Port au Port and the Wind Industry Acid Test

A billionaire-owned company with ties to Premier Furey is first out of the gate in the province’s wind-to-hydrogen industry. But residents on the Port au Port Peninsula—many of them Indigenous—are pushing back, saying the proposed megaproject threatens their land, water and way of life.

A billionaire-owned company with ties to Premier Furey is first out of the gate in the province’s wind-to-hydrogen industry. But residents on the Port au Port Peninsula—many of them Indigenous—are pushing back, saying the proposed megaproject threatens their land, water and way of life. After blocking road access to contractors doing preliminary work near the community of Mainland, land defenders found themselves on the receiving end of a court injunction. Like their Muskrat Falls predecessors, they’re now caught up in litigation.

But theirs may not be the only costly battle in the province’s wind rush. World Energy GH2 now has to try to mitigate the negative publicity associated with criminalizing Indigenous people. And the rest of the emerging industry is watching closely, says our guest, Alex Bill, editor with allNewfoundlandLabrador.com.

We’re also joined by University of PEI energy justice researcher Nick Mercer, who says that for the things John Risley’s company has done right, it is repeating mistakes of the past and risks losing public support for the wind industry as a whole.

A special thanks to Tara Manuel for sharing excerpts of her “Heart to Heart with Littler Premier” performance, available on the artist’s YouTube channel. And also to Kelly Russell for sharing music from Émile Benoit’s 1979 album “Émile’s Dream”. You can stream or purchase the album from Pigeon Inlet Productions’ bandcamp page. Music “Sports FM” is courtesy Shane Ivers.

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