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Thursday 31 March 2022


Guest Post by PlanetNL 

PlanetNL42: Electrification at MUN + Broken LIL

A Formula For Political and Academic Stupidity

Government announcements issued on Friday afternoons are almost certainly bad news disguised as good.  Government will try to spin only the positives while the media and public must figure out the negatives.

So it was this past Friday when much enthusiasm was fawned over the planned conversion of Memorial University’s central heating plant from oil to electricity.  Provincial, Federal, and Memorial representatives lauded the emissions reduction that would result from 10.5 million liters less fuel consumption at Memorial. The $10.5M project will be funded 50/50 by Federal and Provincial programs specific to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  All that sounds great - there couldn’t possibly be any downside, could there?

Well, what if reducing 10.5 million liters of diesel consumption at Memorial requires the Holyrood Thermal Generating Station to burn 30 million more liters of heavy fuel oil, resulting in far worse provincial emissions and increased cost to ratepayers?  That’s the kind of info that does not get mentioned at these cheerleading events. 

Monday 28 March 2022


No matter which side of the issue you find yourself, one thing is clear: there has never been an occasion when the Government of Canada has told a Province to shut down a critical part of its economy, as the Prime Minister Trudeau is attempting, in the case of the offshore oil industry.

An arbitrary 40-day extentsion to the Bay du Nord decsion and a 90-day freeze on new land sales, the the Prime Minister has put a gun to Premier Andrew Furey's head. Furey has neither chastised the PM for his insult, admonished the GoC’s discard of the Atlantic Accord, or asserted our interests. The whole spectacle constitutes a new low point in Canadian and NL politics.

The public needs to be aware of how they are being undercut.

Wednesday 23 March 2022


There are only 21 days left. The Prime Minister will decide the future of the NL oil industry, our economic future.

The noise gets louder. 

Is it Andrew? Has he returned from Ottawa? The decision on Bay du Nord?

No, its NOIA changing its name.

They have found another ass to kiss.

But Bay du Nord?

Furey says: Prime Minister, thy will be done.

People think its (just) Bay du Nord, when at stake is the whole offshore oil industry; Bay du Nord just the beginning.

Monday 14 March 2022

Will Critical Minerals be a critical component of the future NL economy?

 Guest Post by Dr. Derek Wilton, PGeo.

Dr. Derek Wilton, PGeo. is an Honorary Research Professor, Earth Science, Memorial University, and Part-time Faculty Researcher College of the North Atlantic.

These are certainly fraught times. As bluesman Jimmy Rogers sang at the start of the last Cold War,  “World’s in a tangle”. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Covid-19 pandemic caused disastrous effects to human health and the global economy. 

Aside from the ravages of the illness itself, Covid exposed glaring weaknesses in global supply chains, not only in finished goods, but also in primary mineral commodities. Before Covid-19, and progressing unrelentingly through the pandemic, human-induced climate change has been causing serious, cascading, calamities. And locally of course, as this Blog has been delineating all too well, the provincial economy is in a mess with little but dark clouds on the horizon.

Thursday 10 March 2022

HOW TO SOLVE CANADA'S CO2 EMISSIONS PROBLEM (without cancelling Bay du Nord)

 Guest Post by Cabot Martin


The worldwide situation with respect to Climate Change is like a boat that is in danger of sinking because it has sprung a number of leaks – some big and some small. 

Faced with such a situation, the experienced Captain would order all hands to plug the biggest leaks first. 

On the energy generation side, the biggest hole in the boat by far is represented by the use of coal to generate electricity, particularly in China and India. In the latter two countries, the overwhelming role of coal for the generation of electricity even largely negates the benefits to be gained from use of electric cars as a solution! 

The use of coal must stop and fast, and the use of natural gas especially when converted to and transported as LNG is the only fast, much lower carbon, reasonably priced, way of doing that. 

Monday 7 March 2022


 Last week’s post by Ron Penney, a member of the negotiating team that hammered out the terms of the “Atlantic Accord” for the joint Federal/Provincial management of NL’s offshore oil and gas, ought to remind us of its importance and hard-fought origins.

It should raise concern, too, that a process that began under Premier Paul Davis, with an amendment to the Atlantic Accord Implementation Act (the slippery slope) in 2015, was compounded in 2019 when the Feds made changes to their environmental legislation, which the Ball Government refused to oppose, which effectively gave the GoC control over offshore environmental assessments. This was not the intent of the Accord.  When the Feds stop approving Development Plan Applications, what is the function of the C-NLOPB?