In this Oct. 29, 2021, file photo, a pole for for the New England Clean Energy Connect project runs at left alongside existing transmission lines near the Wyman Dam in Moscow. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

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An April 25 article in the Montreal Gazette, “Second major outage in 3 weeks raises questions about Hydro-Quebec’s reliability,” reports, “Hydro-Quebec was plunged into another crisis Tuesday after a major power failure left almost 500,000 customers across the province without electricity.” The article notes “the average duration of outages per customer served increased by 63 percent between 2012 and 2021 — a figure that excludes outages due to major weather events.”

Another article, “Power-hungry Quebec will soon need more hydro dams, Legault says,” reports that “Premier Francois Legault said Friday that Quebec will need to build four or five new dams to meet future power demands, but won’t say which rivers are being targeted to avoid panicking any communities.”

New reservoirs emit enormous amounts of methane as flooded organic matter decomposes, and in terms of trapping heat, the potency of methane is 80 times greater than carbon dioxide in the first 20 years.

In 2019, Central Maine Power’s lobbyists opposed legislation, LD 640, that would have required studying the New England Clean Energy Connect corridor’s climate impact. They told legislators Hydro-Quebec had excess power so no study was necessary. That was not true then, and it’s obviously not true now.

Today, LD 1658 would require a study of the corridor’s global greenhouse gas impact after operating for one year. Fines could be levied if the corridor caused net increases in greenhouse gas emissions. It’s clear to me legislators cannot take CMP at its word, and the Maine public deserves to know the truth about the corridor and climate change. The Legislature should pass LD 1658.

Emily Ecker

Bryant Pond