At least talk of talking between Newfoundland and Labrador and the oil companies is better than complete silence. Danny Williams' speech to NOIA Tuesday appeared to be more open and inviting to resume talks with oil companies. I wonder would any premier of NL be called Premier Chávez if they were holding out for 4.9 per-cent stake in the project, and for a royalty rate that rises with global crude oil prices, and is this fair? Or is this just Danny Williams because of his personal style? I guess Danny Williams is being called "Chávez" because he has a tough stand, or because of his said confrontational style. If it were Clyde Wells, or Gerry Reid, or whoever as Premier, would the "hold-out" stance on the development of Hebron be seen as "Chávezesque" or confrontational? Is what Williams is looking for going to eat into the oil company profits too much? Or are they being too greedy? How many billions do industry have to make for Hebron development to be fair for them? Perhaps that is a taboo area to question.
Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn slammed Premier Williams in a text that was supposed to be presented at the NOIA conference, but due to fog, he was unable to land. I also wonder is it politically incorrect these days to suggest that the sacred economic engines cut some profit slack to facilitate project developments? Or does big industry find it a bit embarrassing to only make "so many" billions, or not increase its profit by X % each year? Perhaps the people of Newfoundland and Labrador could help out in the Hebron negotiations by taking up a collection for oil companies who might make financial sacrifices in moving the project forward.