Demand transparency for dirty Canadian hydroelectricity corridor!

New York Public Service Commission

The Public Services Commission must conduct a full hearing and new environmental impact statement on the $3 billion Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) transmission corridor.

SUPPORT EQUITABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS FOR NEW YORK AND REJECT CANADIAN HYDROELECTRICITY!

To address the climate emergency, New Yorkers are demanding a fair and just transition to a renewable energy economy and a sustainable society. Unfortunately, Canadian hydropower is being promoted as climate solution for New York when it is not: rather this electricity is a climate and humanitarian disaster that puts the burdens of New York’s energy demands on marginalized frontline communities in Canada.  

Canadian hydropower should be treated like fossil fuels. It is not “renewable” under New York law, emits massive amounts of greenhouse gases and destroys rivers, and carbon sequestering forests. The social injustices of Canadian hydro are even worse. For close to 100 years, Canada’s state-owned hydropower monopolies have stolen Indigenous lands, displaced people from their homes, and poisoned people’s wild food supplies with the lethal neurotoxin methylmercury. The hydropower industry is a vestige of Canada’s colonialism; Hydro-Quebec's construction of new megadams for export to New York continue state-sponsored violence and racism against Indigenous people.

Indigenous land and water protectors seeking justice from the Canadian hydropower industry for   methylmercury poisoning and displacement from their traditional lands. Ottawa, Canada 2019.


Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio want to make New Yorkers complicit in this injustice by supporting the CHPE hydropower transmission corridor. This corridor will import more Canadian electricity from Hydro-Quebec’s massive, destructive dams in Canada -- 1,500 miles away -- via the 330-mile CHPE corridor from Canada to NYC. CHPE’s route through New York State turns our public roads and waterways into energy highways for private profiteers. It will disrupt scenic public roads through villages and business districts and drills under iconic rivers and lakes: Lake Champlain, Hudson River, Catskill Creek, Harlem River, East River.

CHPE is a project of Wall Street financier Blackstone Group/Transmission Developers Inc. (TDI) which rose from the ashes of the failed Lehman Brothers after the 2008 financial crisis. CHPE is a bad deal for New York in every way: it perpetuates climate injustice, emits greenhouse gases, and cannot deliver on jobs.

Blackstone seeking to amend its 2013 CHPE Permit

In 2013, New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC) approved the flawed CHPE corridor but it was never built. See, PSC site www.dps.ny.gov. Case No. 10-T-0139

Now, Blackstone is trying to revive CHPE and needs a permit amendment to reroute the corridor --- that’s the subject of our petition. Rerouting CHPE will negatively impact 17 communities from the Canadian border to Queens in New York City. We demand that the PSC hold a full evidentiary hearing and provide the public with an adequate explanation of CHPE’s rerouting with accurate maps and plans and a new environmental impact statement.

Blackstone is trying to evade public scrutiny by sidestepping the public process. It recently tried to argue the COVID-19 crisis required only one video conference instead of public hearings in communities impacted by the rerouting. On June 3, 2020, the PSC rejected Blackstone’s request temporarily and said it will consider holding an evidentiary hearing instead. Comments are due to the PSC by June 15, 2020 – join us in letting the PSC know the public wants a full evidentiary hearing and new environmental impact statement!


CHPE’s proposed new route


Blackstone’s application for the amended PSC permit is flawed and incomplete. Some of the problems are:  

In Rockland County:

  • Blackstone only made vague maps for the new North Rockland route publicly available on December 6, 2019. These must be fully explained to the interested public and business community.        

  • Blackstone must explain how its so-called “minor changes” will impact the North Rockland financial and economic corridor and how the right of way will be managed within the “New North Rockland” route as it pertains to existing infrastructure, repairs, legal jurisdictions, and emergencies.

  • Maps of proposed CHPE route through Rockland County, NY:

                                             


In New York City Blackstone must explain exactly how and where the rerouting will occur in Queens and elsewhere.

In Rouse’s Point in the Village of Champlain, Blackstone must provide full and complete maps documenting Hydro-Quebec’s border crossing over land.

In the Town of Putnam Station, NY Blackstone must explain how it will acquire one mile of private roadway by inverse condemnation and how it will mitigate impacts on private farmlands and businesses in a protected Agricultural District without disrupting farm use, the environment and water rights.

Sign our petition to let the PSC know these flaws must be corrected and an environmental impact statement prepared!

MORE: Blackstone’s CHPE project is a bad deal for New York!

  • Canadian megadams are a morally and socially unacceptable way to generate electricity. By importing this electricity over CHPE New Yorkers become complicit in the cultural genocide of Indigenous people in Canada. Hydro-Quebec’s operations displace frontline, predominantly Indigenous communities, cause cultural genocide by destroying traditional hunting, fishing, trapping and gathering grounds and by poisoning traditional food sources with the neurotoxin methylmercury.

  • CHPE can’t deliver on jobs or the economy. CHPE will create 26 direct, full-time jobs for New Yorkers and approximately 300 temporary construction jobs - that’s $ 10 million per job since the corridor will cost $ 3 billion. This money is better spent on conservation, efficiency and innovative renewables.

  • Canadian hydroelectricity is bad for the climate. CHPE will not reduce global emissions of carbon dioxide according to a recent Energyzt study and peer review science showing hydropower emissions can be comparable to fossil fuels.

  • New York will send its energy dollars to Quebec Province instead of investing locally. Building CHPE means New Yorkers are locking into trying to secure a long-term contract to buy electricity from Hydro-Quebec, instead of investing in local renewables and jobs in-state.

  • Blackstone and the Quebec Government are greenwashing CHPE in an effort to generate profits for investors and Quebec.


Sign the petition and submit your comments by June 15, 2020!

To learn more or get involved, visit our website - www.northeastmegadamresistance.org and follow us on social media:

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Thank you!

-The Team at North American Megadam Resistance Alliance


Petition by

To: New York Public Service Commission
From: [Your Name]

June 15, 2020

Hon. Michelle L. Phillips
Secretary
Public Service Commission
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223-1350
By email to: secretary@dps.ny.gov

Re: Case No. 10-T-0139: Request for an Evidentiary Hearing on CHPE Request for
Amendments to Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need

Dear Secretary Philips:

Enclosed for inclusion in the record of the above-referenced Case No. 10-T-0139 please find petitions seeking an evidentiary hearing.

Very truly yours,

Margaret E. Sheehan, Esq.
North American Megadam Resistance Alliance
www.northeastmegadamresistance.org
Coordinator.namra@gmail.com
Phone: (508) 259-9154

Importing power from Canada via CHPE threatens New York’s own renewable energy industry and the long-term sustainable jobs that come with it. According to the developers’ 2014 Environmental Impact Statement, at a cost of $3 billion, CHPE will only create 26, direct, full-time jobs for New Yorkers. This is a bad deal for New York and not a solution to the climate or the economic crises.

Canadian hydro is dirty energy, is not clean or renewable, and emits methane and other greenhouse gases. Canadian hydro is not renewable energy under New York law. It destroys rivers, carbon-sequestering forests, and over the last 60 years, massive hydropower development in Canada has been built on Indigenous lands without free, prior informed consent. Importing this hydro from megadams is an outdated, dirty energy project.

Right now, Blackstone is asking the PSC to approve a rerouting of the corridor, impacting 17 different towns and communities, including Queens, New York. Blackstone originally claimed the route would go through private rights of way, now it wants to use our public streets for its private profit-making energy corridor. Blackstone has failed to reveal all of the environmental impacts and details of this rerouting. The PSC must hold a full evidentiary hearing and environmental study to allow all New Yorkers and impacted communities the chance to view and comment on these plans.