This page is for critics of hydro lines in general and Quebec Hydro in particular.
While it may be true that there are no smokestacks or tailpipes spewing carbon dioxide, the creation of large reservoirs produces methane, which is twenty times as potent as carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas (though it is not as long lasting in the atmosphere). It has been estimated that worldwide, large dams are responsible for the equivalent of 7.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually that is higher than the carbon dioxide emissions from all the fossil fuel burning in the United States.
Studies have show that dams in tropical climates can have greenhouse gas emissions up to 26 times higher than equivalent coal burning plants. While methane emissions from dams in temperate climate is not as well studied, studies have shown that large hydro plants in Canada and in Finland contribute as much to climate change as coal plants that produce a comparable amount of electricity.
Hydro Quebec is also waging a major assault on the boreal forests, which are an important storehouse for carbon.
Also in the works is the 1,500 MW Romaine project which has been ranked as the largest construction project in all of Canada (the Eastmain project is number two). Hydro Quebec has concluded its environmental assessment process for the project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The Romaine is one of the last free flowing Atlantic salmon rivers on the north shore of the St Lawrence (most of the others have been dammed by Hydro Quebec), which will be turned into a series of four reservoirs with four hydroelectric stations.