Posted by: fbristow | March 12, 2009

Press Release: Meeting in New York

US should not sign long-term contract for Hydro Quebec electricity
BAPE report on Romaine River shows great risks not green light

(ALBANY, Mar 10, 2009)- Alliance Romaine, a non-profit organization opposed to the damming of the Romaine River, is asking the state of New York and the corporations within it, not to enter into export negotiations with Hydro Quebec. Neither the federal US program, the Renewable Energy Production Incentive, nor the state program, the Energy Portfolio Standards, include large-scale hydroelectric projects as green, nor should they. The government of Quebec sees President Obama’s plan for green energy as an opportunity to export large-scale hydroelectric power, but the US should not be swayed by poor logic when they have already come to a sound decision.
“Last week, the Office of Public Audiences on the Environment (BAPE) released their report on the Romaine River project, which some of the media interpreted as a green light to destroy the river,” said Fran Bristow of Alliance Romaine, “However, the report clearly points out a non-quantifiable environmental risk especially as regards Atlantic salmon, caribou and mercury accumulation.”
Alliance Romaine supports energy conservation, a strategy which can create a proportionately higher number of jobs than hydroelectricity projects. The group calls for viable initiatives to help sustain the economy of Quebec’s North Shore region which do not compromise the region’s natural assets, including its rivers.
Quebec’s Natural Resource Minister, Claude Béchard, claims Quebec should seize the opportunity presented by Obama’s green energy policies- a statement the US should quickly recognize as flawed: there is no opportunity to be had with hydroelectricity. The US should concentrate on developing sustainable energy sources, which is the goal of the government subsidy for sustainable energy, not considering hydro as the lesser of two evils when compared to coal.
“The US has a large role to play in saving the Romaine River,” explained Bristow. “Without a long-term export contract between Quebec and the US, the validity of the project will be questioned even further.  Alliance Romaine is counting on the US to stick to their laudable decision not to include large-scale hydroelectricity as a green source of energy and not to encourage Hydro Quebec to produce electricity far beyond its present and future needs”

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