Press Releases

Adirondack Council Supports Renewable Energy Project

ADIRONDACK COUNCIL SUPPORTS RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECT:
CHAMPLAIN-HUDSON POWER EXPRESS LINE  

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today said it supports the Champlain-Hudson Power Express (CHPE) renewable energy project as a part of New York State’s efforts to reduce the burning of fossil fuels, obtain more renewable energy, and combat the climate justice crisis under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.  

CHPE is an electric cable project approved by the NY Public Service Commission to bring Canadian hydro-electric power from Quebec to the New York City area. 

“This project is part of New York’s comprehensive plan to eliminate fossil fuel emissions and curb the impacts of global climate change,” said Adirondack Council Communications Director John Sheehan.  “Climate change is an existential threat to the communities, people and the environment in the Adirondacks. Our overheated climate is already causing pain across New York and around the world. We need to do all we can to pass along a healthy planet to our children and grandchildren.  

“We need an aggressive approach to curbing the impacts of fossil fuel pollution on people in urban communities,” Sheehan said.  “This is especially urgent in New York City, where people of color and the poor shoulder a disproportionate burden from air pollution and dangerous heat waves.  We know how to fix those problems.  Justice demands that we do it, before we’re too late.” 

Reducing the emissions that harm public health in urban areas will help the Adirondacks too, he explained.  Smog and acid rain come from burning the same fossil fuels, he said.   

The Adirondack Council supports properly sited, well-designed renewable energy projects as part of New York’s efforts to comply with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, he said.  It also urges better pollution controls, stronger energy-conservation measures, and more research into clean energy sources.  

“Bringing hydro power from Quebec via the CHPE would be a significant, beneficial project,” said Sheehan. “It would replace fossil fuel electricity currently generated in NYC with renewably sourced hydro power.” 

“The CHPE design appears to avoid causing any visual or environmental impact on the Adirondack Park and Adirondack Forest Preserve,” Sheehan said. “The plan calls for a direct-current cable at the bottom of Lake Champlain, rather than using an overland route, which could have caused more visual and environmental impacts.” 

Part of the lasting allure of the Adirondack Park is its wild character, which reinforces the wholesome nature of its pure waters, vast forests and breath-taking scenic vistas, Sheehan said.  Burying the cable will mean no transmission line towers and no cables strung from ridgeline to summit across the landscape, which will help preserve the Park’s wild character and its outdoor recreation/tourism economy, he said. 

With permitting essentially complete, Sheehan said the organization would monitor construction of the line to ensure it complies with all legally required state laws and regulations. 

“The construction plans we have reviewed gave us little concern over significant or long-lasting environmental impacts to the lake, fisheries or wildlife,” Sheehan said.  “If all goes as planned, we don’t foresee any permanent, adverse ecological impacts.” 

Over the more than 10-year history of this project to date, the Adirondack Council and multiple Adirondack Park communities have expressed support for the project’s climate and energy goals and its local-benefit payments. The Council has previously also recognized potential concerns and offered a friendly reminder to the state and to sponsors of the multi-billion-dollar project to take care not to inadvertently violate Article 14, Section 1 of the NYS Constitution, a.k.a. the “forever wild” clause. 

Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.  

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming, safe communities.  Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States. 

For more information: John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340 

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