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Natural Resources
January 23, 2012

Atlantic Energy Ministers Continue Work to Maximize Regional Energy Benefits

Energy ministers representing the Atlantic Provinces met today in St. John’s to discuss a number of energy priorities of interest and beneficial for the entire region. Issues discussed to facilitate further cooperation and partnership included the development of the Lower Churchill - Muskrat Falls project, Atlantic Energy Gateway Initiative, and Onshore Natural Gas and Oil Exploration issues.

“Meetings were positive and provided opportunity to provide an update on Muskrat Falls, and discuss the tremendous opportunities and benefits which will exist for Atlantic Canada and the country,” said the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Natural Resources. “Muskrat Falls will provide significant employment, economic and environmental benefit, and will strengthen the energy market in Atlantic Canada by providing a renewable, sustainable energy resource which will be a benefit to Newfoundland and Labrador and to all in the region.”

Ministers committed to continue work on advancing the energy needs and priorities for Atlantic Canada, specifically the Atlantic Energy Gateway to identify regional opportunities for clean energy projects including hydro, nuclear, tidal, wind, solar and biofuels, and development of onshore oil and gas resources in a safe and responsible manner.

“The Atlantic Energy Gateway initiative is a great example of how the four Atlantic Provinces can work together and with Ottawa on regional energy issues for the betterment of the entire region,” said Charlie Parker, Nova Scotia's Minister of Energy. “The Muskrat Falls development is a good example how this can be done. For Nova Scotia, it means an abundant supply of clean hydroelectricity, stable electricity prices and transmission improvements for more electricity choices.”

“Atlantic Canada continues to forge ahead with a shared clean and renewable energy agenda and New Brunswick's new Energy Blueprint provides a clear pathway for significant progress towards a low carbon electricity generation future,” said Craig Leonard, Minister for Energy, and Minister Responsible for NB Energy Efficiency and Conservation agency. “When the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station returns to service in late 2012, approximately 65 per cent of the electricity produced in New Brunswick will come from clean, non-emitting or renewable energy sources. New Brunswick also recognizes that our geographic location and robust transmission infrastructure positions our province as Atlantic Canada's energy gateway to New England and the US eastern seaboard.”

“Through the Atlantic Energy Gateway Initiative we are exploring potential opportunities to access clean renewable energy at competitive prices,” said Prince Edward Island Minister of Finance, Energy and Municipal Affairs Wes Sheridan, “I am impressed with the level of cooperation we have demonstrated through this initiative. I look forward to discussing how a similar model may be applied throughout the country. We look forward to welcoming our energy colleagues at the next meeting later this year.”

The 2012 federal-provincial-territorial energy and mines ministers’ meeting is scheduled to be held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, from September 9-12.

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Photo: (Left to right) The Honourable Wes Sheridan, Minister of Finance, Energy, and Municipal Affairs, Prince Edward Island; the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Natural Resources, Newfoundland and Labrador; the Honourable Charlie Parker, Minister of Energy, Nova Scotia; and, the Honourable Craig Leonard, Minister for Energy and Minister Responsible for NB Energy Efficiency and Conservation Agency.

Media contacts:

Heather Maclean
Director of Communications
Department of Natural Resources
709-729-5282, 697-4137
Tracy Barron
Department of Energy
Government of Nova Scotia
902-424-1757, 497-3414
Brent Staeben
Department of Energy
Government of New Brunswick
Angela Court
Department of Finance, Energy, and Municipal Affairs
Government of Prince Edward Island

2012 01 23                     4:45 p.m.

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