North Atlantic Refining Limited says there’s significant risk Trudeau’s carbon tax that puts a cap of $50 per tonne on emissions by 2022, could cost $50 million per year which may cause Newfoundland’s Come By Chance refinery to shut down.
The refinery, already affected by the downturn, has laid off over 100 workers due to the economic crisis. It has also reduced emissions by 17%, but Newfoundland’s Minister of Climate Change and Environment says the company will have to cap emissions and pay extra for anything that exceeds it.
Adding to the harm this will do is the fact that the refinery exports most of its product to the United States, who won’t be introducing a carbon tax thereby making our product less competitive.
Newfoundland gained significantly from the oil and gas industry with the well at Hibernia producing its first barrel of oil in 1997. That field holds about 884 million barrels of recoverable oil, with three more significant fields – Terra Nova, White Rose and Hebron adding millions more.
By 2007, oil and gas accounted for 35% of Newfoundland’s GDP, turning it into a have province after suffering a devastating economic blow with the moratorium on the cod fishing industry in 1992.
They also suffered hardship from a bad deal made with Quebec over the Churchill Falls Generating Station with a stipulation that the electricity produced had to be sold in Quebec or pass through Quebec resulting in Newfoundland getting only $63 million in profits while Quebec gained $1.7 billion yearly.
Now, Newfoundland is returning to “have not” status with a debt of over $2 billion adding up, 1/5 of energy sector workers laid off and an overall seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 12%.
We’ve seen billions in investments go to Saskatchewan under Premier Brad Wall’s leadership – not Newfoundland and not Alberta proving it’s not only due to low oil prices.
It’s due to bad governance too.
So, let the looming closure of Come By Chance refinery, the layoffs and the absolute economic destruction that follows in the wake of job killing, carbon tax implementation by left leaning governments be a lesson to both Newfoundlanders and Albertans in upcoming elections.