Monday, April 30, 2007

Power Trip

In the heat of the equalization squabble climate change is a welcome topic as far as Newfoundland and Labrador is concerned. The Council of the Federation meeting tomorrow in Toronto will see premiers and territorial leaders discuss the now much criticized Canadian greenhouse-gas action plan. The plan is at best, getting mixed reviews. It seems to be generally supported by industry, but that's not necessarily a good thing. Outspoken and respected scientist David Suzuki, Inconvenient Truth's Al Gore, and now a UN official, Yvo de Boer, have condemned the plan. So there is a strong desire for a better plan, sooner rather than later.

Ontario's Premier Dalton McGuinty is also thirsty for some clean hydro energy. Ontario has reduced reliance on coal plants by one third and wants to do more.
Provincial leaders should also ponder the idea of a national power grid in much the same way as the trans-Canada railway helped knit the country together ... The great thing about hydroelectric capacity is that it's a great renewable resource and it doesn't contribute to climate change. (CTV)

Ontario wants it, Canada, the U.S. and the world needs cleaner energy, so it would seem that NL's hydro potential is only becoming more valuable.
We’ve already reduced our reliance on coal by one third, which is the equivalent of taking two million cars off the road. The previous government increased emissions from coal by 127% and slashed the Ministry of the Environment budget... The leader of the official opposition wants to wait 13 years before even beginning to reduce greenhouse gases, and we would then have to wait another 30 years for any other significant change.- Ms. Monique M. Smith (Nipissing), Apr. 26, 2007: Ontario Legislative Assembly Hansard

Danny Williams said that the meeting will not be a fed-bashing event. Perhaps it might even be a time of political climate changes where cooler heads prevail. Since clean energy is what provinces and the nation want, developing NL's hydro potential could also be an opportunity for Harper, though he won't be at this meeting, to try and redeem himself by at least offering assistance to our province in developing this, in such a way that Newfoundland and Labrador is favored similiar to the way Quebec was for the Upper Churchill project. That very scenario probably won't happen, but it could be a chance for the Government of Canada to step in to repair current and historical wounds. How to best develop Lower Churchill is not certain, but it would be good to see all possible options.

No comments: