Press Release – Reject Hydropower Imports from Canada

Making it Real: A Forum on Energy and Climate

Grand Riverkeeper Labrador and others who are part of an international network of environmentalists took part in the 42nd Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (Sunday, August 15, 2018, Vermont). The Alliance called for Rejection of Hydropower Imports from Canada (see below for full press release)

August 12, 2018


Denise Cole, Labrador Land Protectors,
Roberta Frampton Benefiel, Grand Riverkeeper Labrador,

Alliance Calls for Rejection of Hydropower Imports from Canada at the 42nd Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference in Stowe, Vermont

On August 12-13, 2018, during the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, in Stowe, Vermont, the North American Megadams Resistance Alliance (NAMRA), an international network of environmental and social justice groups, will participate in events to address the cross border plight of transmission corridors and electricity produced by megadams in Canada.

The NAMRA mission is to block transmission corridors and contracts to import hydroelectric power produced by mega dams in Canada, such as Muskrat Falls, which are causing irreversible harm to ecosystems and to impacted communities. These mega dam systems are no longer permitted to be built in the United States.

Northeast states can meet all decarbonization and greenhouse gas reduction targets by expanding renewable energy, efficiency and conservation initiatives, while promoting local economies and creating jobs, NAMRA states.

NAMRA is opposed to the construction of new long-distance transmission corridors for the export of hydropower from Quebec and Labrador into the United States. Proposed corridors include the Atlantic Link, New England Clean Energy Connect, Champlain Hudson Power Express, New England Clean Power Link, Vermont Green Line, and the Northern Pass.

NAMRA supports the efforts of the Labrador Land Protectors and Grand Riverkeeper, Labrador, to halt the construction of the $13 billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric complex. For decades, First Nations, Inuit, Metis and settlers, living in the Happy Valley/ Goose Bay region of Labrador, have been ignored in a process that has allowed the Muskrat Falls construction to proceed, despite the certainty of methylmercury poisoning the food chain, the destruction of a way of life, and the daily threat of a dam collapse due to quick clay liquefaction.

“It is time to stop destroying rivers everywhere," said Tom Ellis of the Solidarity Committee of the Capital District, in Albany, New York. ”The Solidarity Committee opposed the Great Whale hydroelectric project 25 years ago and we have opposed the Champlain Hudson Power Express transmission corridor since it was proposed in 2010.”

The Sierra Club Maine Chapter, a member of NAMRA, is opposing the Maine Central Power’s proposed New England Clean Power Link transmission corridor, which would require clearing a large, currently undisturbed swath of Maine’s North Woods. While failing to reduce climate changing pollution, threatening wildlife, and disturbing pristine forests, the project would jeopardize existing and future renewable energy development in the region.

“We should be using electricity that is carbon-emission free and fully renewable, and these mega dam projects are neither,” says NAMRA member Steve Crowley, Energy Chair of the Vermont Sierra Club. “Beyond this, when you consider poisoning the fish, and the people who consume them, with methyl mercury, and disrupting the lives of Indigenous communities, there's no way this is the right thing to do. By using this mega dam power, we are directly responsible for impacts that would be completely intolerable if they were here in our backyard. We don’t need to import electricity produced by destructive mega dams 1,000 or more miles away. ”

NAMRA member Steve Crowley, Energy Chair of the Vermont Sierra Club.

“We ask the citizens of northeastern states to pay attention to the struggle underway in Labrador over Muskrat Falls. Hydro-electricity from large dams is neither clean nor green. Our energy policies must be based on respect for social justice and human rights. Large dams destroy forests and wetlands, contributing significantly to climate change and biodiversity loss,”

stated Rachel Smolker, a Vermont member of the Alliance

"Making it Real: A Forum on Energy and Climate”

“Making it Real: A Forum on Energy and Climate” will be on Sunday August 12, at 5-7 pm, at the Waterbury United Church of Christ, 8 North Main Street (at the top of Bank Hill), in Waterbury, Vermont.

“Rally for Real Climate Solutions: No Pipelines. Nukes, or Megadams”

“Rally for Real Climate Solutions: No Pipelines. Nukes, or Megadams” will take place on Monday August 13, at 2:30 pm, in front of the Stowe Mountain Lodge, 7412 Mountain Road, Stowe, Vermont. The press conference will begin at 5 pm, at the same location.

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