Improving regulatory efficiency, becoming more competitive andsecuring reliable energy are three key initiatives highlighted inthe second progress report on Nova Scotia’s Energy Strategy. Energy Minister Cecil Clarke released the report today, March 4,at a breakfast meeting of the Offshore/Onshore TechnologiesAssociation of Nova Scotia. “This report demonstrates how far we have come in such a shortperiod of time,” said the minister. “Energy is about partnershipsand our partnerships with other governments, industry, localbusinesses, and communities are turning strategies into tangibleresults for Nova Scotians.” The report highlights government’s efforts to implement thestrategy over the past year and identifies the key priorities forthe Department of Energy in the months ahead. The progress reportprovides updates on a number of government initiativesencouraging exploration, promoting the oil and gas sector,opening up Nova Scotia’s electricity markets to competition,supporting energy efficiency and conservation and addressingclimate change. “As we move forward, we are meeting the challenges of this fast-paced, high risk industry with clear priorities and a solidfoundation that will continue to guide our efforts for years tocome,” said Mr. Clarke. “Our success will depend on our abilityto respond to new situations and make the most of newopportunities – the energy strategy gives us that ability.” The Energy Strategy was released in December 2001 to establish aguide for developing Nova Scotia’s energy potential for thebenefit of Nova Scotians. The strategy is designed to lay afoundation and set strategic directions while remaining flexibleto meet the changing challenges and opportunities in theprovince’s energy sector. With the creation of the Department of Energy in June 2002, thestrategy has evolved from a stand-alone initiative to a guidingforce. It has helped establish short and long term prioritiesthat are reflected in the department’s business plan, policies,and programs. The minister announced that future progress updateson implementation will be provided through the annual GovernmentAccountability Report. The Progress Report and an appendix updating each action item inthe Energy Strategy is available on the Department of Energywebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/energy .