Hydro-Quebec megadams and Central Maine Power corridor subject of Maine Events

Featured Indigenous and allied land and water protectors spoke to the environmental damage of the p

Emily Pomilio, emily.pomilio@sierraclub.org, 480-286-0401

Meg Sheehan,NAMRA, coordinator.namra@gmail.com, 508-259-9154

Augusta, ME--Yesterday, Indigenous community members and allies delivered a letter to Governor Mills asking her to withdraw support for the controversial Central Maine Transmission (CMP) corridor that will import Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts. The letter debunks the myth that large-scale hydro is a renewable resource and that instead, it destroys our rivers and ecosystems. 

CMP will cut through vast swathes of pristine wildlife habitat in Maine to bring electricity from Canada to customers in Massachusetts while having tremendous negative impacts on rivers and their communities in Canada and the United States. 

The letter was delivered as part of North American Megadams Resistance Alliance’s (NAMRA) Northeast speaker tour raising awareness of the negative impacts of Hydro-Quebec’s operations in Canada. The Tour held speaking events in the Portland area, Augusta, Farmington and featured speakers from Pimicikamak and Inuit communities and the Grand Riverkeeper Labrador, Inc. whose lands and waters are being devastated by Canadian hydropower exported to the U.S. The tour ends at Plymouth, MA on Thanksgiving where members of Pimicikamak and Inuit communities will speak in honor of the 50th National Day of Mourning and followed by a visit with the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe in Plymouth, MA.

A youth activist and spokespeople for the North American Megadams Resistance Alliance and the Sierra Club had the following to say: 

“Hydropower development has altered 50,000 square miles of land that my people used for millennia to hunt, fish and trap and gather.  We can longer practice our traditional ways like our ancestors before us,” Carlton Richards of Pimicikamak territory, an Indigenous youth activist said. “This is cultural genocide. We travelled 2,200 miles from our home to tell the truth about what happens in the shadow of the dams.” 

“CMP cannot deliver on its promise to help the climate. Canadian hydropower takes more acres per megawatt than any other form of energy to produce,” Meg Sheehan, North American Megadam Resistance Alliance coordinator said. “Over the last 100 years, the industry has been responsible for massive industrial scale destruction of rivers and communities in Canada. Consumers in the U.S. who import and use this power are complicit in this destruction. Hydro-Quebec’s dams would never be allowed in the U.S., yet Maine and Massachusetts are supporting new megadams in Canada, falsely calling the power clean and green.” 

“Maine people don’t want this transmission corridor, given the environmental havoc the line will create in Maine’s Western mountains, and the permanent damage to our shared land and water resources, compounded by the unjust impact on Indigenous and front line communities,” Alice Elliot, Director at the Sierra Club Maine Chapter said. “Not only do megadams destroy rivers, forests and their communities, they undermine the development of green, clean jobs using renewable resources here in Maine.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit www.sierraclub.org.