Now is the time for clean Muskrat Falls power

Amy House
Amy House

A few months ago I called Open Line to talk about a show at the LSPU Hall. The person on the line before me had voiced his thoughts on Muskrat Falls. When I got on the line, I started by saying, “There’s a lot of talk about Muskrat Falls, I’m sure they’ll figure it all out.”

When I got off the phone, I realized what I said, and was ashamed. I had assumed the Muskrat Falls debate was too big for me to understand. But it’s not.

I may not know how to build a dam, but I do know now the development of Muskrat Falls is the right thing to do. The Holyrood generating station, currently powering the entire Avalon Peninsula, burns 18,000 barrels of sulfur fuel per day. That’s environmentally unfriendly, obsolete, and – frankly – gross. It needs to be replaced.

We have a clean natural resource in Muskrat Falls that can produce almost twice the power of Holyrood. Why not use it to solve our problem?

The development of this resource has been researched, studied, considered, and resolved by some of the greatest minds in the world. I believe in this project.

I have toured the Churchill Falls plant a couple of times. It’s amazing, and something we built over 50 years ago. Imagine what we can do now with all we have learned.

This is the opportunity of a lifetime, an opportunity to invest in the future of Newfoundland and Labrador, an opportunity to become a world player in energy. And it will take investment.

Yes, there may be some risk involved. Anything in life that is worthwhile involves some risk. A lot of people studied a lot of hours to be capable of managing that risk.

The history of Newfoundland and Labrador is of a people whose power has always been taken from them: merchants taking power from fishermen, England taking power over our government, Quebec taking power over our Churchill Falls resource.

We are a people with a history of always being the underdog no matter what we have to offer. We have made great strides in the last 30 years to stand up for ourselves and be equal to the rest of the country and the world.

My children do not feel like they are less capable than anyone in this country or the world. They study their craft, they work at it and they succeed.

We do not need another province or country to tell us how to develop Muskrat Falls. We are smart enough and brave enough to do it ourselves.

The days of shying away from anything worthwhile for our province are over. That may be our history, but I don’t believe it’s our future.

We know that clean energy is the way of the future, and also that those countries that control their own energy, control their own economic future. The cheapest electricity in our own country is in provinces with hydroelectric power.

We have to seize the day. It is the perfect time to develop Muskrat Falls – one of the best credit-rated projects in the world.

With a federal loan guarantee, low interest rates, experts to bring this project to fruition and partners who are happy to be part of this exciting project – the stars are aligned.

There are approximately $15 billion worth of mining projects that could happen in Labrador within the next 10 years. It cannot happen without power. It cannot happen without Muskrat Falls. Why would we not avail of our own power?

I want to see our province grow be prosperous. I want clean energy. I want my children to have a reason to stay here. I want us to do the smart thing, the right thing. I believe Muskrat Falls is our opportunity to get up there on the world stage with the best of them.

Amy House is an actor/artist advocate and supporter of I Believe in the Power of NL.

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