Thursday, 6 July 2017

ANONYMOUS ENGINEER SAYS ED MARTIN'S STATEMENT MAKES NO SENSE

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is a Guest Post written by the whistleblower, who I have dubbed the "Anonymous Engineer". He originally disclosed – on this Blog - falsification of the estimates for the Muskrat Falls project on January 30, 2017 . At that time, his comments were recorded in a post entitled Muskrat Cost Estimates "A Complete Falsification". A second post called Muskrat: Allegations of Phony Cost Estimates provided significant additional details of both low-balled estimates at sanction and even after sanction. — Des Sullivan

Guest Post by the "Anonymous Engineer"
I read Ed Martin’s “Statement” of June 26th, 2017 with a sense of regret and dismay. Regret – because it represents  an accelerated demise from an exalted position; dismay – as most of the “Statement” made no sense.
Former Nalcor CEO Ed Martin
If Mr. Martin’s intent in releasing the “Statement” was to exonerate himself, it actually achieved the contrary. For those who know the Muskrat Falls project well, the omissions were blatant.

Martin answered questions no one had raised. They had nothing to do with the ones raised by SNC Lavalin or by me. The complexity of the Nalcor CEO’s job, or the efficacy of the seismic drilling program are not matters at issue. They are not the questions people want answered.

The fundamental question is what role Martin played in the falsification saga of Muskrat Falls.

Illumination is required regarding his role in the award of the disastrous contract to Astaldi, in the issues raised in the Interim Report of EY, with its twenty page list of Project Management infractions, in the understatement of costs during project implementation, to name just a few. Did he really not see the SNC Lavalin Risk Assessment Report?

All of this would get sorted out in a Forensic Audit which the Premier ought to call without delay.

The following is a compilation of statements made, or events where Ed Martin participated, to which some immediate response is necessary. I have put them in chronological order starting December, 2012 running through to April 2016, when he was replaced by current CEO, Stan Marshall.

They bring into focus the sequence of events that got us to where we are today.

December, 2012- The start of it all
In December 2012, the Muskrat Falls received sanction with great fanfare, promising a new era of unprecedented prosperity that was said would last for generations to come, making Newfoundland and Labrador one of the richest regions in the world.

The approved budget for the project was $7.4 billion with financing costs included. Without financing the capital cost was $6.2 billion. Media reports, at the time, suggested that due to the exceptional management skill of Nalcor, it may even be possible to bring the project in below budget and ahead of schedule.

Behind the scenes though, staff close to the project knew the project was doomed even before it began. The funding was fictitious and critically short. The “Implied Forecast” (implied as it was not explicitly stated in the SNC Lavalin Risk Report) was about $10 to $11 billion calculated as follows: $6.2 billion base +$2.4 billion in known risks + 20% financing at $1.8 billion = $ 10.4 billion.

Thus, when Nalcor announced the project in December 2012, there is a very high probability that the Nalcor executives knew the project cost would be in that range.

It is ironic that both Minister Coady and CEO Stan Marshall independently arrived at a cost in that range as they have stated in numerous interviews.

Their comments confirm that the culture of falsification was well entrenched within Nalcor even before the project began.

Now to some of Ed Martin’s statements which are in need of rebuttal. My comments are highlighted in red. 

June 2014  Forecast– Cost $6.99B
"We're well within a comfortable envelope of where we expected to be," Martin told reporters at the time. In the Project Management world these words are completely meaningless.

Martin indicated then that 90 per cent of Nalcor's Muskrat Falls contracts were essentially complete, with either fixed-price or unit-rate contracts. -  In reality, Mr. Martin had no idea of the nature of the contracts - particularly the Astaldi Contract. At different times he would give different definitions for the Astaldi contract: Lump Sum, Firm Price, Unit Price, paid for quantities installed. Never acknowledged was that the Astaldi Contract was based on labour hours expended, not work done. In terms of the owner’s ability to control costs, this is actually the worst type of contract imaginable. A Forensic Audit should also investigate how the Astaldi Contract was awarded.

"I believe that we have narrowed down the risk of additional cost increases very, very, very significantly," Martin noted in June 2014. This statement is false. Nalcor had no idea of what the risks were, as confirmed by the now available SNC Lavalin Risk report dated April 2013, which was conveniently ignored. A Forensic Audit must investigate who saw what and when – relative to the SNC Lavalin Risk Report.

Sept 2015, Forecast Cost– $7.65B
There will be some cost risk with executing this project as we move forward. Our job is to continue to manage it and keep it where it should be," Martin said. Martin never knew what the risks were as he categorically denied ever seeing the SNC Lavalin Risk Report. You cannot manage something that you don’t know.

Martin said three factors were to blame for the increase in cost, with market pressures making up two-thirds of the overrun.

"It's a tough, tight marketplace right now" said Martin. "What we're seeing in these bids when they come in, they're higher, much higher than we have budgeted for," he added. The bids were not high. They were compatible with the scope of work. The problem was that the Nalcor budgets were way, way too low as the Project Sanction estimate was low-balled. Consequently, the budgets were grossly inadequate. This needs to be investigated through the Forensic Audit.

"What we're doing is experiencing cost increases we really can't control in that area”, said Martin. This not correct. Costs were not increasing. They were appropriate for the scope and location. As stated earlier, the estimates and budgets were too low due to the falsification process.

A CBC TV reporter quoted Ed Martin saying that it was impossible to low-ball the estimate due to the presence of so many “experts”.  The low-balling of an estimate is an Executive Decision and can be made by the CEO regardless of the experts. In any case, history has conclusively proven that the estimate was far too low. The best proof, however, will come from a Forensic Audit.

Present Situation in June 2017
The forecast of $7.65B presented by Nalcor in September 2015 was soundly rejected by EY Consultants in their Interim Report, dated April 2016. EY came up with a figure of $11 billion which was later increased to $11.7B and finally $12.7B in June 2017. It is my expectation, given the scope of the work yet to be completed, that a final price tag of about $15 billion is possible. That grim fact should greatly worry the public of the province.

It is worth noting that there are actually twenty pages of Project Management infractions reported by EY Consultants in their Interim Report that occurred during implementation period from January 2013 to April 2016. All occurred under Ed Martin’s watch.

In order for the public to learn the truth, and to have such major cost issues removed from the “he said-she said” world of political rhetoric, a Forensic Audit is essentially all about the public’s right to know.

The need for a Forensic Audit
The enormity of the irregularities which influenced the project approval process and those which emerged during the subsequent management of this project are now widely accepted as fact by the highest level of Government, including Premier Ball, Minister Coady and Stan Marshall. 

The elected officials - Premier Ball and Minister Coady - are still delaying the Forensic Audit with weak, even nonsensical excuses. In particular, the argument that a Forensic Audit would slow down construction simply can’t be sustained. Indeed, as noted in a prior post Forensic audits are an integral part of project management. Rather than slow down the work, such a process is frequently used to identify inefficiencies, boost quality control initiatives and give real independence to oversight practices.

I am a professional engineer who has spent many years in my field, including on megaprojects like Muskrat Falls. I can’t speak to the politics that causes resistance to independent review and analysis. I will leave that to others. My profession deals with standards, calculations, and knowledge in many forms. Engineering is about allowing integrity, in its many manifestations, to be a constructive force.

My last word on this subject is simply this: don’t let anyone – whether Ed Martin, Stan Marshall or the Premier - tell you integrity is out of date. 

60 comments:

  1. The first thing to do is stop the work on MF and then have a forensic audit. What good is an audit if we are still spending and borrowing millions while it is being carried out?
    GG

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  2. Thank you AE. You have clarified the lines of responsibility and that Martin had to know the costs were low balled. Martin was dishonest from the outset. The secrecy, manufactured by SNC Lavalin and a willing government, doomed this project.

    The more the project floundered the taller the tales needed to justify the underlying "least cost option" myth. The problem is all concerned, including successive "Governments", used the secrecy to obfuscate the cost and engineering shortcomings. Nalcor and their enablers live beyond the law and any oversight. How will this change and who will tackle the political dysfunction?

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  3. The bottom line is that the act is a criminal act of deception and fraud. One would think that Ball would insist on the audit and then proceed with criminal charges which bot only be the proper thing to do but would also set put the previous government in a position whereby their fate as a governing party in the Province would be set in stone. They'd be finished and this party would be able to proceed as heroes to the people. So why is Ball and this party neglecting to do the right thing and insist on waiting till completion of the project? The answer is more than obvious. Because there are members of this current government that are making money during the construction phase of the project which in itself is a crime by means of Conflict of Interest but not only that, the fact that the knowledge of what the previous government has done yet continuing with the project to line their own pockets makes them accessories after the fact. The whole lot of them need to be in a Federal Prison.

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    1. Sorry about any spelling errors but was trying to type on my phone in the glaring sun.

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  4. It is good that this debate is taking place, but the Joint Review Panel said in 2011 that the economic case for the project had not been made, the Public Utilities Board said in 2012 that the information was insufficient to justify the project, but the province went ahead and the federal government backstopped it. These are the details of a disaster long foretold.

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  5. The current government is not going to have an audit. They will fight as long as they can in order to delay it. I believe this is going to be a political promise for the next election.

    We cannot trust either the Conservatives or the Liberals with this promise. Both of them have lied to the province and are massively on the way to bankrupting the province. There are few ways out given the lack of leadership.

    An independent forensic audit, probably by a national or international firm, with complete investigative powers is the minimum that is required. We cannot trust anyone associated with Nalcor, the current government, or the past several governments to do what is needed.

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  6. 1.This is a powerful statement of the need and urgency to have the forensic audit.
    2. The likely 15 billion final price tag( a figure I too, as a ex-Hydro engineer agrees with) puts to question the decision by Stan Marshall that this project has gone to far to pause or stop for a review of the prudence of continuing.
    3. It itemizes some of the clever misrepresentations of Martin to continue to fool the people on the merits of this project, the world class nature of management, the inability of the main media to expose the charade of a project doomed before it was even underway.
    4. That those in charge ignored the advise and experience of those with integrity, such as this AE.
    5. Further delay for a forensic audit weighs heavily on Ball, Coady and Stan Marshall.......the further climb to 15 billion is on their shoulders, and has been since Ball`s election.
    6. Who do we believe: Ed Martin, Ball, Coady, Stan Marshall or this AE, who has first hand knowledge of the deception that has taken place. Ed Martin is like Mr Teflon, nothing sticks to him.....yet. When the media asks a uncomfortable question, he cooling pivots the conversation to avoid an answer and says `That is not the key issue`
    and then goes off on a response to further distract and mislead. Martin: a world class spin master, and one ignorant of the many complexities of this project facing many engineering challenges, that were poorly explored before sanction.
    Winston Adams

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  7. Integrity may not be out of date but it certainly has not been practiced by any of the proponents of this project from its first proposal and right up to the present time. Honesty has also been far from top of mind for all these scoundrels and rarely practiced. The time is now for a forensic audit and a full blown inquiry. Any delay by the present government can be nothing more than a continuance of these low character values.

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  8. Ed Martin is dishonest. He was on Backtalk /Open Line (2012/13) discussing MF as 'THE' Least Cost Option when he was asked by a caller about purchasing electricity from Quebec Hydro. He stated they reviewed that option but it wasn't the least costing. When it was suggested to post the report/figures, he quickly back-tracked to say they never had formal meetings on the matter but knew it would've been hard to deal with them. The point here Ed, if you read this, when you intentionally misled, you lost any and all credibility moving forward. I think history will be unkind to you and your puppet master.

    dm

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  9. Could you provide a link to the report that lists the infractions ("20 pages")

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    1. Go to www.vision2041.com (25 June entry)

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  10. Why won't Dwight Ball call a forensic audit in view of these troubling developments?

    What is he trying to hide??

    Who is he trying to protect???

    Forensic audit NOW!

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  11. Duh-wight can't call for a forensic audit because he is only a puppet, remember when he said he spoke to Danny Williams that says it all.
    The only reason Danny stepped down was because he couldn't tuck his tail between his legs and ask Harper for the loan guarantee, wonder if that was a condition on Harper's part.

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  12. Calls for a forensic audit are growing lets think for a moment...

    Why would Ball stall on a forensic audit?
    It is possible he has something to hide? Perhaps, but I believe there is a simpler answer.

    The next general election isn't tentatively schedule for 2 years (Oct 2019). If a forensic audit was started now, it would take a year or less?(I'm not sure). This would, destroy the PC's, but allow them time to regain some momentum, prior to the next election.

    On the other hand, if Ball call stall for as long as possible (up to a year), the public pressure will mount, pressure on the former government will only grow. This only benefits the liberals. If by some miracle, Ball can stall long enough, (until pressure for an audit reaches a boiling point), then call for a forensic audit, he will look like a hero. Continuing to ride this wave through the forensic process, they will ramp up the rhetoric, to peak at the release of the audit. If the timing is right, this will totally destroy the PC's chance at re-election. As for the NDP, well, there is one heck of an opportunity here (as in BC) but not sure anyone has the ability to capitalise on it.

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    1. Partisan politics is precisely what has kept NL mired in its chronically messed-up state. And NLers, like the reliable fools being duped by the dodgy barkers in a carnival side-show, have been played like a fiddle by these inept culprits for generations.

      The new political slogan amongst the electorate should be A-B-I... "Anything But the Incumbent".

      This strategic approach would prune out the political opportunists and culprits seeking the generous taxpayer funded pension... eventually NLers would be rewarded with a cost-effective, competent government.

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  13. Pablo Navarro - The location of the EY Interim Report with the 20 pages of infractions are at:

    www.vision2041.com
    Refer June 8th. Open the Uncle Gnarley report. You will find it there.
    Enjoy your reading

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  14. Several years back I was a production accountant in the film industry. Costs of each project were talleyed daily, sometimes hourly if overruns were anticipated so they could be approved immediately with detailed documentation provided to the executives.

    For the life of me I can't understand how the biggest project, ever, in this province has been allowed to gallop along financially without restraint and double in cost in 2 years while the politicians and Nalcor snore on their desks and make no forensic demands on the project managers.

    Something is truly rotten in the Empire of Newfoundland. Why aren't the peasants revolting?

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    1. It's in our genes, to suffer in silence. Suggest you read "White Ties and Tails", Neary.

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  15. At an expected cost of 15 billion to completion, that is about 70 cents per kwh cost for power delivered to Soldiers Pond, that will get blended with our older low cost generation. 70 cents for MF power is 350 times the present Upper Churchill cost per kwh to HQ.
    Upper Churchill cost Nflders not one nickel, and turned a profit of about 70 million per year. Yet MF was supposed to be least cost and a world class project , and still is , according to Danny and Honest Ed.
    We know reliability of transmission of MF power is in doubt, Holyrood will be needed when the transmission from MF goes down, and there is no meaningful backfeed of power available from Nova Scotia to Nfld, when the transmission from Labrador goes down.
    I wonder, does this AE think MF should be halted, even at this stage.
    Winston Adams

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    1. Winston:

      I am not AE, just another senior engineer working at MF and wished I never signed my employment contract. I would suggest that the key factor in any inquiry/audit would be accessing the other report by a consultant that outlined almost the same risks as SNC---both reports were produced double blind...

      I will disagree with AE on 2 points:
      1) we cannot stop MF---the time for that was when the other risk report was submitted by a local consultant quoting a >75% chance of exceeding $12B, with most probable costs in the range of $15-$18B; this consultant was effectively blacklisted and got minimal work from MF
      2)I'm my estimation an Audit needs to wait until substantial completion----in my opinion there are significant issues yet to be encountered and those need to be at forefront of Audit/Inquiry as they were raised by a consultant prior to sanction

      In my opinion, the only course of action is that we accept the fact that DW sunk this and the next generation....

      I would dispute all the factors claimed by Nalcor as causing overruns---weather, soils etc... I have not encountered any of the current Nalcor(or Valard, Astaldi, Alstrom, GE etc) site reps in my career---its because they are all rookies(Nalcor) or imports(contractors) and had no idea what this place is capable of.... I have not seen anything unusual in the weather since this started up---just inexperienced people, from Martin/Bennett down to the QA inspectors...

      The bottom line on this failure is poor design, poor execution, wrong management and a complete lack of knowledge of civil work in Newfie land..... Unfortunately, no amount of hind sight can change the fact we were deceived by DW and his ilk---he needs to be called to task...

      I have tried to change course over the past couple years and improve the situation, but have failed my profession and those I practice for....

      Anonymous PEng 2

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    2. Fellow Engineer, thank you for your frank comments.

      With regards to poor design, can you comment further, with respect to earthworks and civil structures? I hope MUN Faculty of Engineering, DalTech, and ASCE, (American Society of Civil Engineers), are paying attention. I agree with you that the damage has been done and society in general must suffer the consequences for generations.

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    3. PENG 2, I sense your concern and inability to change course and the negative effect this project has on our engineering profession. I had heard tradesmen onsite tell of the feeling of no one knowing what they were doing.
      Do you mean the project is too late to stop due to too near to completion.......to absorb sunk costs.....
      If 8 or 9 billion is spent and wasted if the projected stopped........and 6 or 7 billion more is not spent......what do we get for that extra 6 or 7 billion more.
      We get an asset,MF capable of delivering less power continuously to Soldiers Pond of just over 500MW, less than Bay d`Espoir. Bay d`Espoir asset is worth about 1 billion.
      MF also has unproven reliability transmission. And doubtful integrity of North Spur, as to quick clay issue, and potential more flooding problems for downstream.
      As to need for the power: I believe our electric heat residential load is 650 Mw.......to counter this growing load was the rationale for MF.
      My monitoring of efficient HP heating shows 60 percent or more reduction at -17C conditions, so potential of 390 MW or more from domestic heat loads alone. Holyrood operates at about 350MW average in winter. Efficient heating systems are self financing from energy savings........and customers are moving in that direction, so a declining peak load going forward it seems.......counter to the MF requirement for increased energy sales.Nova Scotia is achieving a lot of reduction from customer efficiency and conservation measures, which we avoid doing.
      I have a job buying into the idea that moving forward with MF is economic, plus the risks still apparent.
      I think it is difficult to stop for political reasons.
      Thanks for your comment, and any further point of view would be appreciated. Wish more engineers would comment.
      Winston Adams

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    4. Note to PENG2: I would appreciate more information on the second engineering report to which you refer including date and author(s). I can be contacted on dbs.sullivan@gmail.com Confidentiality is assured. - Des Sullivan

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    5. WA:
      I assert that it is too close to stop as we have sunk real dollars into this elephant---at this point, I believe the only way to recover some of that is to complete and to sell electricity, even if we sell at a lower price than the generation cost. I would offer that since maintenance of other NL Hydro assets has been completely neglected the past 10-15yrs(by design)that a glass house argument could be made for MF now---not that I would accept it, I actually believe our consumption is trending down or at worse level.

      I say completed only as possible cost mitigation---not that I accept the as-built assets will ever work as advertised.


      RH:
      My comments of poor design also couples with poor execution. If we look at the line layout----I cant understand why the overland route, it would have made more sense to add cost during construction and create drops while shadowing the TLH/TCH...

      The RoW assets are little more than a construction access a bit of OB laid on bog--- and will be gone in 2-4 yrs. What happens then when we have a tower issue that requires 'iron' to repair---100kms of road to fix up is a big task, but 500m off TLH/TCH is a much more doable task quickly?

      Overall, to summarize the design issues I see daily is that we have towers that compaction during backfill is not possible due to fnd configuration, infrastructure built on several foundation types with differing allowances for settlement, infrastructure built on uncontrolled fill of varying quality, foundations sinking and foundations on a slope that are exposed after 2 runoffs. This is not to even mention the lack of QC/QA or the fact that contractors have QC on their payroll and QA is all Nalcor reps perform...

      Des:
      I will forward you info on how to ask for the double-blind consultants report aside. It was produced as a tool to confirm DG3 decision(s)---I can confirm it was debated alongside the SNC report by Nalcor internally when the result wasn't what was wanted by PTB.

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    6. A couple of things Anon Engineer 2.

      I fail to see the logic in claiming that the project be completed even if that means selling for less than the cost of production. If it costs 15 cents to let it spill and 60 delivered to Soldiers Pond, not completing the damned dam saves the ratepayer 45 cents for every KwH NOT produced. Producing to lose money makes no sense in my world. Surely this can't be a justification for completing MF can it?

      Secondly you discount the risk to human health and loss of the asset if the spur fails. Surely the assessment SNC Lavalin warned about is cause for an inquiry into the adequacy of the spur plan, before the dam is filled.

      These are both major issues that you continue to ignore. The issues you raise on the transmission side alone give one pause as well. What will be the cost of tower failure in isolated places without good access? How long will the outages last?

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    7. Bruno:

      I am not discounting the risk to human health---I wont comment on that. I don't believe any responsible engineer on this job will willingly void his ethics---as we have seen by the number of 'whistle blowers' coming to light.

      With respect to your financial analysis---I think you are missing the point and not seeing the whole picture:
      1) Emera have completed their work
      2) there is a loan guarantee in place
      3) we have already spent $9-10B on cash-positive contracts to the Alstroms/GEs/Astaldis/Valards of the projects.

      In pushing ahead and completing we are mitigating potential financial ruin----if we walk now we owe real monies to Emera, the gov Canada and various contractors more that the cost to complete.

      Only completing the work will allow for a full assessment during the inquiry/audit to reveal the full scope of deceit by TPB.

      PENG2

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  16. Sorry Folks, halting MF is not a viable option. The concrete structures will last until the next ice age, about 10,000 years away.

    The more important function is to get the Forensic Audit implemented, so we can all understand how we got into this mess in the first place.

    This is why Ball and Coady do not want an Audit as it will expose falsification, deceit and possibly fraud. They will fight it to the death. You have organize a physical protest and get yourselves heard and seen. So, start now.

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  17. By not recommending to the government that a forensic audit take place immediately, Mr. Marshall, who has been so openly against this project for many years, appears to be hiding something. Is Premier Ball's resistance to an immediate audit mostly due to Mr. Marshall's angst about one? Did Mr. Marshall threaten to quit if an audit was called, perhaps? Just speculation, but it doesn't take a genius to foresee Fortis, Mr. Marshall's career employer, reaping some kind of reward from the Muskrat fiasco, such as privatization of transmission lines. I could be way off base here, but something just doesn't feel right about Mr. Marshall's behavior in the past year.

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    1. The fact of the matter is that the scope of Stan Marshall's mandate regarding the Muskrat debacle does not include making recommendations to dithering fools and dodgy culprits as to whether a forensic audit should be conducted.

      Like Cabot Martin said, you can't blame the fireman if he was called in too late to save the house from a fire started by arsonists.

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  18. Off topic.......but for anyone reading my comment on July 4 on capelin,I said the water temperature at Outer Cove suggested that capelin should roll here by July 17.
    I will more that up considerably: present water temperature has increased from 46.8 F to 49.5F in the last two days, a big increase. Must have got a shot of Gulf Stream effect, and this here now 10F warmer than what Spaniard`s Bay area was 2 days ago.
    So, the temperature at Outer Cove would suggest capelin to roll anytime now, as approaching 50 F, so tomorrow July 7 or soon after, unless temperature dips again to discourage them. If at a rise of 0.25F per day, then it would suggest July 8, Saturday........but it is not an exact thing............heard they rolled at Garnish 2 weeks ago and at Branch last week. And no report for Petty Hr etc yet, so maybe a bit early yet for Outer Cove........see what happens.
    Just 2 girls on the beach this evening ........waiting for capelin, one with a very keen interest. Once the capelin arrive, this beach and Middle Cove will be crowded.
    How many doubt that climate change, and colder sea water temperature here, has affected the late arrival of capelin this past 25 years............
    Winston Adams

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    1. The Gulf Stream is hundreds of miles south of the Avalon so would not directly affect local water temps along the NL coat. The increase in temps was most likely due to seasonal maximum solar irradiance, and confined to the first foot or two of the sea surface.

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    2. Temperature of Outer Cove moved up over 2 degrees,in 2 days, although yesterday rather cold, cloudy, daytime high 48 and 39 last night.
      At Spandards Bay, on Tue , sunny and warm and temp dropped 1.5 F in 5 hours.
      Hardly seems to be solar effect. I have seen tempe drops exceeding 10 F near Spaniards Bay in 24 hrs in years past, I assume Labrador cold current. Temperatures at waters about 8 ft deep. On the other hand, ground temperatures rise steady, seems from solar effect..........the ocean very different.Agree Gulf stream off some distance, so maybe normal steady rise negatively impacted by Labrador current......do you think....sometimes giving large swings that take days to recover.
      WA

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    3. WWF-Canada Oceans launched www.ecapelin.ca on June 21, to encourage citizen scientists to take photos of capelin rolling.
      Various Universities etc involved, most data I found was from the University of Manitoba (Donovan Lab)......not much from Nfld University or Fisheries Dept here.
      June 24 capelin landed at Bonne Bay (not rolling)
      June 27 rolling in parts of Quebec and New Brunswick
      June 30 rolling in Lawn and Burin
      July 4 photo of rolling......probably in Placentia Bay
      Kelsey Freyja seems to be checking water temperature and salinity at a site in Nfld , not sure where
      This information of photos and time are useful , but much more so if temperature was recorded.......why is that not being done on a larger scale........if phones had a plug in temperature probe it would be very easy, but with 200 million, some 50 dollar thermometers with 10 ft wire and sensor is adequate.........or is this too low cost and low tech.......
      For climate change , ocean temperature is rather critical info, and cause species to move if conditions is unfavorable.
      Winston

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    4. Fluctuations in SST (Sea Surface Temp) can occur due to a phenomenon known as "upwelling", when the horizontal movement of warmer wind-driven surface currents along coastlines results in the vertical movement of colder water at depth "upwelling" to replace the departing water comprising the wind-driven surface current... google "upwelling" and "fluid continuity".

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    5. I believe upwelling is a cause often seen. With sea temperatures moving up gradually in spring and summer, strong westerly winds in Spaniard`s Bay, drops the water temperature on Bishop`s Cove shore several degrees for a while, not noticed when winds are moderate. But other times much more severe temperature drops are seen, without the high winds, happens a couple of times and severely distorts the gradual temperature rise. Seems currents may be at play.....currents with mad seas at MADROCK area usually independent of wind.
      Winston

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    6. Let's stay on topic people!

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    7. Advise taken. see my reply to PENG2 at 9:48, before seeing your note.
      I hope PENG2 engages with you more..........that there was another estimate of 15-18 billion that got dismissed is significant, and as PENG2 says that report is proving much more accurate..........and this shows Nalcor's tunnel vision of not wanting any reports or evidence that
      was counter to their contrived numbers.
      Winston

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  19. Is it too late to stop muskrat? Good question, and I don't know. But my question, where do we get another 4 to 6 billion, if the cost goes above 15 billion. And as discussed billions are not small millions, someone called it biggle. Will Ottawa guarantee another loan of 5 billion or so, the money markets are not silly enough to give us another 5 billion, but if so, at what rate. Oil seems not to be going anwhere, so where do we get the money. Where does the last billion come from that was announced a few weeks ago. If I am building a house and I run out of money, and I have no other assets, and my credit rating is poor, where do I get the money? Have to put it on hold, hopefully I can pay the interest, or sel it of, most likely at a discount price. To me, it seems not a matter of putting muskrat on ice, but being forced to do so. No one works for no pay. I think great questions for the brave media to ask our fearless leaders.

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    1. You can help by talking to your MP. There are better ways to use Canadian tax money and debt, to sponsor make work. The recent list of salaries at NALCOR proves that the rich are getting richer at your expense, while others, more worthy, are unemployed.

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    2. Probably the Feds are concerned that any pause or stoppage at Muskrat, would contribute to worsening the unemployment numbers.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/unemployment-rate-newfoundland-labrador-1.4194559

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  20. Who are these people wasting so much time talking about seawater temperature, when the issue at hand is distortion of the facts, never seen before in the history of this province. So please, save your seawater temperature talk for another place and time.
    If you really want to make a worthwhile contribution, make yourself a placard, and join tomorrow's protest march " Audit Nalcor Fraud" and get yourselves heard.

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    1. I am the one, mostly, talking about sea water temperature. Stephen Hawking says climate change is the greatest single threat to our civilization. Who would question his opinion.
      Muskrat Falls it probably the greatest threat to our financial well being as a province.
      I am unable to make it to the protest tomorrow, but my heart and mind will is with those who show up.
      This is an Anti-Poverty Group effort, and MF is leading us to more poverty in the future. We were conned on the need for this expensive power.
      I heat a 1000 sq ft house with electricity for 260.00 a year. Low income people need and should be supported to have such low cost electric heat. It is being promoted and accomplished big time in Nova Scotia.
      If I were there, I would ask those present why such measures are being denied to people here, especially low income people, not just by Nalcor, but by Nfld Power and government policy. I have spent time and money, and spoke to the PUB hearing on this, to prove the effectiveness of low cost heating for Nfld, and where where the Anti Poverty group reps clamouring to the PUB why their concerns were not addressed by their Consumer Advocate...... .......
      It is time leaders of the Anti-Poverty Group asked why they are being denied this benefit, and will suffer what is called heat poor circumstances.
      We are 15 years behind the times and what other jurisdictions are doing to help low income avoid being heat poor.
      It is deliberate policy to keep customers in the dark to the awareness of what could be, and should have been.
      The ecology group in Nova Scotia who advocated such good measures for their province has 4500 members. Here, we cannot find 10 people who believes this is worthwhile.
      We are our own worst enemy, in not keeping the power companies accountable. We give Nfld Power a 90 plus percent satisfaction rating, while Nfld power companies are the second worse in the country for measures for customer energy efficiency and conservation, that keeps power rates stable. Get educated people!
      Meanwhile Outer water temperature is down to 45 F, I am told cod being caught has what is called the BERRY, probably from a lack of proper food, black stains are into the fillets, and fishermen question if the fish are fit to eat. Fishermen say fisheries researchers could not care less, call them on this and no one calls back . I am told that so called `fishery researchers` openingly acknowledge that in their own words that `The fox runs the hen house at the fisheries dept` where high paid staff work about 12 hrs a week, wasting time, doing little, and this way the last 25 years, equal to or worse than Nalcor.
      Wishing a big turn out for Audit Nalcor protest

      Winston Adams

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  21. The North Spur issue: Safe says Stan Marshall (the Straight Shooter).

    Readers may recall Dr Benander from Sweden, who came to a packed house at the LSPU Hall to express his concerns,.......and the snub he got from Nalcor's Gil Bennett.
    The issue has been on the appropriate method of analysis. Now a student of Bernander has done a report for his master's thesis, as to analysis of the North Spur.
    Aim: to solve a problem encountered by Nalcor as to concern of the stability of a large natural dam which may have a high risk of a progressive landslide.
    Conclusion:
    1. the situation will be risky
    2. more material tests are necessary
    3. stabilization works may be needed to eliminate the risk of landslide.

    Triggering events could be just the water pressure of the reservior
    Safety factor could be just 0.57 for water at 39 m level
    If the ground has a high porosity, the method of analysis used by Nalcor is inappropriate. (Nalcor assumed a safety factor of about 1.5)
    Bernander's idea is to submit violent vibratory treatment to the soil and measure the subsequent change. ( Reader's may recall my mention in the past of using vibration plates to test the stability of the soil.....a reference to the issue of resonance effect).
    The full report is found on a link of Vision 2041 blog
    More reasons for the people of Mud lake, Goose Bay, and all residents to be concerned of losing life, and the wipe out of a major asset.
    Winston Adams

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  22. Today`s Telegram has a letter by Ron Penny and Dave Vardy : Stan Marshall- a boondoggle buffoon` followed by a question mark.
    It say what people want is the truth, nothing but the truth. It cites the straight talk by Marshall, but disappointed by some of Marshall`s decisions. It ends by saying `We know who the buffoon is, and it is not Stan Marshall`. I guess most people realize the truth of that statement, and appears aimed at Danny Williams.
    The letter says that load growth projections has now been dramatically reduced , by more realistically tracking the population growth. He (Stan) has given us an honest accounting of energy demand.With this I take issue:
    No meaningful allowance has been included for reduced energy demand resulting from technology improvements for end-use (that is, by customers using more efficient heating, and other efficient and conservation measures). We are now building our first Passive Design house, going up in Flatrock......which will likely have a slower uptake, but will be the trend for the future, negatively impacting energy use.
    Efficient, cost effective mini-split heatpump heating, is ramping up
    even at present 10.5 cent power rates. This will severely impact power demand going forward, with shock rates coming soon.
    With 650 MW domestic heating load, and 60 percent demand reduction, as efficient heating ramps up, it offers a potential 390 MW reduction from this measure alone.
    The elasticity effect for electricity sales are much dependent on the alternatives to baseboard heaters. We have technology that is competitive with low cost natural gas.......Nova Scotia has installed some 100,000 of these units, and we are just starting to ramp up, without incentives, and very little promotion by the power companies.
    An honest accounting of energy demand must account for this technology.
    I can find no economist who has, or wants to include this component for forecasting, yet elasticity is a tool used by economists. An oversight that needs correcting. Including this would result an even lower demand for power that Stan forecasts, and supports the call for a halt and review on Muskrat.
    Stan.......not a buffoon, but I would not yet call him Honest Stan.
    Winston Adams

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  23. We all know D and E are the boondoggle buffoons supported by all the politicians, ministers, premiers, boards of directors and oversighters and also the one ceo who has come after, bar none. So where do we go from here? The fraud will not be exposed and we the tax/ratepayer will be paying the full costs! Oh yeah, ther is rate mitigation, right!!?? What is next, a letter of apology to the buffoons along with a larger cheque than the 6 million already overpaid. After all that's what we do for know terrorists!! The charter of rights and freedoms says so, right, you have to be kidding me!!???

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    1. The Telegram reports that 18 showed up for Audit Nalcor Protest at the Nalcor building. Granted it was raining, and is Saturday, but Saturday frees up people who are otherwise working.
      EIGHTEEN...... Nalcor, Fortis, Nfld POwer, Government, and Danny Williams must be so pleased............hardly anyone cares enough to organize and bring out a major protest.
      So, business as usual, no ground swell for an audit.
      Bring on the shock rates, I propose. The sooner the better, as nothing short of large power rate hikes will galvanize the public it seems. Maybe we are richer than we think, as the Scotia Bank ad goes.
      And the recent budget announced the HELPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE program that will provide some help for heat for a hundred or so of the 200,000 residential units.........who can ask for more............due to kick in, but not until this fall. Take Charge is `in charge` remember..... must keep the revenue up boys, so pretend to do a lot with a little, customers are pretty dumb you know.
      Once shock rates hit, and all customers, residential, commercial, industrial, towns and businesses are in shock, ......look back at this Telegram photo and the 18 rain soaked protesters before blaming Nalcor once again.
      We Nflders.......really don`t give a f--k, when being screwed by those in charge. This waste of maybe 15 billion is Not a priority.........we are just the Happy Province.
      We obey and do not question our superiors ........just like a hundred years ago, when our boys were ordered over the top. Stupid plans, stupid generals, stupid orders.......but they listens in disbelief and obeyed. Many sacrificed were mere boys. Some call it a noble sacrifice.
      Muskrat.......no real opposition......a noble sacrifice by the province.......and to the benefit of who.......
      One buffoon links his project with the Beaumont Hamel Way, but says a forensic audit should be done immediately. Is this a Danny bluff............
      Time Ball called his bluff..........we need the truth.
      Winston Adams


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    2. That's D of ABC infamy isn't it? How can one, so stupid, be put in charge, we must have known that D of ABC would have supported E . 'e's not so smart after all! Is 'e?

      Delete
  24. The poor turnout at the protest of July 8th is easy to explain. In addition to the cold and rainy weather, the protesters risk the possibility of losing their jobs if identified. So by definition, the protesters must be retired or from Labrador. If you are working for Nalcor or any government department, and you want to keep your job, then you cannot participate. Even if you work in the private sector, such as Exon Mobil, Suncor or Chevron, they too have very close ties to Nalcor and would not want their employees protesting Nalcor, no matter how legitimate. Even the comments to this blog are 80% anonymous - for a reason!!

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    1. Your reasons for the poor turnout, I consider partly true, and maybe amplified by the fact that , if not directly effected, most all have a relative that works either for government of companies doing business with government. Yet it speaks volumes to the poor state of our so called freedoms and democracy.
      That the job for the chief of the RNC, got applications from Russia, according to a report in the Telegram, also says a lot about our state of justice.
      Russia , where enemies of Putin are either shot or murdered by radioactive substance slipped into a cup of tea, as in London,.....police there in Russia, see Nfld as an opportunity, perhaps .........especially after the Barry Report goes soft on our RNC and RCMP......and the Report not received well by the public.
      3 million spent mostly on lawyers, when the poor chap lived in poverty and with tarps on his house to help keep out the rain, and windows about to fall out.
      Behind Barry, was the big display of the two Beothics, with the caribou symbol. I met Dunphy'S daughter there, the last day, and spoke with her..........my expressed final word to her was that from this inquiry she would get the same justice as those Beothic got. I had hoped that I would be wrong. I had hoped as a minimum, there would be a recommendation that it would be mandatory that both RNC and RCMP be required to wear body cameras. Such devices, while not perfect, might reasonably have been prime evidence in the Dunphy and Snelgove case. I guess Barry, on his own , or with advise, did not see the value of that..........so business as usual.... Was it Judge Reid who said :Dead men do not talk?
      Are we a society living in fear of the State, and the few who control and manipulate, and deceive?
      Readers interested in the further technical deficiencies of MF, may have missed the response above by Nalcor PENG2.........on the poor outlook for the reliability of our new DC transmission line.......at time 16:11, directed to myself, and RH (Robert Holmes), and Des Sullivan. Not a comforting statement, given the recent PR by Nalcor that this line could take anything that mother nature throws at it!
      Winston Adams

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  25. The protest for Audit Nalcor was a dismal failure. When on 18 people show up, it means no one really gives a damn. It is not even on their " to do list." We have sent a very strong message to Premier Ball and to Nalcor, whatever they do is just fine. Many thousands of NLers and local businesses have earned well over a billion dollars in wages and benefits. We are all benefiting. Do we really care about future generations when all we want is a brand new Ford 150 truck in our driveway. By our behaviour we have supported Nalcor and Ball more than we ever thought possible.

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  26. When you hold it on a long holiday weekend for both Nalcor and the provincial government, the organizers aren't looking for a big turnout or for anyone to see it happen!! Could the organizers also be managers for the Muskrat Project? They seem to be about as capable.

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  27. As bad as 18 sounds, CBC reports the number as 15. Last summer I attended the protest at Colonial Building, where about 400 turned up, and that too had rain showers causing people to run for cover, but most stayed put. Recently 60 showed up for the protest on Water St, where Dave Vardy spoke. Now 15-18 yesterday........for the Protest of the Century!
    CBC shows one with a sign saying NO CHOICE BETWEEN EAT AND HEAT, suggesting you cannot have both, and if you eat you must do without heat.
    This is false, but represents the lack of awareness of residents or lack of concern by our government and power companies for energy efficiency measures that are cost effective, robustly being done in Nova Scotia and other jurisdictions, especially for low cost heat using less than half the electricity.
    We are one of the few jurisdictions that do NOT have a Energy Efficiency Corporation (ENL), that takes the conflict of interest away from the power companies.
    Our politicians must know that.
    Our power companies certainly knows that
    Our Consumer Advocate, Dennis Browne, if he is competent for his job, should know that.
    Many in this province must know that.
    Many would argue that energy efficiency , especially for heat, reduces power sales and is detrimental to the economics case for Muskrat; hence , avoid meaningful energy efficiency measures. This seems to be the logic of our newest Muskrat Oversight appointee , economist James Feehan, and who argue to keep power rates within a reasonable range, and so discourage energy efficiency , especially heat pumps. The result of that would be: eat less,but not starve, and be a bit colder, but not freeze to death.
    Another alternative is robust efficiency measures: eat plenty, stay warm, and the economic case for Muskrat be dammed. 8 billion wasted, hang that figuratively around the neck of Danny Williams and Ed Martin and company, but is sunk cost cost we all must pay off, but why waste another 7 billion.
    At least 60 percent of the population is now against Muskrat, but a mere 15 people will protest, and we have no accountability for the boondoggle. So...... We deserve rates of 25 cents per kwh. We deserve worse power reliability. Many of our residents will have to chose between eat and heat. That is our choice, democracy as practiced in Nfld. A mystery, of sorts. Can anyone really explain it...........We live in hope, that Stan can fix this mess. We may likely die in despair. Many financially comfortable people I know, spend their winters in Florida, and avoid the winter heat bills here. Their children are relocating, taking jobs in Nova Scotia and elsewhere. The poor must remain. Choosing between eat and heat will be their reality, or so it seems.
    Winston Adams

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  28. The only hope now is if the good people of Labrador decide to shut it down completely.In doing so they save their environment, culture and way of life. Inadvertently they save us fools on the island!

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  29. The Truth about ED........see the piece written by Tom Baird, a MUN math professor, on today`s: the independent.ca
    Listen to the video of Ed Martin one month after the SNC report advising of 2.4 billion in risks..........and Martin saying all is fine, this before the cameras at the 2013 AGM
    Honest Ed.......you be the judge knowing what we know now.
    Winston Adams

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    1. A very brave piece by Prof. baird. I just hope Mr. martin doesn't leave town before the audit/inquiry. A lot of us are going to want to know if he has lied to us or is was he incompetent in the position. Very serious allegations.

      Jp

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  30. There were alternative versions of the truth presented the day honest Ed went before the media to announce his retirement, to spend more time with the grandchildren, while the board of directors were busy arranging to chase him out the door with an additional $1.6 million for pay in lieu of notice on the basis that he was dismissed. It is important to start an inquiry very soon into this and many other matters related to the Muskrat boondoggle.

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  31. Note too, Martin says there are always risks, but glosses over the situation.
    He certainly does not mention any risk of reduced demand reduction, as to their forecast, which we are now seeing. And I am not aware that even SNC even considered that risk.
    Tom Baird, in some of his online emails with Nalcor (Under Occupy NL), question elasticity effect that was ignored by early Nalcor cost increases reflected on rates...........I was not aware of Tom's interest and prior questioning on this. Perhaps Tom is the guy to address elasticity and effect of demand going lower with shock rates? (as economists have not, in any detail) I would like to hear from Tom on that.
    Winston

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  32. Are the capelin rolling? At Outer Cove and Middle Cove .....no.
    The target sea temperature is 50 F.....it measures 48.1
    The temperature has jumped around some this week, inseead of a steady rise.
    About 6 people and 1 fire going at Outer Cove, 60 people and 9 fires at Middle Cove. My theory is that 50 F sea temperature should be the temperature for mid June, when capelin normally roll.
    Winston Adams
    Winston Adams

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  33. What an incredible fit. Prof. Tom Baird's story on Vision2041.com "Honest Ed," AE story "Ed Martin's statement makes no sense", Stan Marshall's comments " Estimates were low balled", Minister Coady's statement that estimates were too low, SNC's Risk Report, EY's Interim Report. When have we seen so many reports written by people who don't know each other, in different occupations, politicians, CEO's, Professors, engineers all have said the same thing. They all confirm Nalcor's commitment to fraud and deceipt from Dec 2012 to Dec 2015. Nalcor, Premire Ball, Minister Coady, you may run but you cannot hide. Premier Ball, Minister Coady, if you don't act now, you are a party to this monumental fraud. Forensic Audit Now.

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