December 13, 2017

Anti-hydropower group launches regional tour at CVU

An international network of environmental and social justice groups is launching a multi-state speaking tour to raise awareness about cultural, environmental and financial impacts of hydroelectric power generated by dams in Canada.

One of the first stops is Monday at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in Room 104. Other meetings will be held in Nova Scotia, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.

Featured speakers include Roberta Benefiel of Grand Riverkeeper Labrador and Amy Norman of Labrador Land Protectors, who both have led opposition efforts to dam projects in Canada.

The tour comes as Canadian power companies are working on a network of transmission corridors through New England and New York to deliver hydropower from remote areas of Canada.

Transmission corridors are at various stages of permitting and include the New England Clean Power Link under Lake Champlain and the Northern Pass through New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest.

The State of Vermont, along with other New England states, classify hydro-electricity as renewable. Tour organizers disagree.

“We are joining U.S. based public interest groups to raise awareness that state laws and programs incentivizing and promoting destructive Canadian hydropower as ‘clean’ are not acceptable,” Benefiel said in a press release.

Groups supporting the tour include: the New Community Project of Vermont, the Vermont Climate Union, the Upper Valley Sierra Club, the United American Indians of New England and 350vt.org.

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