The decision-making process and who was involved in determining the least-cost option for the province’s energy needs was explored at the Muskrat Falls Inquiry yesterday.
Charles Bown, an official with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, took the stand yesterday.
He was the Associate Deputy Minister – Energy Policy in the Department of Natural Resources from September of 2010 to September of 2012, and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources from 2012 to the end of 2016.
He was questioned by Commission Co-council, Barry Learmonth about an order he received from Minister Jerome Kennedy to direct Wood MacKenzie to remove the Liquid Natural Gas content from an independent report that showed natural gas was not a “cost-effective, economically viable” option to meet the province’s energy demands.
He says he received a phone call over the weekend and he contacted Wood MacKenzie to take the information out of their paper.
Learmonth drilled down some more, and questioned the involvement of Nalcor’s VP of Oil and Gas, Jim Keating, who directed that Wood MacKenzie limit its comments to the pipeline. He questioned what right Keating had in directing what options were considered.