September 21, 2023
Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Minister Responsible for Labour
P.O. Box 8700
St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
I am writing to ask that the review period for the World Energy GH2 Inc. Project Nujio’qonik be extended and subjected to a comprehensive environmental assessment.
While we are eager to see how the wind-hydrogen industry unfolds, we must ensure the best interests of everyone, not just a few, are considered in the development. The amount of time given for the review of the Project Nujio’qonik is insufficient for a project described as a “Canada's first commercial green hydrogen plant and first of its kind in North America.” It should not proceed without enough consultation to answer the questions that are being raised on a daily basis.
New Democrats have long been a proponent for a just transition plan to diversify our economy, foster the growth of green industry, and shelter our population from the uncertainty of the fossil fuel market. Any undertaking in this province must provide a net benefit to the province at large, improve the quality of life and provide benefit to the workers and residents adjacent to the development, and be undertaken in a way that safeguards the environment.
The Muskrat Falls Inquiry revealed that the Government failed to ensure that it consulted fairly and in earnest with Indigenous Peoples and on environmental matters. We cannot allow this to happen again.
Government has had a larger role in dealing with the environmental assessment of major fossil fuel or mining projects but its role in facilitating renewable energy transition is much less. There must be independent and thorough investigations of all alternative energy sources being considered with informed analysis of the viability of developing these resources.
The wind-hydrogen Project Nujio’qonik spans a large land mass, along with the other three projects just recently given recommendation letters. The area is so immense that it is vital, and in the interest of the people of this province, that the environmental assessment be the very best it can be, especially with increasing concerns about climate change and supply of electricity.
I am asking your department to follow the federal environmental assessment process and ensure that meaningfully consultation occurs across Newfoundland and Labrador.
MHA for Labrador West
cc. Andrew Parsons, Minister, Industry, Energy and Technology
Elvis Loveless, Minister, Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture