ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Premier Danny Williams has backed away from a proposal to build large power lines through Gros Morne National Park to transmit energy from the Lower Churchill hydroelectric project in Labrador.
The provincial government has faced criticism for considering the construction of 40-metre-high power lines through the UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Newfoundland.
In July, Williams said it would be up to the federal government to chip in on the estimated $100-million cost of building power lines that would avoid Gros Morne.
But on Wednesday Williams said his government will not proceed with that option, though again he called for a financial boost from Ottawa.
"We are going to go around it, we are not going through it, and on that basis we think it'd be appropriate for the federal government to provide some assistance," Williams told reporters Wednesday in St. John's.
Officials with Nalcor Energy, the province's energy corporation, have said they're exploring the option of an alternative route that would go through the Long Range Mountains on Newfoundland's Northern Peninsula, bypassing Gros Morne altogether.
But they say that would be more technically and economically challenging because of heavy ice conditions and winds that can reach 160 kilometres per hour.