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Thursday, September 1, 2016

September 1, 2016

 

For Immediate Release

 

 

 

‎What Mandate has the CEO of Nalcor been given by the Liberal Government to Initiate Negotiations with Hydro-Québec?

 

 

 

Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, said, "Premier Ball must disclose the mandate the provincial government ‎has given to Nalcor and its new CEO for talks with Hydro-Québec."

 

"This is the date when Quebec will begin receiving Upper Churchill hydro power at an even lower rate‎ under the terms of the infamously lopsided 1966 Upper Churchill Contract," said Hutchings.

 

"Quebec is reaping an enormous windfall while we get pennies. For every dollar they earn, we will get two cents. For their estimated one billion a year, we will get just $20 million. Our collective efforts to right this wrong have been rebuffed at every turn, but it certainly should give us the moral high ground in moving forward on new projects like Gull Island and other negotiations, such as power access and transmission access," said Hutchings.

 

"Mr. Ball attended the New England Governors meeting recently - without the province's Natural Resources Minister - where the Premier's messaging has certainly left people confused on what his government provincial energy policy is. In the past, he has said we will not be able to sell the surplus Muskrat Falls power and the project is overbuilt, while now he seems to be saying there will be no surplus power to sell," said Hutchings.

 

"What is the province discussing with Hydro-Québec? Are the Liberals considering the sale of Muskrat Falls power to Quebec? Will any talks involve redress of the 1966 contract as we look to 2041 and the expiry of the current contract? Is the province actively negotiating with Hydro-Québec for Gull Island development‎ or access to the Quebec grid, which has constrained an east-west energy transfer for decades?

 

"Our 2007 Energy Plan outlined the building of an energy warehouse through renewable and nonrenewable resources, including wind energy, natural gas, oil, small hydro and alternative resources. Where do these alternatives fit into the equation for this Liberal administration? We don't know because they have not said, and have been absent in articulating a clear energy policy for this province.

 

"Is this Liberal government making headway with Ottawa and other provinces for a national energy plan that includes interprovincial transmission rights ‎for electricity? Would Ottawa also help with other green energy projects, such as Gull Island? Ottawa ought to feel some obligation for denying us national transmission rights in the 1960s that might have enabled our province to get a more-balanced Upper Churchill Contract. Are these considerations at play as the new CEO looks forward to working with Hydro-Québec and as the current government talks about energy with Ottawa and the provinces? These are questions that require more answers, clarity, openness and transparency.

 

"The Liberals seem to be using the previous government's 2007 Energy Plan as their template, as we saw in their recent re-affirmation of Nalcor's offshore seismic work. But an update is required on the hydro power aspect of that plan today.

 

"What are the province's plans in advance of 2041, when the Upper Churchill enters a new phase and our province could be positioned to reap a fair share of the dividends for the first time?

 

"Are there plans for privatization, or a greater private sector role in current developments or any of the other developments‎?

 

"It's time for full disclosure. These energy resources are the people's, and it's important for the people to reap the benefits."

 

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Media Contact: Heather MacLean, Director of Communications, Office of the Official Opposition,

 

(709) 729 6105, heathermaclean@gov.nl.ca

 

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