As a responsible citizen of the New England states, while also always looking out for the best interests of our membership of 2,000-plus skilled electrical lineman throughout the northeast, IBEW Local 104 has explored the environmental awareness of Hydro-Québec and aptitude of hydroelectric power itself.
Local 104 supports the Northern Pass project, which will bring electrical lines into New Hampshire from Hydro-Québec’s plants, because of the unquestioned renewable power and jobs it will provide.
But Local 104 always wants to make certain it supports companies and projects that do not adversely affect the environment in New England — after all, our members and their families live and work here, too.
The U.S. Geological Survey lists an abundance of advantages to hydroelectric power … including several environmental and sustainability benefits. In fact, the USGS specifically lists “Hydroelectricity helps fight climate changes.” Check out the list here: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/hydroadvantages.html
What’s more, studies show that hydroelectricity is one of the lowest emission-generating options. Hydro-Québec produces 33% of the total electricity generated in Canada but accounts for only 0.4% of the greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s electric utilities. At the same time, the reservoirs created to produce hydroelectricity are diversified ecosystems, comparable to a natural lake, that provide the food and habitat necessary for the growth of plant life.
Hydro-Québec has created, some time ago, the “Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement” to contribute to the enhancement and long-term protection of the environment. Through this foundation, the company partners with local organizations on projects designed to protect, restore and enhance natural habitats, and educate target audiences about local environmental issues. IBEW Local 104 applauds those efforts; read more at www.hydroquebec.com/fondation-environnement/en/index.html.