In a letter published on May 23, Richard Aishton claims that the energy provided by Hydro-Québec is not clean. The science proves otherwise.

Greenhouse-gas emissions and mercury have been extensively documented in Québec – over 40 years for mercury and 25 years for greenhouse gases – and data results published in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Greenhouse-gas research on Québec reservoirs clearly shows that emissions levels are low: on par with wind and 50 times less than natural gas. Notably, our cold and well-oxygenated waters lead to very low methane emissions. Similar patterns are observed in Finland, Norway and in the rest of Canada.

Mercury is naturally present in the environment. Experts know that one of the impacts of hydropower development is a temporary increase in mercury accumulation in fish. There have been no known cases of mercury intoxication related to fish consumption in Quebec. Levels of mercury in Native populations in Québec are actually lower today than they were before our dams were constructed, an environmental monitoring study has found.

Opponents to New England Clean Energy Connect have steered the conversation away from this project’s fundamentals, and that is of great concern. Unfortunately, misinformation has become fodder for opponents of Québec hydropower, a low-carbon energy source that can truly make a difference in fighting climate change. We hope that facts, the benefits and the significance of this project will ultimately be recognized.

Serge Abergel

director, media and external relations, Hydro-Québec

Montreal

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