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News Releases

REF NO.: 80

SUBJECT: Our energy resources: for export or development?
DATE: Jan. 16, 2009

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Energy Plan, released in 2007, describes the province as an “energy warehouse”, with huge untapped sources of energy able to supply both our own needs and those of consumers outside the province.
“The plan focuses mostly on generating revenues through centrally-controlled electricity and oil and gas projects,” said Andy Fisher, professor of engineering at Memorial University. “There is little in the plan that addresses how our energy resources, including those on the island portion of the province, could be used to foster sustainable community development in an environmentally-sensitive manner.”
What would the energy plan look like if regional development and the environment were front and centre? Is it possible to have a distributed approach – that is, have a large number of locally-directed, small-scale generation facilities spread across the province? What is the potential for this alternative strategy, and how could it work alongside the current provincial plan? Finally, what should be the links between energy supply and sustainable community development?  These questions – and others – will be addressed during a public discussion next week in St. John’s entitled Our energy resources: for export only, or also for development?
Hosted by the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University, this session will feature Mr. Fisher, along with Sarah-Patricia Breen, a masters student in the Department of Geography and Nick Burnaby, energy co-ordinator with the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club.
The session begins at 7:30 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 19, and will be held in the lecture theatre of the Inco Innovation Centre, room IIC-2001, at Memorial University.
The session will also be webcast live at www.mun.ca/harriscentre/.
Viewers will be able to submit questions or comments by e-mail during the webcast.
Our energy resources: for export only, or also for development? is open to the general public, who will have an opportunity for a discussion period after the presentation. Admission is free and includes a reception afterwards, sponsored by the Harris Centre. Parking is free in Lot 18 (between the QE II Library and the Prince Philip Parkway).

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