Hydro- Québec : Opposition du projet Northern Pass

Hydro-Québec s'attaque à un ambitieux projet de transport, soit la construction d'une nouvelle ligne électrique devant relier le Québec et les États du sud de la Nouvelle-Angleterre. Ce projet, connu sous le nom de Northern Pass, qui nécessitera des investissements de 1 milliard, suscite beaucoup d'opposition, notamment au New Hampshire que le nouveau lien doit traverser mais qui n'achètera pas d'électricité québécoise, qui est destinée à des marchés plus au sud.

Un fort mouvement d'opposition a vu le jour dans cet État.

Extrait de : Northern Pass Project Faces Renewed Opposition, WMUR9, News, April 5, 2011

Homeowners Organize Grassroots Protest Against Energy Project

Northern Pass Project Faces Renewed Opposition

DEERFIELD, N.H. -- A controversial utility project is catching more heat from Granite Staters.

More than a 100 people showed up in Deerfield for a meeting to oppose the Northern Pass project.

The joint effort between Canadian and American utilities would bring hydro-electric energy from Canada through the North Country and eventually down to a substation in Deerfield.

Some of the most vocal opposition has come from the North Country, but it's clear that on the southern end of the proposed project, people are just as fired up.

"This meeting tonight started simply with an email out to some residents," Deerfield resident and event organizer Stephen Neily said.

Neily said if the utility mega-deal spearheaded by Hydro-Quebec becomes a reality, massive electrical towers will become his new neighbors.

Northern Pass Project - Hydro Québec

Thus, when Richard Cacchione, Hydro Quebec Production president, writes in his scoping comment on Northern Pass dated April 11, 2011, that the Eastmain-1-A/Sarcelle/Rupert diversion project was "socially and environmentally acceptable to the Crees" because it received 70% approval in a referendum, with the Crees compensated with a "number of funds" through another agreement, one must evaluate the voluntariness of that acceptance in terms of the fundamental moral questions about compensation schemes and environmental justice that Professor Been and others raise.

"Regardless of whether I have a tower 600 feet away and then out across the street, I'm still going to have the electric lines themselves directly over my house," Neily said.

Though this gathering started locally, it drew property owners from around the state and out-of-state.

Margaret Jones owns a seasonal home in North Stratford, and lives in Pembroke, Mass.

"I drove here to let the people know what's going on up north. Otherwise they have no way of knowing. And I couldn't not drive. I couldn't stay home tonight," Jones said.

The meeting offered a glimpse into the groundswell of passionate opposition to Northern Pass.

Many believe the new lines, even on existing right-of-ways, will diminish their property values.

"It is an attack. When you take away my life savings, what are you doing to me," Holderness resident Mike Marino said.

State Sen. Jack Barnes stepped forward, promising to arrange a meeting between legislators and representatives from Northern Pass to get more information.

He said he wanted to hear both sides before judging the project, but a number of people in attendance let him know that Northern Pass could turn them into one-issue voters in 2012.

Northern Pass did not have anyone attend the meeting, but a representative said they are, "Looking forward to participating in similar sessions in the future -- to provide information on the benefits the project will provide to New Hampshire, including jobs, tax revenue, and reduced energy prices."