Letter to the Editor: Let’s say you had a billion dollars

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You are right- that is New England Clean Energy Connect backwards- which is exactly how Massachusetts has approached this project. Let us say you had a billion dollars to spend on a project: wouldn’t you want to know the quality and characteristics of the item to be purchased before making the investment? As you do when buying online- you check out the product reviews. Let’s define that product as 1200 MW of electricity purchased from Hydro Quebec for simplicity. If such a review were conducted, it would have revealed that:

1) Flooding six million acres of vegetated land creates an immense amount of methane gas, displaces indigenous people and creates severe problems for wildlife migration.

2) Release of this warmed stagnant impounded water when the demand for power is high (and the price), creates havoc with cold water into which it is released resulting in the warming of the Gulf of Maine.

3) The beneficiary of the purchase would be the generator, Hydro Quebec and the parent company of Central Maine Power, Iberdrola. This effectively takes over 40 billion dollars out of the New England economy and sends it to other countries. This results in Massachusetts losing tax revenue from generation investment within the state and hundreds of jobs to build and operate those generators. The cost of the purchase then is the original one billion to build the powerline, the exported money to Spain and Canada and the uncalculated loss of revenue from generation infrastructure, jobs and taxes.

4) The rates paid by New England customers will subsidize Canadian business, as they will continue to pay lower rates effectually making competing products from America more expensive.

The summary of the product review would strongly indicate that your one billion dollar investment from environmental, social and economic perspectives is a lose, lose, lose.

Bob Haynes

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