February 20, 2018
For Immediate Release

Liberals Doing More to Slow Oil Production Than Drive It

Keith Hutchings, Natural Resources Critic for the Official Opposition, says, “The Ball Liberals are doing more to slow oil production than drive it.”

Hutchings was referring to the Advance 2030 document the Liberals released on Monday, which talks about doubling oil production by 2030.

Hutchings said, “After having spent years saying ‘oil is not a policy’ and wasting two years spinning their wheels, the Liberals are now finally embracing a PC Energy Plan that drove economic activity in the industry and important spin off industries through strategic areas and initiatives like the ocean technology strategy.”

“Unfortunately for the province, the Liberals have done more to slow oil and ocean sector growth than drive it. Instead of moving quickly in 2015 to proclaim a generic offshore royalty regime to provide needed certainty for investors, they dragged their heels for two years before quietly proclaiming it. The last annual land parcel sale showed that interest and investment was down, which is not surprising in the environment of uncertainty the Liberals created.”

“More recently, the Liberals have been sending contradictory messages when agreeing to the uncertainty created by the federal government’s environmental assessment process for offshore exploration and development that will directly affect our industry. Liberal taxes and fees have made the investor climate less attractive. And while they talk about ocean technology, they let the Atlantic regional ocean technology headquarters go to Dalhousie when for decades Newfoundland and Labrador had invested in our students, entrepreneurs, innovators and business leaders to build our reputation as a harsh environment leader in the region.”

“The next big development is expected in the Flemish Pass, which includes new rules for sharing royalties with the United Nations as it’s outside the continental shelf. Our PC government was adamant that the percentage should be paid by the feds or company operators, not the Newfoundland and Labrador treasury, and the current government is silent again. With recent acceptance of erosion of the Atlantic Accord, and with the acceptance of the federal government environmental assessments, it is indeed worrisome as to what will be given up next,” said Hutchings.

“Their talk is big, but their lack of action on ensuring maximum benefits to our province under the Atlantic Accord is standing in the way of moving our industry forward, which our province desperately needs,” said Hutchings.


Media Contact:
Heather MacLean,
Director of Operations and Communications,
Office of the Official Opposition,
(709) 729 6105,