10 August 2007

Hebron: be cautious

News that Hebron talks are back on should be greeted with an abundance of healthy caution if not outright scepticism.

For one thing, take a look at the language used by the provincial government, through the Premier's spokeswoman, versus comments from the oil companies.

We'll take a more detailed look at the whole issue over the next couple of days, but for now let's just leave it as a matter of caution.

And while you are starting to think of the risks and the consequences, take note of a comment made by CBC's David Cochrane [Realplayer video file] about the linkage between Hebron and the Lower Churchill.

Then take a gander at Bond Papers before the collapse of Hebron talks:
More to the point though, Williams needs the cash that will flow from development heading into the next election, likely his last. Money from Hebron can be used by Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to help develop Williams' glory piece, Lower Churchill development, as a "go-it-alone' project.

Without Hebron cash, Williams will be forced to take the Ontario and Quebec proposal. That circumstance would demolish the carefully built facade of the resurgent and vibrant Newfoundland and Labrador which thrives under his leadership and which can tackle any project by itself, of course with Danny in charge. The illusive and sometimes illusory Lower Churchill project would become, in Danny's view, the antidote to the supposed failure of the Upper Churchill development if it is built with as little outside help as possible. With that project under his belt and with a clean sweep of the provincial legislature's seats in late 2007, Williams will head off to his next goal. Maybe Ottawa has been singing the same siren call to Williams it has sung to at least one other premier.