Group dismisses government report on natural gas
A group opposed to the Muskrat Falls hydro project is dismissing a government report on natural gas.
The 2041 Group says natural gas is a cheaper and greener way to supply the province's electricity needs.
Cabot Martin, a St. John's lawyer who is part of the group, is outspoken in his criticism of the hydro project.
"Muskrat Falls is a world-class screwup," said Martin. "The craziest scheme that you could possibly dream up."
The most recent thing to rile him up is a report that says Muskrat Falls is much cheaper than using natural gas.
The study was done by oil and gas consultants Ziff Energy of Calgary, which Martin called "a company that's totally unqualified to do this study."
"They have no experience," he said. "They admit that they're not an engineering company."
Although Martin is not an engineer himself, he's written a counter-report. His version says a gas pipeline from the White Rose offshore oil and gas field would be billions of dollars cheaper than Muskrat Falls.
"And by the way, I am qualified," Martin claimed, citing "40 years dealing with the energy problems of this province."
Martin works in the oil and gas industry and was once a policy advisor to former Progressive Conservative premier Brian Peckford.
Husky Energy, which operates the White Rose field, does not agree with Martin's views. A spokesperson said on Friday that their natural gas is not commercially viable in the short or medium term.
The provincial government, meanwhile, hasn't responded to Martin's critique.
The 2041 Group also believes the Public Utilities Board should decide the best way to provide the province's energy needs.
Natural Resources Minister Jerome Kennedy said Nov. 3 that the PUB will no longer play a role in Muskrat Falls because the government has "no confidence" in its ability to do the job.