The six New England Governors and the premiers of Canada’s four Atlantic provinces plus Quebec have met for 37 years to discuss common interests. Their latest meeting was this past weekend in Quebec.
The leaders of the 11 jurisdictions focused on energy, climate change adaptation and transportation during the 2-day meeting. Six resolutions were passed that include a commitment to energy efficiency and increased clean energy trade; advancement of alternative fuel vehicles and the needed infrastructure; reaffirmation of greenhouse gas reduction plans; solidifying mechanisms for cross-border emergency mutual aid; and best practices for rail transport safety.
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick says the conference gives the regional leaders crucial ways to “...successfully collaborate with our neighbors....” Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin called the gathering a tremendous success.
New Brunswick is constructing a multi-billion dollar 824-megawatt hydro project that will compete with Hydro Quebec, and Governor Shumlin calls that an intriguing energy opportunity for New England.
Vermont Energy Partnership Spokesman Guy Page believes it makes sense for the New England states to look for more hydropower, but challenges lay ahead.
As Vermont Public Interest Research Group Executive Director Paul Burns assesses the resolutions and results of this meeting, he finds that there weren’t any major policy breakthroughs.
Next year’s meeting of New England governors and eastern Canadian premiers will be held in New Hampshire.