Adil Trehan, email@example.com, 202-630-7275
New York - Today, Governor Hochul announced that the Tier 4 Awards under NY’s Clean Energy Standard will go to TDI’s Champlain-Hudson Power Express (CHPE) line, bringing power from Canadian company HydroQuébec, and to the New York Power Authority’s Clean Path NY transmission line. The Tier 4 projects provided an opportunity to deliver new renewable generation into the New York City area, facilitating the retirement of aging, polluting fossil fuel generation to protect public health, creating jobs for New Yorkers and advancing renewable electricity. Governor Hochul, rather than maximizing in-state renewable generation, gave one of the awards to a project that has been rife with environmental and human rights issues.
Export contracts from HydroQuébec throughout the Northeast have been opposed by many First Nations, including the Innu Nation of Labrador, the Innu of Pessamit, the Atikamekw of Wemotaci, and the Anishnabeg of Pikogan, Lac Simon and Kitcisakik. These Nations have experienced critical damage to their traditional homelands and lifeways from massive hydropower infrastructure, with little to no compensation from HydroQuébec.
New York has ambitious and necessary goals to achieve 70% renewable generation by 2030, a target that will generate significant economic development, create jobs and allow New York to transition away from polluting fossil-fuel power plants. Tier 4 provided an opportunity to further those goals in the near term by awarding multiple projects that would bring power from in-state renewable projects to New York City without needing to invest in CHPE, a project with concerning impacts on Indigenous rights and boreal forests. Moreover, transmission projects to bring new renewables to market would result in regional greenhouse gas emissions reductions, while a 2020 Energyzt study demonstrated - using HydroQuébec’s own data - that the Canadian company does not have enough power to service existing export markets and the new transmission line. The CHPE will simply facilitate the shifting of HydroQuébec power around the northeastern market, not add overall renewable capacity to the region.
Shay O’Reilly, Senior Organizing Representative for Sierra Club, issued the following statement:
“It’s disappointing to see Governor Kathy Hochul support a project that has been opposed by First Nations, threatens irreparable harm to our Hudson River, and may not even reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If New York State insists on awarding this contract to CHPE/HydroQuebec, it should use its bargaining power to demand compensation for harm to First Nations, and finalize a contract that includes significant environmental and climate standards, including the prevention of new dam construction or impoundment expansion.
Additionally, NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio must act to close loopholes in Local Law 97 that allow building owners to evade their emissions reductions responsibilities by buying Renewable Energy Credits. Buildings are the largest source of climate-destroying emissions in NYC, and building owners shouldn’t be able to evade their responsibility to the city’s climate goals through the purchase of Tier 4 RECs.
While we strongly support new transmission of in-state renewables into NYC, the Sierra Club remains opposed to the Champlain-Hudson Power Express, and will continue to fight for better solutions for New Yorkers.”
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.