(Host) A coalition of conservation groups has launched studies to examine the environmental consequences of Hydro-Quebec’s large energy projects.
Hydro-Quebec wants to market its power as renewable, environmentally friendly energy that doesn’t contribute to global warming. The studies will examine that claim – and other impacts from the energy developments.
Sandra Levine is with the Conservation Law Foundation, a regional environmental organization. She says that large hydro reservoirs can release methane – a potent greenhouse gas.
(Levine) "When you flood an area and the vegetation decomposes, greenhouse gases are emitted. We want to provide an honest evaluation of what is the amount of those emissions."
(Host) The Conservation Law Foundation has raised concerns that energy imports from Hydro-Quebec will swamp the emerging U-S market for renewable power. Levine says the research will examine that question.
(Levine) "The information that we get will help inform decisions in the U.S. about whether we should be importing more and if we should be importing more, how much more. And how can we do it in a way that will not interfere with New England‘s efforts to build more clean and renewable power in our own region. Because in reality we need both New England renewable power and power from Hydro-Quebec in order to meet our climate change goals."
(Host) Levine says Hydro-Quebec is not directing or paying for the research. She says much of the funding will come from the non-profit Pew Environment Group.