Why not Muskrat?

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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

To those who oppose the Muskrat Falls project, I ask to consider this:

We need the power.

That is Nalcor’s position, endorsed by Manitoba Hydro International, an independent expert consultant, and by Dr. Wade Locke, a Memorial University economist. In fact, it was concluded that not only do we need the power, but also we even underestimated the need.

Since 2005, there were 17,000 new ratepayers, presently with a total of 230,000 who pay bills for their electricity. Furthermore, 86% of the new homes today are using electric heat. Over the past five years, we averaged in this province 3,200 housing starts per year. Growth is being projected again, not only in the domestic, but also in the commercial, and industrial sectors.

Vale Inco and all the mining activity in Labrador (about 15 billion dollars worth of investments) will need power to grow. By 2020, according to Nalcor, we will have an energy deficit.

Why wait? The prudent thing is to plan now and act on that plan.

So since we need the power, it stands to reason the next step would be to find the least cost option for the best interest of the people of the Province.

Is that Muskrat, with the Labrador Island link or is it a refurbished Holyrood, referred to as the Isolated Island option?

No action is not an option.

At present, Hydro Quebec is not an option either. They deny us unfettered access to their grid.

Besides being too expensive, wind and solar energy are also limited and intermittent and thus unreliable. Natural gas is prohibitively costly, technically and operationally unfeasible. Hence, water power!

According to all reports from experts in the field, Muskrat is the cheapest option. In fact, the difference between Muskrat and the next best option, Holyrood and small hydro would be 2.4 billion. With historic low interest rates and a Federal loan guarantee, it would be more costly for the Province, for the long term, not to develop Muskrat.

The time is ripe. Our ship has come in! As former Premier Williams said in his Board of Trade speech, quoting a wise man that once said, ”the sure way to miss success is to miss the opportunity.”

Muskrat Falls is that opportunity.

Kevin Pollard

MHA Baie Verte -Springdale

Organizations: Dear Editor, Manitoba Hydro International, Hydro Quebec Board of Trade

Geographic location: Muskrat, Labrador

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