Hydro Production in NL Should Be

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

October 4, 2016


For Immediate Release




Hydro Production in NL Should Be Factored Into Carbon Tax Equation


Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, said, "With Muskrat Falls estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4.5 megatonnes a year, the province's investments in non-carbon energy generation should be factored into any equation when determining how much our province's people and employers will directly or indirectly pay under the Prime Minister's new carbon tax proposal."


The federal Liberal government advised that provinces will have to implement either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade ‎system beginning in 2018 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by essentially putting a higher cost on its use and making emission reduction efforts more attractive.


Hutchings said, "Our province is leading the country in shifting away from reliance on carbon-based fuels for energy to primarily hydro."


Currently, Newfoundland and Labrador generates 1.4 per cent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions; with Muskrat Falls completed, that number will decrease by 10 per cent. Nalcor estimated in 2011 that the Muskrat Falls Project had the potential to displace between 173 and 535 million tonnes of greenhouse gases over its first 50 years.


"Muskrat Falls will make an enormous contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and that was ‎one of the many reasons the federal government provided a loan guarantee," said Hutchings. "If you factor in the excess of 5000 MW from the Upper Churchill, the hydro from our province is contributing greatly to greenhouse gas emission reductions in the country.


"Our investment in Muskrat Falls should be factored in when calculating the amount we will be required to pay in carbon tax, or whether the time is right to even consider it. Muskrat Falls will make our province a leader in clean energy. It will mean that 98 per cent of the energy we generate here in Newfoundland and Labrador will come from renewable sources, reducing our reliance on the burning of oil at Holyrood. ‎Is Minister Trimper advocating for this recognition in his discussions with Ottawa?


"The ultimate purpose of a carbon tax is to reduce carbon emissions, and that's what Muskrat Falls will do, as well as our vast developed hydro sources are doing today. We have made an enormous investment to lead the country in greenhouse gas reduction initiatives, and our economy should not be further impacted by tax initiatives that would, in effect, make us pay twice. Our investment should be counted when Ottawa calculates the carbon tax‎ obligation," said Hutchings.




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


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


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