect Project is a new 320KV overhead high voltage > direct current transmission line approximately 145 miles in length from > the Quebec/Maine border to a new converter station in Lewiston plus > some other upgrades to other substations. > > 3. The NECEC’s proposed route is almost all on private land (except > tiny amount of public land for which Maine has negotiated a 40 year > lease) that CMP owns or controls including within the undeveloped width > of existing corridors for more than half its length. The northern > portion of the line is proposed to be built in currently undeveloped > corridor/*primarily traversing commercial forest land.*/ (Maine PUC > Examiner’s report Docket # 2017-00232 page 6-7). (News Center Maine > August 6, 2021 showed NECEC northern portion’s commercial forest land > and transmission corridor) > > *4. Each year demand for electricity is expected to grow. One of the > arguments against the CMP/HQ transmission line is that it is “only > benefiting Massachusetts.” *No, it’s increasing the supply of renewable > electricity in our grid**. *The grid is where *all t*he separate power > production units from whatever source send their their kilowatts via > transmission lines into the centralized system that assures reliable > electricity to each customer in New England. Plus, Governor Mills > negotiated for Maine to get some of this power. *We will need this > hydro project as well as much more renewable power production to meet > President Biden’s goal of 100% renewable energy in the electric power > sector by 2035.*(Bangor Daily News 5/4/2021) > > *5. Electricity from this hydro power is generated without fossil > fuels. All energy production and use has costs. The areas for these > hydro projects were flooded years ago in Quebec and Labrador – yes, > there were losses to indigenous people and ecosystems – /*no energy is > “free.”*/ > > *6. The NECEC hydro power reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 3.0-3.6 > million metric tons a year from the current fossil fuel generated power > plants is /*equal to taking 700,000 cars off the road. */If the project > does not go forward, profits will continue to go to the fossil fuel > power plants – Calpine and Vistra –that currently supply the > Massachusetts utilities’ power and will continue to produce their > higher environmental, health, economic and ecosystem costs. Plus there > will be NO $258 million in benefits to Maine plus millions more in > payments to state agencies. (see #11 and #13) > > *7. The baseload Hydro power will lower electricity prices*. That’s > why two natural gas companies – Calpine and Vista -have teamed up with > The Natural Resources Council of Maine, Sierra Club and Appalachian > Mountain Club to oppose this project .A Calpine spokesman… said > “/_*the slug of electricity into the regional grid would suppress > electricity prices enough to hurt the company’s bottom > line”*_/__/*(Bangor Daily News 7/20/2020)… “competing fossil fuel > power plants stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars”*/(Bangor > Daily News 5/4/2021). > > *8. *Downeast Magazine November 2020 issue showed pictures of the most > northern undeveloped part of the corridor. Yes, there will be viewsheds > disturbed – but it is 2021 not 1950 and climate change is requiring all > of us to change our actions and reactions to reduce the threats. The > Appalachian Trail traverses settled areas and other transmission > linesat other points on the AT. > > *9. Both Hydro Quebec and CMP will earn profits; that’s why they > are investing almost a billion dollars.*Like most development projects > in our state, the NECEC project has been a series of business > transactions/contracts with multiple private parties that needed > statewide and national permits. > > *10. GOVERNOR LE PAGE AGREEMENT WITH HYDRO-QUEBEC 2014* > In 2014, then Gov LePage negotiated a $50 million agreement to allow a > transmission corridor from Quebec to Massachusetts. The agreement > allowed a 150 foot corridor and would have had the transmission line > right through West Forks/Moxie Falls. The LePage West Forks lease would > have brought only $1400 a year. > > *11. GOVERNOR MILLS RENEGOTIATED AGREEMENT IN 2019 and on July 10, 2020* > Governor Mills negotiated a much larger $258 million agreement with > accelerated benefits of $170 million in the revised 7/10/2020 > agreement. Here is a list of the benefits to Maine citizens: > * > Reducing the width of the corridor from 150 feet to 54 feet – now > only disturbing 2000 forested acres. > * > CMP/HQ has agreed to bury the line at the most fragile point > atKennebec Gorge > * > The Mills administration has renegotiated the 25 year lease with > inflation adjusted payments of $65,000 year for a 300 foot one mile > stretch of land in West Forks. > * > Permanent conservation of 40,000 acres; > * > Maine will get 500,000 MwH discounted hydro electricity per year > for at least 20 years – enough to power 70,000 homes or 10,000 > businesses. > * > $140 million in rate relief over 40 years – $90 million to CMP > customers and $50 million for Maine’s Low Income Customer Benefits > Fund. > * > $10 million for the Broadband fund to provide grants to communities > that host the transmission facilities – a long term local economic > development benefit – within five years. > * > $10 million for installation of heat pumps to low and moderate > income Maine homes within five years. > * > $10 million for deploying Electric Vehicle fast charging > infrastructure in the next five years > * > Scholarships for Maine youth, > * > electric grid stability and improvement, > * > local property tax payments. > * > more local tax revenues, > * > agreed not to use herbicides and pesticides in new corridor areas > > *12. *In 2020, Maine government agencies and NECEC finished their 29 > month statewide permit process and approvals and permits were given by > the PUC, DEP, LUR/C/. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection > *Findings of Fact and Order of 5/11/2020 *giving permits stating the > NECEC has met the requirements of the Site Plan of Development Act, the > Natural Resources Protection Act for Freshwater Wetland Alteration, > Significant Wildlife Habitat and Water Quality Certification. > /*Please*/ /*read the specific conditions the NECEC must meet on pages > 109-113 in DEP Findings of Fact and Order of 5/11/2020 and significant > payments.*/ > > /*13. */*Maine Conservation programs benefit *NECEC will pay $1,875,000 > for culvert replacement to enhance fish habitat, > <habitat.plus/>p <habitat.plus/>_lus > <habitat.plus/>_$877,010.06 to Dept of Natural Resources > Conservation Program and $649,771.95 to Maine Endangered and Nongame > Fund and $1,234,526.82 contributed to the Maine Natural Areas > Conservation Fund. > > *14 WHICH ORGANIZATIONS AND PEOPLE ARE SUPPORTING THIS PROJECT? * > Governor Janet Mills > former Governor Paul LePage > Maine Public Advocate (represents Maine’s electricity customers) > The Maine Chamber of Commerce as will help Maine’s economic recovery > from the pandemic from reduced energy costs plus preferences for Maine > workers and construction materials. > IBEW Local 104 > Industrial Energy Consumers Group > Conservation Law Foundation > > > —–Original Message—– > From: Joyce Schelling <firstname.lastname@example.org> > To: Pam Person <Phppwp@aol.com> > Sent: Fri, Oct 29, 2021 7:37 pm > Subject: would like your feedback > > Dear Pam, > What is your view of this oped? > bangordailynews.com/2021/10/26/opinion/opinion-contributor/new-research-shows-hydro-dams-are-not-as-clean-as-we-thought/ > Thanks, > Joyce >
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