Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DISTRUST & SUSPICION DOES NOT CONFIDENCE MAKE

______________________________

"It was announced with much fanfare
 but the current crowd seem to be
 having a real tough time communicating
 how this arrangement is going to provide
 benefits to the province. Neither the premier,
 or the current minister of Natural Resources, 
seem to have the ability to instill any sense 
of confidence in the process."


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The development of the Lower Churchill and a commitment from Ottawa to negotiate and participate in the establishment of an East-West Hydro Grid could be significant contributor to national unity and assist Canada in meeting its international greenhouse gas treaty obligations.

The Lower Churchill Project consists of two of the best undeveloped hydroelectric sites in North America: Gull Island, located 225 kilometers downstream from the existing Churchill Falls Generating Station; and Muskrat Falls, located 60 kilometers downstream from Gull Island. The 2,000-megawatt project at Gull Island has the potential to produce an average of 11.9 terawatt hours of energy annually. The 824 megawatt project at Muskrat Falls has the potential to produce an average of 4.8 terawatt hours a year.

 The Lower Churchill can help Alberta further develop the oil sands projects because the green energy of our hydro projects will provide credits to offset the carbon emissions associated with the development of the oil sands.

We’ve had no major transmission infrastructure developed over the past 20 years in Canada. Investments in grids would pale in comparison to the price of building and repairing old coal and nuclear energy plants. 

We have thousands of megawatts of wind and hydro energy potential for export.  The Lower Churchill is a renewable opportunity that has the potential to reap renewed benefits for generations to come.

However, as the lowest cost solution to Newfoundland and Labrador's domestic power needs, Nalcor has failed to prove that the proposed Muskrat Falls project is the lowest cost option.   

The provincial government has tried to ring fence the options and prevent a true debate of alternative energy options available to consumers leaving too many unanswered questions about the economics of the project. As former Premier Brian Peckford said, the project could be the best thing ever, but more study is needed.

All people have been asking the government for months now, is - why the rush? 

Slow it down, get it right! Instead critics have been bashed, reputations smeared and government has refused to be objective and listen to the legitimate fears of the public. The result has been a steady deterioration of support for the Muskrat Falls Proposal.

The government's approach, it's bully tactics, it's arrogance and it's stubbornness is at fault for undermining the public's confidence in the development. The divide and conquer approach. The decision to dish The Lower Churchill Joint-Review Panel, David Vardy's report, Cabot Martin's concerns about ignoring the potential of Natural Gas, to cherry pick the Manitoba Hydro International report and not provide the PUB with the time it requested to complete it's evaluation is at fault. 

In short, the leadership on this file is at fault. The cat and mouse games, cute answers and a spineless government caucus only fueled distrust and suspicion.

The PUB Report exposes the emperor as having no clothes. If government is surprised by what happened, perhaps they should look in the mirror and realize that we reside in a democracy, not a dictatorship!

 It casts serious doubts about credibility of Nalcor, it's executive and the provincial cabinet.



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