Monday, February 13, 2012

PUB'S RUSHED HEARINGS START TODAY

The Province' Public Utility Board begins public hearings into the provincial Government's/Emera proposed Muskrat Falls Hydro Electric Project, today.

Hearings on the $6.2 Billion will only take place in St. John's because the deadline forced the board to abandon plans to hold hearings in other communities. They will be streamed live on the internet. The first week of hearings deal with Nalcor and the Manitoba Hydro review. All presentations are open to the public.

If you want to make a presentation, you need to register in writing no later than this Wednesday, February 15th.


The board has publicly stated that  it feels that it has not been given the time it needs to properly review the $6.2-billion Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project. The deadline has already been extended once.

The review is due at the end of next month. The PUB has the support of the province's opposition parties, but Premier Kathy Dunderdale has rejected all calls for an extension. Two external reviews has come out in favour of the controversial project, although the Manitoba Hydro International review offered a number of conditions and suggested further studies on cost-overruns.

A few weeks ago Nalcor Energy and Emera Inc. extended the deadline, indefinably, to finalize a deal to develop the $6.2-billion Muskrat Falls hydro project. The news came after the the pair had failed to reach agreement in November 2011. At that time they extended the time frame for completion the final agreements for another two months — to Jan. 31, 2012.

Like so many other people in this province, I can not understand the rush. If the major players can not come to an agreement on the contracts, why not let the Public Utility Board have the time it needs to do the job it wants to so on behalf of the taxpayers of the province.

It just seems hypocritical for Nalcor's boss to say that  more time is needed by the principals for internal reviews and due diligence, but not offer the same to the PUB.




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