Bill 61 a barrier to N.L. wind power
My name is Robin Seward and I am a third year B.Sc Biology student at MUN, planning to do my honours next year focusing on effects of climate change on feeding hormone expression in fish. I am focusing my studies primarily on animal biology as I plan on becoming a veterinarian, but I also study a great deal of environmental science, namely global change biology.
As a result of this and my love of our planet (and beautiful province), I care very deeply for the wellbeing of our environment.
I wrote a paper this semester about wind energy as the future of sustainable energy, and I read many documents and research papers suggesting that wind energy is not only the cleanest source of sustainable energy but also the cheapest. Compared to solar energy or geothermal energy, wind energy is the least costly and is a low-risk investment, especially in a province with an endless supply of wind. The impacts on wildlife are minimal compared to the destruction caused by oil rigs and inevitable oil spills that occur when extracting these fossil fuels.
So my inquiry is simply what is the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador doing to assure that we are building a sustainable future for our province?
We are a province that runs on oil and gas and that is where the money is, I understand this. Many of my friends are engineering students already on the path of working at companies like ExxonMobil, who denied climate change for decades.
I want Newfoundland to be my home that I am proud of, where I can take my children to one day and show them what a beautiful and clean rock in the ocean we are.
Bill 61 is where my biggest concerns lie. This 2012 “An Act To Amend The Electrical Power Control Act, 1994, The Energy Corporation Act And The Hydro Corporation Act, 2007” is, of course, in place to allow Muskrat Falls to “provide to Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro the exclusive right to supply, distribute and sell electrical power or energy to a retailer or an industrial customer in respect of the business or operations of that retailer or industrial customer on the island portion of the province.”
In a CBC article from January 2017, a pHd candidate from Waterloo University named Nick Mercer explained how this Bill 61 is the political barrier to our province developing wind energy, as we are ranked last in the country for development despite having the highest potential.
We have the researchers who are passionate about developing economically and environmentally sustainable sources of energy, and I know for a fact I am not alone in my desire to respect our planet rather than use and abuse it. Choosing the environment over being rich is not only the selfless thing to do, but the responsible one if we want Newfoundland to be a place where people cherish living for centuries to come.
I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to read this and hear the opinion of a young adult who wants to see Newfoundland thrive for years to come. Voicing an opinion is the first step to change.
Robin Seward St. John’s