We should fo­cus on oil

The Compass - - OPINION - Ed­i­tor’s note: The fol­low­ing let­ter was also pub­lished in the July 19, 2012 print edition of The Tele­gram.

Dear Ed­i­tor:

Why not leave Muskrat Falls for now? It’s a re­new­able re­source, it will al­ways be there, un­less Kathy Dun­derdale “sells the shop.” Now that the costs to fi­nance it are ris­ing and cap­i­tal sup­port is non-ex­is­tent, leave it alone for a few years un­til the world is anx­ious for a clean en­ergy sup­ply.

I think she should turn her at­ten­tion to Bull Arm and the po­ten­tial there to get im­mense fi­nan­cial re­turns on our tax-dol­lar in­vest­ments — and sooner, rather than later.

With Nal­cor own­ing and oper­at­ing Bull Arm, a sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment into a world­sized grav­ing dock to build grav­ity-based struc­tures, re­pair very large crude car­ri­ers and pro­vide main­te­nance for our float­ing pro­duc­tion ves­sels and drilling rigs would be the best bang for a dol­lar ever spent with rev­enues flow­ing in al­most im­me­di­ately. Look at the work­force re­quired and the ex­pe­ri­ence we New­found­lan­ders have to of­fer. It’s a win-win pro­posal.

We missed the boat on Hiber­nia, which was a ter­ri­ble loss of mil­lions of Canada’s and New­found­land’s dol­lars, soon to be re­peated when Hebron steps up to the plate.

How many peo­ple knew of the se­cret or not so se­cret ar­range­ment Nor­way made with our gov­ern­ments re­gard­ing shar­ing in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy? I worked at the New­found­land Dock­yard in the early ‘90s when we con­structed the ce­ment batch barge at a cost over $120 mil­lion. It was de­stroyed af­ter the Hiber­nia project be­cause of this agree­ment! Lu­di­crous! That should never have hap­pened.

Now, Hebron has to build an­other one at a much greater cost, and what will be­come of it?

We should re­visit Bull Arm and the lessons not learned and how best to main­tain the site, post-Hebron, for gen­er­a­tions to come. It’s time to look at how Nor­way has flour­ished since they de­cided to cap­i­tal­ize on their oil-based re­sources.

Doug Edi­son writes from Holy­rood

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