Opposition Chief Whip, David Lee said the Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young needs to “wheel and come again” with his baseless, misleading and inaccurate comments that the UNC is to blame for the historic first time billion-dollar loss of the National Gas Company (NGC).
In a release, Lee said “I am not sure which one is more pathetic, the fact that the Minister is operating like a broken record with his constant “blame Kamla blame UNC” excuses or the fact that he wants citizens to believe that despite the PNM being in power for six years, the UNC has suddenly, out of the blue, caused the NGC to make a loss.”
“Come on Minister Young, this isn’t 2016 when everything can be blamed on the UNC which was in office a year before. Maybe years of stagnant governance has made him lose track of time, but this is 2021, six budgets later, six years of promises later and most importantly six years of failed PNM mismanagement later.”
Lee said “It is time Minister Young and the Prime Minister take full responsibility for their own failures. It is time they stop the deceit and lies as the $2.1 billion loss of the NGC lies squarely at the foot of this Government.
The evidence shows clearly that the NGC, like the entire energy sector, has been a victim of this government’s mismanagement, poor negotiations and lack of overall industry incentives.”
Lee further added, “The Minister by his own admission has trapped himself in his own fairy tales as he admits that in 2015, he was forced to renegotiate the DME deal which he now blames the loss on. As a matter of fact for years the Prime Minister and himself have boasted about his re-negotiation of this deal, so clearly any fall out from this has his finger prints on it.”
However, Lee noted that the population must not for one minute believe that the collapse of NGC’s profitability was as a result of this issue.
He said NGC’s profitability was decreasing since this government’s failed Houston Negotiations in 2017.
“As soon as these negotiations were completed, despite the boasts of this Government, stakeholders warned about the unattractive price of natural gas. Four years later we have seen these warnings become reality with the total collapse of Point Lisas due to massive plant closures and shutdowns,” Lee added.
“So clearly the crisis facing NGC and by extension Point Lisas was not due to the UNC but due to the reckless mismanagement of this government.”
Lee said “It is time Minister Young and this entire Government accept as well as apologise to our citizens for the reality which faces the energy sector as in the last six years we have seen the most disastrous performance as not a single year has yielded growth. We have now seen that gas and oil production have totally collapsed leading to massive revenue losses.”