Ashley Dawson, author of EXTINCTION, discusses his thoughts on Bill de Blasio’s energy plan in an article for The Guardian.

Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced an energy plan that would potentially move New York City a big step in the wrong direction. In a little-discussed provision of the city’s latest OneNYC sustainability plan, Mayor de Blasio commits to powering 100% of City government operations with “clean” hydroelectric power from Canadian state company Hydro-Québec. According to the mayor, this would help the city move away from coal and gas, in the process cutting emissions by 40% over the next decade. What’s not to like?

The mayor’s proposal calls for construction of a 330-mile-long underground high-voltage transmission cable, called the Champlain-Hudson Power Express (CHPE), to bring power from Canada down to NYC. The project, which is slated to cost nearly $20bn, would lock NYC into dependence on Canadian hydropower long-term, while diminishing the ability for local offshore wind, solar and other renewable industries to thrive.

Furthermore, there is nothing “clean” about hydropower. Building the CHPE would require excavating a trench down the spine of the Hudson Valley, a costly and environmentally disruptive enterprise. Construction could potentially stir up long-buried carcinogenic PCBs in the Hudson River, the nation’s largest superfund site, threatening a recovery process championed by advocates for decades. And the dams that would generate power for NYC have flooded hundreds of miles of boreal forest, annihilating watershed ecosystems and agricultural potential across the north-eastern US.

Read the full article here.

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