Monday, 7 January 2019

FINANCE MINISTER SHOULD LET EVERYONE SHARE IN THE GOOD NEWS

VOCM, in a year-end news story, quotes Finance Minister Tom Osborne saying that “the province has made some significant progress in the last three years in knocking down the deficit.” The Minister asserts that “in each of the last 3 years they’ve eliminated $2-billion from the deficit.”

Perhaps such comments should be dismissed as election fever builds and the propaganda machine is stoked. However, I do remember the Premier stating his commitment to transparency, and it is in that spirit Im hoping the Minister will release details of his quite fantastical assertion.

Could he also inform us why killing the deficit had to be such a painless exercise? How will we ever learn not to repeat the last decade of fiscal irresponsibility if correcting financial recklessness is done so easily?!?

Of course, I am being facetious.


Finance Minister Tom Osborne

The simple truth is that the deficit was not tackled in one year of the Ball Government, let alone in three.  If proof were needed, readers need only refer to the Auditor General’s Report for the 2017-18 fiscal year, released just last month.

The AG’s Report contains an Exhibit (p. 24) of the Government’s record of operating revenues and expenditures. While it incorporates a ten-year period from 2008 to 2018, the three Budget periods of the Ball Administration beginning in 2016 are easily identified. The Exhibit consistently shows a roughly $1-2 billion difference in expenditures over revenues. If the Minister is right, one of the lines in the Exhibit would have to vastly diverge.

Only the black line, showing the revenue stream, in 2015-16 actually shows significant deviation and then in the wrong direction. In that year provincial revenues took a $1 billion dive as a result of lower royalties and lower oil production. The expenditure column wasn’t given notice that it needed to take a hit too, the Liberals unprepared to take any real deficit decisions except to replace the revenue lost with higher taxes.

Next, look at the red line showing annual expenditures over the period. The AG’s Exhibit certainly proves that the Tories had no spending discipline and were, in fact, reckless. The Liberals at least kept spending below the rate of inflation, but otherwise did not seriously tackle was the problem of overspending. Otherwise, they rode on the rebound in oil prices which accounted for the good news contained in the November Update, often referred to here as the Wiseman Plan, which was based on hope. 


In the Fall Fiscal and Economic Update (2018-19) the Minister informed us that the deficit has fallen to $547 million. Even if that number was a complete representation of the actual figure, it would hardly be a badge of honour. It's just that, in this small province, we have gotten used to slinging around zeros with abandon. 

We didn't hear the Minister express concern about the collapse in oil prices this Fall or the Budgetary impact of idled platforms as a result of the severe November storm. Then there is the prolonged shutdown of the Husky Sea Rose. These incidents are not imaginary; neither is the fiscal fallout. 

As to the Minister’s claim of deficit cutting, possibly he is referring to the drop in the equity requirement all borrowed money for the Muskrat Falls project. But those numbers have never made it into any accounting of the Government’s annual deficit numbers. Similarly, Capital Account expenditures (infrastructure) don’t either.

Provincial Governments Liberal and Tory have always applied a self-serving metric to what constitutes “deficit”. The figures announced in any Budget address leave out a host of liabilities that are not even fully accounted for in the Total Debt figures. 

Has the Net Debt of the province (liabilities minus assets) come down bearing in mind that it includes the equity for the Muskrat Falls project? 

The Auditor General reported a March 31, 2016 Net Debt of $12.7B, noting that the figure was an increase of $2.3B from the previous year and the highest level in the Province's history. The implied message ought to have triggered some serious decisions by the Ball Administration, but all the energy had gone into saving $1 million on the closure of public libraries (later reversed). In short, the Liberals had chosen the line of least resistance. They had become drunken sailors, too. More recent AG Reports put the 2017 Net Debt at $13.6B and the 2018 figure at $14.7B. 

Why are those numbers still rising if the Minister has slayed the deficit to the tune of $2B annually over the last three years?

Should I be euphoric or depressed? Giddy might work if you are selling cannabis. But on budgetary matters, I’ll take just the facts please.  

No discussion of debt/deficit can be carried out without reference to the Total Debt. Besides, it might help us in our search for the Minister's reported savings.

The Total Public Sector Debt includes the debt of Nalcor and other Crown Corporations. The figure will rise from $17. 5B in 2017 to $21.8B in 2018. (Source: Budget Estimates 2018)

But even this figure is not actually the Total Public Sector Debt. Item #1 of the Notes to Appendix III of the Budget Estimates (Newfoundland and Labrador Public Sector Debt 2014-2018) serves this warning: “The total public sector debt does not include payables and accruals, or unfunded liabilities related to pensions, severance or post-retirement benefits.”

The unfunded pension liability, alone, is a pretty large figure left out of the Total Debt.

To be fair, this Budget’s style of construction long predates Tom Osborne’s appointment to the Finance portfolio. But he is the one now watching as the (real) debt numbers reported continue to grow.

The issue might be less important if the Province wasn’t in such a fiscal mess, if expenditure was seriously being knocked down, or if the deficit wasn't so reliant on the price of oil. But when Osborne could be giving clarity to a very serious problem, he is instead making unsupportable claims. 

He could be issuing new rules affording greater transparency to the Public Accounts including the inclusion of Capital Expenditures in the deficit figure as is done by the Government of Canada.  

Is Minister's Osborne's claim valid that “in each of the last 3 years [the Liberals have\ eliminated $2-billion from the deficit”?

Put simply, I can't find the evidence.

Therefore, to start off the New Year, how can I not look forward to a statement from the Minister giving clarity to, and refuting, the Auditor General’s numbers? 

And, anyway, why shouldn’t all the people of the province share in the good news?

141 comments:

  1. funny thing about numbers - to the educated they cannot be spun.

    We have a structural issue in this province whcih was created by Danny, and has been left unchecked since then.

    Their plan is to hold spending, until the push of older people retire from teh civil service..

    But how secure are their pensions.

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    1. Former liberal Finance Minister Bennett tried to tackle the deficit but Premier Ball deemed it too unpopular (ie would ruin his chances for re-election), so current Finance Minister Osbourne was brought in to make the Liberal party more popular with no hard measure on the budget.

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    2. Anon @ 08:40, you're exactly right. Beware of Budget 2020 when the Finance Minister will be given teeth, claws, and fangs. Hopefully i'll be west of here by then and my taxes will not be going to support the fat cats hove off on some Florida beach while we're freezing to save for next months light bill. MOVE NOW IF YOU CAN !!!!!

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  2. MF isn't a $12B asset. If we use a more realistic number for an maybe 800MW, remote, possibly unstable hydro project with dubious water rights, say $4B, then we can add another $8B to the total debt. Then we need another $500M a year to run MF. That either affects the expense line or comes directly out of everyone's pockets via rates or special taxes.

    I don't think there is any way to fix it ourselves. We should certainly try and cut back to the bare necessities (and prosecute scoundrels) but I think there is just too much debt for an elderly population in a small province of 500,000 people that likely to get even smaller. The long term solution will have to involve layoffs, no new construction (repair only), increased taxes, reduced services, debt renegotiation, strategic defaults or the threat of default as a bargaining position etc. We also need to gut the senior public civil service and rebuild it as a merit based system with non-corrupt public competitions to get the best people - people that can organize and run the various departments efficiently and then find a way to give these senior people authority to get things done while protecting them from arbitrary dismissal "at the pleasure of the minister".

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    1. Budgets can all be "balanced". So too, Banksters find a way to come up with Balance sheets when considering non income earning "assets". The government is playing a risky game of it with regards Muskrat/Trans links capital commitments; My guess is that Stan has been restricted in divulging the estimate to complete, until after the upcoming election. Ed Hollett is betting an early Spring Election, before the next cost report from Stan is made public, (March Fiscal, due Apr 30+-?). Electorate gets duped. But what happens if Ches sees through this charade, convinces the public to vote PC, and all this bad news is on his plate when he sees the books? Shades of Dougie Ontario. OMG! Here she goes round again

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  3. This is the worst possible reaction to the MF debacle. As this points out the Libs have made no attempt to bring spending into check and continue to hide the fiscal and social disruption of the MF madness.

    It amounts to demolishing NL future for the sake of another election victory. The tragedy continues.

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  4. Seems (to be fair) that the rate of increase in spending went down in 2016-17, and then actual spending went down in 2017-18 --- no?

    At the same time, revenue went up both years, to cut the deficit in half --- no?

    Now, that is not an overnight solution to our provincial problem, but movement in the right direction (it seems to me).

    That points (at least to me) a significant movement in the right direction --- but is only a 2-year trend.

    We need more movement in the same direction.

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    1. MA @ 10:03:

      Id agree - though 2yrs is not a trend, just a starting point.

      Nothing shown substantiates the claimed numbers in my mind, but seems as if the beginnings of a positive trend might be present.

      PENG2

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    2. I guess time frmae for a trend or a starting point depends on the subject. My one year monitoring for a minisplit from March to March, showed 313.00, and from Jan to Dec 2018, 308.oo, so very little variation, suggesting 1 year is fairly accurate, unless a big swing in average winter temperatures. Climate change on the other hand, needs decades to show a trend that is reliable, and we have those decades , even centuries of data.
      Here , yes a positive trend maybe,as finally the expenses dipped a little and revenue up a little,but with other debts not accounted for, overall, maybe no good trend at all. So UG seems to have it right.
      WA

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    3. Trends..I see two trends. The expense trend has moved up wards from just over 7$B in 2010 to just over 8$B in 2018, so a trend upwards of a Billion over 8 years for expenses. Can that trend be reversed and show a downward trend over the coming years?? The second trend is for revenue, which in 2008 was 7$B and in 2018 was still 7$B, but varying substantially for the years in between. As has been pointed ou, mainly by the flucations in the price of oil per barrel and the amount produced. Guess there are other factors in play but oil must be the main one. Now let's hope the current govt. does not come down with a serious condition of oil on the brain and cause them to do strange things like the previous one, and want to develops another 13$B boondoggle. God help us if they do, but know the people would not stand for two in a row. So, the main thing to watch for is first signs of the current govt. having that condition develope rapilidy. The last half of 2018 they appeared to be tipping that way, with all the fuss of oil on the Flemish pass, Bay de Nord, and Hebron commencing production. Best to concentrate on generating other revenue sources, rather than watching the the hourly flucations of the world oil markets, as one gets giddy with the continuous nodding motion to keep in tune with the ups and downs, that is a first sign of oil on the brain as any surgeon will tell you. Yes, think the Wiseman of the last govt. was most prone to that condition. Or as Danny use to say, in his hey day, on the local media, I checked the price of oil this morning before I came in, and it is up again, of course he ignored the lows, and the primary cause of the boondoggle. So best to be viligent of that third trend by politicans, oil on the brain, especially in an election year says Joe blow.

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  5. Seems to me that John Crosbie was the last finance minister that attempted to tell the truth about federal finances to the people and what needed to be done to fix it. The people didn't like the truth and his government fell like a lead balloon.

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    1. Finally, over Christmas, a little reading on Nfld history, a welcome change from MFs.
      Crosbies were into the whaling industry, killed over 1300. I knew little of Nfld whaling. Some 21 whaling processing plants, I think, all with smoke stacks not unlike Holyrood plant. 20,000 whales slaughtered.
      An interesting story on Crosbies and the savings of lives as to the ship SS Lamgleacrag, a picture of which exists in the Vancover Archives. I happen to have an account and photos of a key player in that ship wreck, of a guy Harold Kelloway, not mentioned in the Crosbie story. The book; AFTER THE BASQUES.
      My second read: Joseph Kearney and the hunt for Rommel. Most all of his outfit got captures and he spend 3.5 years as a POW. Rommel spared his life. Rommel committed suicide, as Hitler gave him a choice : face court marshall to take poison.Like Socrates, he took poison. Rommel had eventually turned against Hitler and was party to a plan to assiniate Hitler, which failed.
      Here, our possible traitors are exposed before our Inquiry, the gong show maybe, which can find no fault by design. Funny system? Who of them will drink the hemlock?
      Winston

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    2. Is this the same John Crosby that wiped out the last of the northern cod to win an election?

      He admits in his autobiography that he ignored the science who wanted massive cuts, but closing a plant in his riding would cost him the election so screw the cod, let NatSea take the last chance at a recovery out of the water.

      The merchants son gave away the entire cod complex. Whoopee!

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  6. Upon request of monthly statements of income and expenses as recorded in the records of the departments/ government.. I was informed no such thing exists in summary form and without signifcant manipulation of data This could not be provided. So, could this be the reason for our disastrous financial position today.. no daily , weekily, monthly, quarterly or bi annual gathering of accounting information.. no monitoring, no oversight in our financial position? I think not, the numbers are bad and they refuse to release. I have been asking our Minister or MHA's for months to provide the documents proving their statements without success.

    In fact, lets just look at their very first claim.. the deficit was heading for 2.7 billion when they took over but do to thier actions we decreased it to 2.2 billion. Now that 2.7 number was a figment of their imgination as there is no proof, however if this were true, they saved us 500,000,000 in the first 3 months of power. WOW! What custodian of our money, saving us all that money is such a short time, we are going to be a rich province very fast ...not.. they have increased spending as Uncle Gnarley has pointed out so eloquently. Why do the media and the people allow our governments to outright lie to us. Time for a big change.

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  7. The Oracle accounting system used by GovNL is poorly implemented and nothing like a typical SAP implementation. You would think that we could see all expenses/commitments/budget items in real time and slice and dice it. Same for support for top down and bottom up budget planning. In 2018, you would also expect citizens to be able to interact with it directly, for case management, checking on provincial taxes due, benefits available, paying fees, changing address etc.

    For example, you should be able to take a function of government, like transportation or healthcare and generate financial statements as if it was an independent company. The possibilities for analysis are endless if you have a carefully implemented, integrated enterprise resource planning system. Unfortunately, to do that, we would need to ditch the existing systems and start over. Blame it on decades of neglect, the NLCS->NIS->XWAVE->OCIO farce, incompetence and ignorance. Other states and provinces are way ahead of us. One approach would be to find some other state or province that has a good system, borrow their system configuration and procedures and return the favor by sharing some of the maintenance duties. No point in re-inventing the wheel, especially when most everyone else went full ERP 1999/2000 and are 19 years ahead of us.

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  8. For a resource rich province of merely 500,000 people to find ourselves in the dastardly situation we are in and Governments continue to do just as they please to ensure re-election to get their gold plated pensions, begs for drastic action. J--us Ch--st, even Trump,the most powerful man of the free world can't do just as he wishes because of the checks and balances in place in the States. Here we have known cover-ups by known and powerful people and no one held accountable?? Even Trump can't get the $5 Billion for his stupid wall because of the rigid system in place there and here we have our "leaders" frivolously spending $12.7Billion (and counting) and boldly stating "I don't remember" "I don't recall", "I didn't take notes" etc etc etc and in the end will get away with what they did unless someone has the balls to take them on. J--us!! Imagine KD having the audacity to exclude the PUB from the whole MF fiasco(which would have stopped MF in it's tracks) and giving fast Eddie the key to the treasury all to satisfy the huge ego of a pathetic little man.
    And now we have the Liberals trying to convince us they are doing all the right things with our finances by only telling us what they want to tell us, to ensure they will get re-elected.
    And on and on it goes.

    ACCOUNTABILITY is the only way this madness will be stopped. And I don't mean not getting voted back in.

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  9. I brought her a bottle, well just for to try
    And the way she drank it you'd think she might die
    I bought her another , it vanished the same
    And then she got cod liver oil on the brain.
    Few in Nfld even know this song, and why AJ says beware of the politicians with oil on the brain. Recall Hibernia first oil and the big celebration and Leo Barry etc with black oil in a glass as if to drink it. And so too Peckford and DW, all these with oil on the brain, and the root cause of the boondoggle. Maybe change the background music on the Inquiry site to this song?
    Google COD LIVER OIL LYRICS for all the verses. Maybe a video on You Tube?
    Winston

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    1. Many version on You Tube. One by Gordon Lightfoot in !964 and recent one by Great Big Sea.
      One has amusing video of Elizabeth Taylor and Burton fighting from a movie scene. Much promoted by The Healthy Home Economist site. in the USA , suggesting the song for a conference in Atlanta , also Maine Folklore. Cod liver oil ordered from Nfld by the Pope during WW2 for kids of Europe at the end of the war, and ordered by Britain , and produced the healthiest children ever in England. A great source of omega 3 and Vitimin D, as anti flu use.
      One site says "raw cod liver oil was important to the rugged, independent culture that popular folk song writer Johnny Burke of St John's Nfld wrote a song about it in the 1800s.
      So : cod oil, whale oil, then grand bank crude oil, our history in tangled up with oil of some sort. What of our rugged independent culture? Now all hide under the cone of silence. No ranting and roaring even. Only Justin Trudeau can sing that, as recently at a SHED party. Nflders don't know the words. She's gone , b'ys , she gone.
      Winston

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  10. As to Synapse, CDM, GHG emissions and carbon tax, the last piece had an anonymous dismiss our large footprint as a FACTOID, which means a made up fact, or trivial issue.
    For per person , metric tons per year'
    China 6.59
    USA 15.53
    India 1. 58
    Russia 10.19
    Canada 15. 57
    So, is it hypocritical for Canada and Nflders to blame China and India, and have them cut back we we do not?
    I say bring on the carbon tax, make it higher, and give the tax back to residents for efficiency improvements, not to the polluter industry.
    WA

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    1. Agree 100% WA. It is shameful that municipalities across the country have not taken aggressive action on new buildings, urban planning, sustainable growth issues to lead the world. If not now, while the economy is "strong", when? Our grand children deserve better.

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    2. Canada contributes less than two percent overall of global GHG emissions and you're all bent out of shape over the per person emissions from a nation comprising less than half a percent of the total global population.

      Never mind that much of those emissions result from Canadians being cold-climate dwellers therefore bound to emit more GHG than other southern and equatorial dwellers in order to warm themselves.

      To say that you're afflicted with an acute case of not being able to see the forest for the trees would be an understatement.

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    3. Anon@ 22;47, are you aware of not enough forest and tress to absorb all your GHG? And if in hot climates, they should not cool by airconditioning run by fossil fuel burning? Say Saudi Arabia, etc. What a load of bull you
      shoot.

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    4. Anon 23:45, it is most unfortunate that, rather than addressing the facts of the matter as stated, you resort instead to disparaging remarks and insults, in effect "shooting the messenger" because the facts as presented run counter to your pet sentiments regarding the issue.

      Lashing out with such ad hominem attacks serves only to further erode whatever remnants of credibility you may still retain regarding this, or indeed, any other topic you may offer your overly-simplistic and superficial pronouncements upon.

      At any rate, the facts of the matter speak for themselves.

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    5. No one is shooting the messenger Anonymous8 January 2019 at 00:29. Your denial of responsibility for Canadian GHG's is both very old and very self serving. Between what we burn and what we drag out of the ground and insist on new pipelines to seal our collective fate we are the worst global citizen with our GHG emissions.

      Take responsibility for your part in global warming rather that mouthing denialist tropes.

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    6. You're like the hapless homeowner worried about the leak in his roof when it rains, meanwhile the floodwaters are rising around him.

      Like I said... can't see the forest for the trees.

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    7. Roof leaks, floodwaters???? Your cliches are meaningless. Our GHG are a major contribution to climate change or does our shit not stink?

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    8. If you're so bloody-well concerned about GHG emissions why don't you get your ass out from behind your keyboard, book a flight to China, and demonstrate in protest by chaining yourself to the gates of a coal-fired generating plant in Shanghai somewhere? Instead of working yourself up into a self-righteous frenzy and then taking it out on everyone else by berating and lecturing them.

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    9. You are beyond redemption Anonymous8 January 2019 at 22:41. The demonstrated bigotry coming from an anon troll shows stupidity and bigotry.

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    10. The suggestion of taking a flight anywhere should be questionable. One ton vehicle with a gas engine can go about 30 or 40 mile on a gallon of fuel, a train takes that weight about 450 miles for a gallon, a airplane, about 8 times more than a car per person.
      So hit the airplanes with a high carbon tax, and encourage more efficient planes like the new Bombardier, and even renewable fuels for airplanes. So sail to China, for the adventurous, is no GHG.
      And China is a world leader now in solar uptake and wind, and winding down on coal units, while NS and many parts of North America still use much coal.
      What if you chained yourself to the gates of Holyrood station or Hardwoods gas turbine to prevent their use in a cold snap? Off to the lock up, like Beatrice from Labrador, is likely.
      Good point, Bruno, anon who promotes GHG emissions for Canada, he thinks his shit don't smell. Maybe similar gases. And can be recycled for fuel. And anon has more than most, so might sell it as some places they buy blood. You might be on to something, I mean on farms manure is rich in methane, and is used for generation of electricity. This anon would change colors if he can profit from his shit in an alternate way. Never give up Bruno, on converting the those not enlightened.
      Winston

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    11. Further on the topic of shit:
      From houses with septic tanks, there is a plastic 3 inch vent through the roof. The gases, methane etc from shit and food scraps etc is exhausting from that all the time. I have wondered how much gas, and if useable, since if you get near it, it is remarkable the gas odour. Would be be just a constant 200 BTU, or as much as 3400, say 1 kw, or more?
      Now I have heard that if you fart that you can light the gas , like a flame thrower. I have never seen it done, and not inclined to try it. But I wondered if you put a match to the discharge of the pipe on the roof? Would it burn or too diluted to catch fire?
      If it burns, one could test the heat output. But with plastic pipe, it may melt. Worse, what if the fire travelled down the pipe to the septic tank and there was an explosion? I might accidently burn the house down!.
      I figures I would need the advise of a good mechanical engineer, such as Bob Forbes, to that questions, as to risks. Or I could run a risk question by Nalcor engneers, who, as we know, is really good at risk assessment.
      Now if 1kw of heat is going to waste, that is more than enough to heat hot water for domestic use. Now I figure I'd need a contraption to prevent fire going down the pipe. But if fire don't blow up the propane tank from your barbrque, then too this might be done safely.
      A you can see, I am probably a gearhead. Maybe someone else can test this idea and let me know.
      Winston

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    12. Winston, Forbes in his day was a well respected ME. and as such knew his thermo, when considering waste heat recovery and such. Most of us civils, dealing with off gases from the sewage treatment of small communities could only wonder at possible uses of the stench. Nowadays, when the grade 3's and 4's come to look at the red compost worms in the community garden, they are amazed at how much heat is generated from the compost pile; enough to melt the snow pack. Isn't natural decay a wonder of the planet?

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    13. WA / Robert:

      A couple rough numbers give about 40g/user/day of methane produced from a septic field. At 1000 BTU/ft3 for methane, that's on the order of 2500BTU/user/day.

      I think my math is right, but just going from memory.

      PENG2

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    14. PENG2; Any idea of waste heat recovery potential in the ponds around Health Sciences/MUN/Arctic Vessel/Aquarena?

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    15. Should have added grey water potential from these buildings as well. Thanks

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  11. FW is alive and well but trying to eat an elephant (MFP), one bite at a time, and to continue in wedded bliss. My direction from recent posts have been to look ahead at phase 2 and 3 of Inquiry. I've gone through 2 inkjet cartridges in past 3 days. As UG has said recently, MFP and Inquiry is a marathon. There are myriad paths of information but not all readily available. UG posts have provided some segway to searching for reports and trying to find a chronological order to events. Will pass on synapse reprots, etc. but need to be brief here while, hopefully, informative:
    >Who knew what and when. SNC-Lavalin Risk Assessment of April, 2013 is in public domain. Was conducted at SNC-L expense with good intentions. Budget cost overruns were seen to be in 39% range while (at best) only 20% of project completion. If Inquiry wishes to set the stage in phase 2 regarding an aggressive, unnecessary and risky project (that should be now apparent from evidence), then, perhaps, it should start with SNC-L risk assessment and how it was handled.
    >EY Interim Report (8 April, 2016)was initiated by Liberals in December, 2015 (shorting after 2016 election) re costs and schedule of MF. It took to August, 2017 to release its assessment. Meanwhile, the $6.2 Billion budget at sanction had grown to $6.990 by June, 2014; then to $7.653 by September, 2015; then to $$9.126 by June, 2016; then to $9.396 by December, 2016; and then to $10.117 Billion by June, 2017. I digress here for a moment but, not in my 45 years was I associated with any project that did not include interest during construction, and other owner's cost associated with it. The full number should be used. So, the $6.2 Billion at sanction is actually about $7.4 Billion from Inquiry; and the $10.2 Billion is actually about $12.7 Billion.
    >Gov-NL did initiate some of the recommendations from EY 2017 Report. The CEO and Board of Nalcor changed in 2016. So, the Oversight Committee were most keen on diligence with the Liberals as government. Its September, 2018 report (available in public domain) shows in brief: no change from June, 2017 budget of $10.1 Billion that I will call about $13.0 billion sitting on about $0.3 Billion contingency to completion. A caution to remember that forecasts (although more carefully scrutinized) are coming from Nalcor. As to schedule, OC says reservoir impoundment will be complete by September, 2019; first power from MF by October, 2019; and full power by August, 2020.
    > My very personal opinion, while not an expert. Still many risks re suppliers of goods and services and contract issues. Who knows how water management agreements and related political maneuvers will play out?
    > Finally. I wish to recognize the role that UG has played in this marathon over the years. It has been trying but the grit is still in front of us. I am disappointed in the lethargic and very little reactionary involvement of many distinguished and informed citizens of NL, not to stand up and be counted in this issue. That is largely why it happened.

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    1. Fred said, "I am disappointed........not to stand up and be counted on this issue." Winston said, "...all now hide under a cone of silence, etc..." I say there are hundreds and maybe thousands of residents of this province that read this blog and don't think they ever write a comment. Think there are almost 200 citizens that are a part of the Coalition and seems they rarely comment. Maybe Fred and Winston are right in their comments, or to be kind to all, maybe those who do write frequently express the opinions rather well of those who remain silent. Seems we haven't heard from Keith much in the past couple of months. Guess around this time January we get some of our highest heat bills for the year, and this winter seems colder than normal, so just wondering if anyone will be interested in any form of protest, or at least expressing their pleasure or displeasure of their current hydro bills. Guess those with heat pumps will express some pleasure, those without may express displeasure. So guess we may have what we could call, "the haves, and the have nots". Who of those on the stand would be most pleased that we are paying higher or lower heat bills and leaving nalcor and Power with less revenue. Yes, may as well ramp and roar, but won't do any good except guess it will show our displeasure for those buggers et al who brought us the boondoggle says Joe blow.

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  12. Obfuscation continues;
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/muskrat-risk-assessment-1.4968288

    Those who persist in the coverup of project reports are not doing the public any service, and should consider their own dishonesty and shame. What has the Ball government to gain from this despicable behaviour?

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  13. Colonials still locking up land protectors;

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/rcmp-injunction-gidimten-checkpoint-bc-1.4968391

    Have all the Labrador land protectors' charges been dismissed? or can we expect similar standoffs in the near future? Is the dam holding? Remember Mount Polley. Commodity prices have shut the mine operation. How good is oversight to prevent another dam failure and consequences?

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  14. The biggest remaining threats to the provincial debt from the Muskrat are:

    1.The efficacy of the North Spur failure-prevention works, yet to be tested at full hydraulic head.
    2.The cost of mercury reduction measures, yet to be decided.
    3.The water management disagreement.
    4.Project management capabilities or the lack thereof at Nalcor and the integrated team.
    5.The further risk of schedule delays due to 1,2 and 4 above.

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    1. I would say that none of these, despite being very real, are of any importance. The province is already buried under way too much debt for it to be able to survive.

      1934, here we are again!

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    2. Never fear bro' rabbit!!!!

      Delete
    3. I do not fear... I started packing already. Fear is about unknown, what can happen, etc. Here, the actual debt is known, the deficits are known, the 12+ billions of MF is known. They add up to too much. Here, to leave is not to fear, it is just being smart. You will pay these billions without me...

      Delete
    4. What you fear the most has already happened to you.

      Delete
    5. No problem bro', Just packing, I thought you would be long gone.

      Delete
  15. RE Terry Roberts piece in today's CBC News online. What Roberts is adding, if I am reading it right, is work by Westney Consulting regarding updated risk assessment. He does not say if Gov-NL or Nalcor engaged Westney to do this work. In the 49 page Oversight Committee (OC) report, OC says a quantitative risk assessment (QRA) has been completed for Project and notes that current June 2017 budget is sufficient to complete project with exception of additional risks, estimated to be in range of $170-370 Million (with no specific funds held in the budget). These risks were as Robert's CBC article reported on. We should all know commercial sensitivity delays release of reports such as Westney's by 2-3 months. Roberts could have noted the OC report has current total project contingency $179,892. My beef continues to be $10.1 Billion project budget and all reporting on same excludes the full cost including financing. Think it was mentioned in Inquiry to be around $12.7 Billion. That number is very likely higher now...$13 Billion+.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Well, where have I been at, I need to crawl out from under this rock. I learn today of of the local WESSEX SOCIETY. And tomorrow night they have a lecture, by a chap they say is "authoritative". Last time I heard that word it was used a few years ago by our Consumer Advocate, Tom Johnson. There he was at the PUB questioning Lorne Henderson of Nfld Power. "That minisplit heatpump report, isit authoritative"? "No, it isn't", replied engineer Henderson. Well, I'll be a monkeys uncle. Tens of thousands of dollars wasted by Nfld Power, and 3 years to complete the report. And not even authoritative.
    But this lecture is by Mr,... I mean Dr. Jim Feehan. And he does seem to know more about minisplits than engineer Lorne Henderson. Even some Cold Climate criteria, apparently more than maybe Synapse.
    Now this Society has been around since 1985, and still only 200 members. And not due to high fees. Can you beat 5 dollars a year? Or, if short on cash, a small bottle of home made jam will get you a years membership.
    Why so few members? Maybe because there are too many doctors on the executive. I counted 7, so almost all. Maybe that intimidates Average Joes or Janes? And I bet not one of those doctors can tell me cause of my back pain. Mayo couldn't, so can can these MUN graduates? And I could not see one of them as a real doctor anyway, about medicine say.
    Now, this society is all about our culture, it says, and especially that which springs from English Wessex ancestry. That caught my attention. It's about telling stories, our culture, environment, economy, and community life.
    The aim is the dissemination of sound historical knowledge to general audiences, inspired by the conviction in these words of Edmund Burke: "People who would know themselves must first look back to their ancestors" Who could find fault with that? And to be so enlightened for a small bottle of jam! What a bargain.
    The topic tomorrow night is MUSKRAT FALLS. Maybe one could learn more there then from than 33 million dollar Inquiry? How did we allow that to happen? Our culture, I bet.
    I suggest arrive early, or risk not getting a seat. If I can't attend, I'll send a spy, and report back on Uncle Gnarley, the root cause of the boondoggle.
    Edmund Burke...hummm, is that who Ed Martin is called after? Dr Martin? Is that possible?
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Root cause for MF was to give QC the finger.

      Delete
    2. May I say more bro'.

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    3. "Root cause for MF was to give QC the finger." shows how little you know and how you won't let go of that hackneyed trope.

      Educate yourself and come out from under that rock.

      Delete
    4. And you just go fuck yourself! (as vulgarity is the only language you understand...)

      Delete
    5. Boyz, stop the nonsense, and get back to improving the dialog on this valued website, please.

      Delete
    6. Considering how many times people mentioned Bruno's completely inappropriate language, you may have to tell him more than once before he learns, if he ever can...

      Delete
    7. Robert if you read my posts there are no obscenities, just had truths.

      My being accused of obscenities when there are none by an anon troll I expect you to see through. I post hard truths using my name.

      Comparing me to this anon troll is insulting. Do you not make a distinction between me and trolls? I ignore trolls, you give them oxygen. You should also ignore them.

      Delete
    8. Why can’t people stand behind their statements? If you have contribution, say it with pride. If you fear reprisal from something because you speak out, say nothing, or say it and accept the consequences.

      Catcalls and flaming doesn’t make a difference and takes time from the conversation to recognize and dismiss which anon is saying what, it is confusing.

      Perhaps some of these anon types are stating another’s agenda, they would be much more constructive to simply say what they want and let discourse prevail, their opinions may have validity or be dismissed, but reducing discourse to vitriol and profanity is ridiculous and gets nothing accomplished.

      Bruno isn’t exactly polite sometimes but at least he says who he is; he may overreact sometimes, but he says who ... you get the drift.

      Delete
    9. Have to agree with Tors and Brurno, unless you want to clog up the blog with a troll, or trolls.

      Delete
  17. WA: Thank you for reminding me of a little part of my past. In the 80s, when I first became active in family history, by chance, I met Gordon Handcock. He introduced me to existence of the Wessex Society and Brigus aspects. Say hello to him if he is there. I look forward to your report of the meeting. FW

    ReplyDelete
  18. PENG2,I approached it from volume, assuming not more than a pint of equivalent fuel oil per day from poop, pee and food waste down the sink and from dishwasher a day from 2 people. A pint did not seem much, and if half of that goes to gas. But then I googles BTU for a gallon of fuel and see 137400 btu , which seemed large. This is equal to 40 kw, or 1.66kw,(1600 w) per hr for 24 hrs, not sure. If half the volume was fuel that this is 800 watts continuous.
    500 watts continuous is enough for domestic hot water (but we use 3000 watt elememts just for fast warm up, and adds much to morning grid peak load).
    Maybe my figures are off. But your 40grams, is that 40 g constant per hr , about 1/10 of a pound , if constant for 24 hrs is 960 g per day, about 2.1 lbs.
    As to volume, 1 pint is 1/8 of a gallon, so 1.25 lbs, and if half useful fuel is 0.625 lbs suggesting about 8560 BTU, from poop etc.
    Not sure if any of this is in the ball field, having issues of chemo drugs and dosages and side effects as priority this morning, and that part at least seemed to my calculations, and going ok, so the poop problem can be reassessed, as not immediately a solution to reducing our peak demand before the next election, or shutting Holyrood.
    WA

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    Replies
    1. WA @ 14:58:

      That's a total of 40gr / 24hr (about 2.5 ft3) period for each user - so, on the order of 1.5gr/hr per person. Methane has a heat recovery of about 810kJ for 16gr. I know I am jumbling units here from metric to imperial.

      Your quoted energy content for diesel fuel of 137k btu is about right.

      PENG2

      Delete
  19. As to Wessex Society, Muskrat falls lecture: This at 8 pm, , Hampton Hall, Marine Institute. Ridge Road , By Dr James Feehan
    WA

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  20. NL CBC’s latest news spin today is to focus on the cost of MF Inquiry, whether it should have occurred during construction phase or waited until after completion of project. Well, the best value in the $13 Billion will be that spent on Inquiry and expose the deceit, ineptitude and maligned arguments to push the Project through. In this year’s election, quiz every candidate for a commitment that Gull Island project as part of LCP be placed on the shelf. Then, let Nalcor be dissolved back into NL Hydro for electricity including MF (and all its sidebar organizations). The oil and gas side can be reformed into a separate entity. Lots of savings there. Let NL Hydro prepare for 2041 while, within a meaningful way, focus on CDM and smaller scale manageable projects that will fill in the gaps. It will be NLH looking and acting like the 2nd smallest provincial utility instead of the Nalcor touted 4th largest. Inquiry now is the enabler for this much needed correction to happen. No more mega projects and fantasy! FW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree,especially dissolving Nalcor into NLHydro where it should have stayed in the first place.

      Delete
    2. Your reorganizational ideas make a lot of sense, but without a complete refocus on what should be the best Energy Policy looking forward, Muskrat type mega projects can still occur. How will NL get economically and sustainably to 1 million inhabitants over the next 40-50 years, without improved planning and better policies?

      Delete
    3. Fred, re-organization is crucial and exposing the "deceit ineptitude and maligned arguments" should also include punishment for those involved. Without punishment we are left open to the next bunch of "holier than thou remorseless "criminals" looking to feather their own nests and massage their egos. Without accountability through charges laid it will happen again and again. It has become blatantly obvious who the instigators of this colossal scam are and with so much money having been thrown around, a "criminal" investigation begs to be initiated to see who profited financially. Without it we are in a third world category run by dictators who have no fear of being held accountable. Justice must be done.

      Delete
    4. Justice should be done but won't! I am afraid the villains are above the law in NL. They can't be named or held to account for the biggest scam in NL history. The Mounties will not investigate and the RNC are afraid of the feudal chieftains.

      I hate to throw cold water on a plan for justice but the crooks are above the law.

      Delete
  21. How about small steps? Like encourage independent candidates to run in next election. Check Elecrions NL. That is still possible within narrow time frame. A minority government is possible with a split vote. Independent candidates, if enough, can form a coalition. Make the election about good, stable government instead of Muskrat, electrical rates, growing the economy. Perhaps, understanding equalization formulas and having NL as a have not province, might be a good start. Perceval Copes is probably still right that NL is destined to have a sustainable of less than 500,000. Tired of hearing the old political parties talk about “growing the economy” every election. FW

    ReplyDelete
  22. Yes! A plan!

    Next steps?
    What about buddy who like Bernier, left the PC fold, let’s get on it, boys!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Not sure, Tor, where you are coming from? I am being straight here. In time, Quebec will separate. NL will be isolated more than ever. It needs to know its options on that likely event. Pro activity is a plus. NL needs to explore union with north.south North America. It would certainly “grow its economy” outside the stranglehold of Confederation! Canada is not as big as California.

    ReplyDelete
  24. There is a new party starting in NL. Perhaps with support they can make a difference.

    As to your QC independence and union with US, we were down that road before, it won’t fly and it is not a real answer.

    Our destiny is being frittered away by the current system and needs, as Bruno says, to be broken. The financial catastrophe can’t be stopped, but there have to be ways to deal with it and survive, ways outside the standard boxes.

    Can we be so bereft of ideas, proposed solutions? Must we be condemned to Ches, Dwight, and whoever else?

    Despair takes many forms, our current form seems to be apathy and has been for most of my adult life.

    I am not a political leader but I sure wish one would step out of the woods soon.



    ReplyDelete
  25. More on POOP;
    I read that world wide, the useful gases from human poop is worth 9.5 billion dollars a year equivalent, when compared to natural gas as a fuel. There are plants operating that process human poop, and it also has other useful components and minerals, and small parts can be diverted to biodiesel. Some research is paid for by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, so no dummie as how to make a dollar or think outside the box. In a dried form, poop has energy similar to wood.
    So with runaway global warning likely from feedback loops, poop energy and reducing polution should be taken serious, and research assisted from carbon taxes.
    Now a fella from Upper Island Cove, when listening to anyone talk nonsense, wound counter saiying " That's a pile of old shit"
    How appropriate if only our legal experts at the Inquiry used such plain language when suffering from the nonsense of Ed Martin, Kathy Bennett and many others, for days, to bluntly counter " That's a pile of old shit" All though as lawyers must ask questions they would need to say " Your evasive answers, Is that a pile of old shit?", I bet even Leblanc would get wave reviews if he had told Ed Martin, not only that he was rude, but also that his answers was a "pile of old shit". But decorum, I suppose, is to be expected, and course language kept in check.
    Another saying in Nfld is "your full of shit".
    But in these days of climate change, we know that human faeces has real value, should be recycled into useful products.
    I would estimate that of the 33 million Inquiry cost, that we are loosing out on meaningful faeces gas value from a select group of Nflders. That their DNA should be tested and bodily functions analysed. Humans on average produce faeces form 75 to 800 grams per day.So not all are equal. Those that produce large amounts can contribute more to our energy plan for The Way Forward. Always better to see a glass half full than one half empty. There is surely hidden value in Martin and like individuals, who can produce more than just world class boondoggles.
    WA

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    1. Winston and others, not being an engineer, no not even a sanatation engineer, I am not as versed in such matters as you are, lol, but guest like all subjects, I could learn. But I have been under the understanding, that that petelized fertilizer that we buy at kents etc. Is made from the sewage systems of cities like Chicago. We pile it on our backyard freshly growing veggies and claim this is all organic, not like that stuff that you buy at the grocery stores, that is driven mad by chemicals and stuff. I figured this fertilizer was mainly made mainly from human poop, but how would I know, including a lot of other average janes and joes that swears by it says Joe blow. Also, with the harbour clean up of a few years ago, that the water and stuff coming from the sewer system is potable water. And how bout all the garbage going to Robin Hood bay, just cost us a lot of garbage fees but no real return. But guess guys like Eddie knew all about that and how to make a buck, or gravy, pulus could maybe create another boondoggle, but was all ruled out. Remember one of our Danish frequent caller friends to open line shows use to tell us all about what they were doing in Europe to create energy from garbage insenerators, and we were missing the boat completely. But guess for the little bit of additional power tat we needed here there were many options, they were neve considered, when we could go 1100 Kms and for a buck a watt we could get more power than we needed.

      Delete
  26. Hopefully the octogenarians whose scree covers this blog site are feeling appropriately smug wth the prospect that their efforts to get this inquiry underway before completion of the project could add another $150M to the cost. Idiots.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'eyyyy.. now listen here sonny, is your daddy Danny Millions?

      Delete
    2. yes Anon 14:44, who's your daddy?

      Delete
    3. Anon 14:44 (aka Danny Williams/"L'il Trump") 150$ mill on top of 12.7$ bill is only 1.8%... at one time, Danny, you would have thought that much was the price of your coffee
      but really now Danny, you're upset because you thought all of this would never see the light of day, and you would be able to get the gullible NL'ers to swallow your 12.7$ billion legacy.. like Stan, you're really upset that the beans are split with respect to the project setup, and worry that you and many others will be sued by all manner of contractors/developers/union.. sucks to be you, hope you can find a good lawyer... but it sucks even more to be us who will have to clean up your legacy.. only bright spot is that you and your posse may actually end up in court, and not your court, but one where your money will be the target

      Delete
    4. Yes, Jason b'ye.

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    5. @14:44 I have a decades to go before I am 80 years old.

      Better to have the inquiry now than later when more crooks will be able to plausibly claim that they don't remember or that their poor health prevents clouds their minds.

      $150 million in added costs to MF because of this inquiry sounds bogus.

      An inquiry should have happened long ago - as soon as Ball got in power. Had we determined the true state of affairs, it could have been cancelled the dam portion to cut our losses (still a few billion in lawsuit related losses but manageable).

      Delete
    6. Anony @ 06:36 and others:

      It is a valid concern - some of the finding of the Inquiry will likely be used by contractors in settling claims. As to the final cost - that's TBD based on quantity of claims.

      The correct timing would have been to wait for substantial completion (and with that a notice of intent to file REAs) prior to beginning an Inquiry. As it stands now, the Inquiry was called too quick for liberal vote pandering - for example the implications of replacing Astaldi most likely wont be fully examined.

      Its a bad idea to be releasing potentially revealing information when litigation is likely.

      PENG2

      Delete
  27. So Ball said again (at a Rotary luncheon I think), shown on CBC news, that neither taxpayers nor ratepayers will bear the burden of Muskrat Falls.

    How can that be?

    Is that like Trump saying Mexico will pay for the wall?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like Ball "talks a pile of old shit", like Trump, yes.

      Delete
    2. Ball is speaking lies. If he had said "Newfoundland taxpayers won't pay it all" the statement might be closer to the truth since "Canadian Taxpayers" will foot some of the bill. Canadian tax payers will either bail us out because we defaulted on a guaranteed loan or they be forced to give us undeserved transfer payments to pay the loan payments. I say undeserved because we have excellent natural resource revenue per capita but spend like drunken sailors. No matter what, we will pay via:

      1) Reduced services because debt payments reduce budgets in Education / Health / Transportation etc.

      2) Lost control over public assets (highways, Fortis owing Bay d'Espoir, Quebec owning Labrador perhaps) resulting in a new fees like highway tools and lost revenues.

      3) Increased provincial taxes

      4) Increased electric rates

      Delete
    3. Anony @ 08:46:

      Correct for #'s 1-4.

      Mitigation is not possible unless a revenue source external to our economy is found, then the complaint becomes why wasn't this revenue source exploited before. I am still not 100% sure the Federal government will offer much - we the public caused MF.

      MF was going to happen regardless of what KD said at the Inquiry - the timing of the release of the construction contracts show that. Savings by the FLG aren't as substantial as some think and the terms of default transfer the onus wholly to NL, no risk for NS or Canada - the FLG is like a cosigner agreement most think it is.

      PENG2

      Delete
    4. PENG2, Rather than say mitigation is not possible, I think some may be possible, even if not substantial, subject to whether MFs even operates?
      If it does, then some of Synapse's proposals has merit, for some mitigation, do you agree?
      I would hope PlanetNL, would summarize Synapse and comment. Perhaps you can give your opinion of Synapse, PENG2. Surprised other engineers have not expressed an opinion, as someone else also commented.
      In the end, perhaps Synapse and Liberty will be options Ball will have exhausted, as he suggests we must do before talking to uncle Ottawa, and asks , "We do we trust to do that"
      I suppose exhausting all our options can mean dire consequences before the Feds assist. All options might start with cutting Premier and MHA salaries 20%, as an example of what is needed, and then lay out all the other options.
      WA

      Delete
    5. WA @ 10:17:

      I guess my and your definition of mitigation differs slightly, I dont consider using our current monies more wisely (ie your example of cutting MHA costs) as mitigation - that's is doing something we should be doing now. I define mitigation and monies dedicated to paying for MF but not taking away from other payments we currently make.

      The only mitigation I have seen is revenue from the sales of MF power - and that depends on if MF operates and may actually cost us depending on operations and sale costing. True mitigation is external revenue, realignment of current monies will most likely result in reduced services.

      No doubt, we will have to talk to Ottawa - I am just not confident we have a case or will get anything back.

      PENG2

      Delete
    6. Yes, peng2 seems to be somewhat of a mystery man. He jumps in, and jumps out, so as to keep the pot stirred, never explaining his comments in detail, seems to take the opposite approach from others on the blog. He seems to be well informed, but stops shy of telling us much that we do not already know. He keeps referring to finding a new revenue source external to our economy. Maybe that is a bogus statement, just to stir the pot, or does he indeed have something in mind. Or am I giving him more credit than he deserves. I did, maybe a couple of years ago, make a comment, or a suggestion to UG that we needed a mole in the blog to give opposite opinions, make it controversy, or contrarian opinion. Did he just jump in or was it more cohorsed, or maybe I am just dreaming in technicolor, and what I am saying is all hogwash. But since I just write under Joe blow, anyone can chop off my limb at anytime and I won't even fall, no embarsement, no ego, just that I am talking through my hat sometimes. Now of course I don't expect peng2 to admit anything, but just keep on giving his, what appears to be a biased opinion. But guess that's what keeps the blog interesting...mystery writers, but not trolls. Cheers, average Joe.

      Delete
    7. Maybe we all should recognize a new understanding of "mitigation". Seems that those in control are mitigating against revealing any incriminating project information, until they are restored to power, through the election process. Think about that. Ratepayers and tax payers are on the hook. Make no mistake. Vive la Boondoggle !

      Delete
    8. PENG2, yes lets assume MFs operates and revenue exceeds operating cost so worthwhile to not shut it down. So how can revenue be optimized, this is Synapse and Liberty approach, which this blog also should evaluate, I suggest, but SILENCE so far.
      I agree that cutting salaries can lead to reduced services, but for MHAs can be symbolic to permit efficiencies in all govn departments. Better governance and savings on expenditures can mitigate against rate increases some, and hope to avoid 1934 30-50 % salary cut. Remember the Choosing Wisely, for heath care, suggesting it could save 20 %, so 600 million a year. If if half wise, that would be 300 million a year. But where are the inefficiencies? Liberty suggest 5 % of Nalcor employees should go. But what of all other govn depts and agenecies? Is there no fat to trim, and service not be impacted?
      As to external revenue, do you mean export power sales? If so, Synapse talks of that.
      WA

      Delete
    9. Maurice the Pixie Dust that Nalcor sprinkled at MF to come to "least cost" determination is worth a fortune. Ask Gilbert or Ed to scoop it up so the rate/taxpayers will be spared 22 cent a kWh power bill.

      PENG2 if you can find an envelope and tally the cost of production and transmission to the nearest market you will find it exceeds the market value. Selling MF energy LOSES money. Are you really an engineer?

      Delete
    10. Bruno, sometimes you have to play the hand you are given, so yes, MF will be oney loser for decades of maybe centuries, but as the debt and interest costs must be paid, then it may be better to operate at a loss, so it depends on how much the loss. That is also different from risks, as to the North Spur etc, whether it should not operate at all, of if those risks can be solved.
      MFs should have been shelved long ago, but now is whether it has value? If value, and its high costs, how can that value be improved? It may be more economic to shut it down, but where is the analysis for that decision? We have been throwing good money after bad since Ball and Marshall merged, but time for this to end soon, and decisions to be made. perhaps that will only happen after issues of reliability is experienced.
      Absolutes are seldom the right choice, without good analysis. This is what led to the boondoggle. Good analysis should guide what now happens. Time too is a factor, and adds to costs.
      Pixie Dust is not good analysis.
      So, what do you see positive or negative from Synapse?
      Winston


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    11. Sorry Winston but selling MF power at a loss makes no sense in my world. It is cheaper to let the water flow over the dam so let the river flow!

      We don't need the pixie poop Synapse is selling. There is no political analysis so nothing is gained just more wasted money as a distraction.

      Delete
    12. Well Joe, I'll attempt to explain 2 mysteries at once. The 20-50 ton stone head sculptures on Easter Island, their reason for being a mystery now for almost 200 years, Since Darwin's voyage. So, a thirsty horse, thought be drinking salt ocean water, helped solve the problem recently.
      There are no streams on Easter Island , just water that drain to the ocean, and not seen except at low tide. This is what the horse was drinking, and for one researcher, a light went off. All these scattered sculptures are located near these fresh water sources.
      It has long been speculated that the islanders were at war, one village against another, and the sculptures some ritual. Now they say the villages were obviously located near these water sources, and the sculptures mere competitive friendly activities between villages. Mystery solved, although a few disagree. I suppose the building of MFs too is a mystery, as to why and the motives, and Leblanc is to explain that one. Maybe a make work project, or competition with HQ, the OX and Frog fable as Heracles tells.
      Part 2, the mystery of PENG2
      PF

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    13. A metaphor should not need to be explained but.....
      As someone who has been yelling from every hilltop since the beginning that MF needed pixie dust shoveled on by the barrel to come to least cost. I have earned the right to the metaphor Winston!

      Why that was not obvious to everyone wearing an iron ring, I do not understand. I had a lover in St. Johns who insisted that the longer people went to school the more stunned they become. Was she right Winston?

      Delete
    14. Not sure why anyone thinks I am a mystery - my stance has not changed and is supported by publicly available information most seem to not read or not bother to look for.


      Open challenge(s):
      1) just where is the +/- 200MW of power for NS going to come from upon completion?
      2) if a default occurs (or occured in the past), what happens then?

      PENG2

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    15. Muskrat will operate, the powers that be will insure that, unless it is physically impossible, like the North Spur surprise or physical risk too high. The question might be, for how long. If muskrat were to begin loosing money...revenue, and the losses were too great and their accumulation beyond control, then at some point in the future it may have to be terminated. By that time 2041 would be closer in sight, and agreements made then to supply the 200MW and whatever else was available since the power line now exist, so operate at that capacity. Assuming the LIL had been well tested by that time. The dia has been cast as some might say. Average Joe.

      Delete
    16. Peng2 says his stance has not changed. His Stan-ce is mostly a Stan supporter. And that includes Stan's connections, like Fortis and Nfld Power, have you noticed Joe? And too a supporter of Naclor, now under Stan's leadership. Have you ever seen Peng2 go against any of those 3 ? And he a Nalcor fella, under contract, and entitled to be semi critical of Muskrat, as Stan has been, and extremely anti DW, and anti Tory, of course, so all most all blame goes there. What does that say of Peng2? And too an admirer of the selection of the Commissioner and co-counsel, even before we saw any of them in action. But would have preferred a much longer wait for this Inquiry, long fought for by UG and MFs critics. And Joe, your observations are right on, too.

      PF

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    17. PF @ 16:30:

      Maybe try to quote me correctly - works best that way.

      I am not a 'Nalcor fella' like you think - Nalcor among others are on my client list. I did say SM is an upgrade to EM and that DW et al were/are the root cause of MF, I think most others also say that now? As a whole, I am not political - just a realist.

      I did say that the Inquiry should wait until substantial completion, and many of the reasons I gave for that 2yrs ago are showing true now. I never passed any judgement on the jurist or Inquiry counsel, and will not.

      I don't remember anyone here other asking for anything more than a Forensic Audit - there was a posting by an Anony Engineer in 2016 that did say an Inquiry was the 'gold standard', but nothing else by anyone.

      PENG2

      Delete
    18. Well PF maybe two mysteries solved in one day. I did check on line about your first one about Easter Island, guess Capt. Bligh didn't know anything about that, and others taught the decline in population was the result of disease etc. Brought by Mr Christian and his followers. No not sure if you can equate the two. But interesting nevertheless. Now I mentioned a mole, so not sure if working on his own initiative, and similar outlook as the new management, or cohorsed into that thinking and putting forward that position. But guess we are all entitled to their our own opinion and where we Stan d, but would be unfortunate if expressing the cohersion view for nalcor. Eddie did it directly for himself and nalcor, now do we have an unofficial spokes person. Of course Eddie made sure most of the media drank his coolaid, by giving them a direct line to his office to spread the word, maybe it is now less transparent. But to be honest, I personally have no problem with it as it indeed gives another point of view, is not overwhelming as back in the days of Eddie and Cathy, media and others, so maybe gives a more balanced discussion, which is one of UG primary purposes for his blog. It is not to suppress opposing views but rather to enhance them says Joe blow.

      Delete
    19. Hoops, PF ...sorry ...your mystery of Easter Island, I was going from memory and confused Capt. Cooks Easter island in the South Pacific with Capt Bligh's Pitcian island. Knew it didn't ring right to me so checked it out as I am sure you did and maybe others. But guess everything thing else is as written. Thanks, Joe blow.

      Delete
    20. Joe, you know that John Smith was a constant on the Telegram and CBC promoting MFs and ridiculing the critics. When the Telegram cut the comments to everyone, he is still extremely active on CBC, saying MFs is a good project at 13 billion. John was a mouthpiece for Nalcor version 1, under Ed Martin, when 60-70 % of the public was misinformed. Now we have Nalcor version 2, (so like Microsoft , always a new better version), under Stan the man. So Smith is still there pumping the base, but now only 25 % it seems, but like Trump, Smith talks nonsense to feed the base. But Smith never commments on UG. Why not? Because the regulars here are not fooled by that BS, and Smith would be condemned here 25 to 1, so he stays away.
      Obvious that Nalcor wants to survive and turn its image for the public, under Stan, to put things back on track, he said. So how to influence opinion on UG and soften the tone here?
      Is this the job of Peng2? A moderate approach, a little give and take but avoid key questions and issues, nothing negative that doesn't fit his bias. He went silent once the Inquiry started, and had to be prompted by others to even let us know he was still alive. He is clever, well informed and technically strong. But has he an agenda here on UG? Yes a mystery man with a pro Nalcor, pro Fortis, pro Nfld Power agenda. Pro Ball? I haven't reflected too much on that. But he is glued to this blog, more than you or I. So when does he get time to earn a dollar? Or is this how he earns some dollars?
      PF

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    21. Yes Joe, Easter Island, I see that Cook was there about 50 years after another European first discovered several thousand on that little island about the size of Bell Island, but this creation of nearly 1000 of these massive sculptures, the largest not finished would have been about 200 ton. So they figured a civilization much larger in population to do this, but thought they ran out of resources and food and killed each other and even canabils, (as the British too thought of Eskimos). And too many had spears,they claimed, so too that led to false assumptions ( so a bias , like Nalcor assumptions).
      So recent research shows that what was thought to be spears, had no points. Many of these still exist and are rounded, and actually hoes and such for agriculture purpose, so they now they had to realize that they were very much a cooperative people who survived well in that tiny spot, and plenty of time for such creative sculptures, by a relative small population.
      So that mystery now solved it seems, and they had it all wrong.
      Maybe I am wrong on Peng2? Says he is just a realist. A realist with a few secrets, and some bias.
      At some time does Peng2 identify himself?
      PF

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  28. "It's a bad idea to be releasing potentially revealing information when litigation is likely." PENG2

    Arguably all mega projects get to dispute resolution season, usually around contract closeout procedures, errors and omissions, site conditions, Owner extras, etc.

    Stan must have known that Politicians will use the phrase; "cannot make comment while this matter is before the court. etc." Remember the Inquiry dialog about why risk contingency data would encourage bidders to pad the numbers! Who really gets the upper hand and benefits from obfuscation and lies? Watch this self serving process, as elections approach.

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    1. Robert @ 13:20:

      Agreed - most all construction ends up in claim situation. However, had the Inquiry waited until significant completion, those claims would have been defined via some form of a stat declaration and letter of completion. Had the claims been defined, the Inquiry could have been somewhat more selective in order so as to not release certain info; also the Inquiry would have had a full knowledge of issues (examples: replacing Astaldi, quantity of rework etc).

      As it stands now, potential claimant know exactly how little engineering was done, how problematic and dysfunctional Nalcor was when the contract were executed - this is supporting their claim.

      I cant put a $-value on it yet, but we will likely pay out more in claims and be on the hook for more rework now.

      PENG2

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    2. Knowledge is power. It is high time the ratepayer is given the final bill. The perpetrators under our parliamentary system need to be thrown out of office. Remember what happened to Squires, and Wayne Johnston's Vatcher!

      Delete
    3. Not sure if the Inquiry will have much,if any,bearing on the amount of rework that the contractor replacing Astaldi will be seeking.Make no mistake they will leave no stone unturned to find reasons for rework,thus adding millions more to the final cost.

      Delete
    4. Ball's legacy; Total inability to recognize the Boondoggle for what it is. Lacking the courage to shut the work down, and make safe the site. Evaluate the savings of such actions as compared to the final cost. Come clean with the Public on the malfeasance of the perpetrators. Find realistic options to the Island options on power generation and distribution, and supply management. In essence the Liberals are a total failure as a governance model. R-elect? Why give opportunity to the unworthy, creating Boondoggle II?
      Ches is on the same track.

      Delete
  29. Who has the best plan, ball et al, or chess and his best or miss Rodger the dodger or the new party?? You might say none of them has a plan. Since the next election may be the same time or near the federal election. Ours will need a change in timing. I think any idiot can call a snap or early election that they think is in their best interest, but a late election may not be to the advantage of any party. So what time is best for the people and our situation. I think a late election may be in our best interest. Like in the spring of 2020, sure some will say the rules or legislation will not allow that, but that's what the legislature is for to make things legal, and the people to do what is in OUR best interest. Ball says finish muskrat strong in 2020-21. What the hell does that mean, and guess that's his best guess. By the spring of 2020 the pub will have made its report on rates, etc. We will know which govt. we will have to deal with in Ottawa, and they may make their position clearer on muskrat during the fed election. So by the spring of 2020 we may be able to see a little farther down the road. I say we move ball to have a later election rather than an early election. Some have suggested a snap election this spring. I think that may not be in the people's best interest says average Joe.

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    1. Under our system, a non-party constituency representing citizens' interests is still possible. Wright in candidates. Something peaceful, no rabble at the Colonial Building this time round. Do we have a Joe Smallwood, or Geoff Stirling type in our midst? :-)

      Delete
    2. Not sure if the Inquiry will have much,if any,bearing on the amount of rework that the contractor replacing Astaldi will be seeking.Make no mistake,they will leave no stone unturned to find reasons for rework,thus adding millions more to the final cost.

      Delete
  30. "What is truth"? Pilate asked Jesus.
    "Who do you trust to talk to the Feds"? asked Dwight Ball to the media.

    How do you know when a politician is lying? Answer: When his lips move.
    Ball says neither the Nfld and Lab ratepayers nor the taxpayers will pay for this boondoggle.
    Sure Dwight, your the man to trust. You are the Way, the Truth the Light, just like Jesus. We all trust you. What's not to trust? What is trust? To Have faith in? You or Ches, who is more trustworthy? Who is more honest? Who speaks truth? Ches will bring in a Honesty Act for politicians! Novel idea. A Newfie joke for sure. Why is it needed?
    A statesman: a politician who can cleverly lie.
    Ches needs to break with the baggage of the boondoggle enablers, to show credability. Otherwise, how can we trust Ches, leader of a party that sanctioned MFs, a betrayal to our whole middle and low income class.
    PF

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    1. The TRUTH-CHALLENGED DWIGHT BALL clearly demonstrated his so-called "integrity", or lack thereof, during the ED MARTIN SEVERANCE PAY SCANDAL.

      So as to ensure the UG readership doesn't forget the TRUTH-CHALLENGED DWIGHT BALL'S marquee role in that disgraceful performance, here are some links for review... just copy and paste the links into your browser's address field and hit enter..

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ed-martin-severance-statement-1.3607524

      https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/06/03/dwight-ball-nalcor-ed-martin-severance_n_10279332.html

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/ed-martin-dwight-ball-talk-severance-package-1.3598839

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/severance-saga-a-chronology-of-the-controversial-departure-of-ed-martin-1.3610735

      https://www.thetelegram.com/news/local/timeline-the-ed-martin-severance-scandal-127048/

      Now... THIS is the calibre of individual who wants your vote.

      Delete
  31. Ratepayers were misled into believing the MRF fiasco was to cost them
    $6 billion.

    The results of the MRF inquiry now indicate that a massive "bait and switch" scheme was perpetrated upon ratepayers, who subsequently now find themselves on the hook for the $13 billion cost of the fiasco.

    Therefore, upon Inquiry Commissioner LeBlanc submitting his report, cannot the ratepayers use its no doubt incriminating findings as the basis for a class action lawsuit against both the provincial and federal governments, as well as Nalcor of course, for these entities failing in their due diligence to provide ratepayers with the most economic and reliable electrical services as per the PUB mandates?

    https://www.thetelegram.com/opinion/columnists/pam-frampton-muskrat-falls-inquiry-no-time-like-the-present-274964/

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  32. Nfld Hydro is doing a fine job these days forecasting peak demand on the grid 24 hrs in advance. Serious, No joke.
    We recently hit -16C on the morning of Jan 4, the coldest in years.
    For Jan 3, 4, and 5th, the actual peak was less than 1% error each day.
    This contrasts with forecasting our peak to justify for MFs.
    Our peak was now forecast to hit about 1900 MW. Actual peak on the morning of Jan4: 1620 MW. Error, about 15 % less than forecast! Should Stratton be fired with cause? Should many more go with him?

    Of interest: The low temperature of Jan 4 was at about 2 am. The peak load however was not hit until about 8am.
    The load when coldest, about 2 am was only about 1320 MW,but at 8 am it has risen to 1620 Mw, arise of 300 MW in 6 hours. This is equivalent to the capacity of 3 gas turbines like the new one added a few years ago
    What causes the power demand to ramp up so much to peak at 8am , when the temperature is actually warming up outdoors? The answer is mostly domestic space heat and hot water use.
    Both of these are much more efficiently reduced by heap pumps instead of resistance heaters. At a COP of 2.5, this could have reduced the load close to 180 MW, to have a peak of just 1440 MW instead of 1620 (a 460 MW reduction from the 1900 forecast some years ago.
    About 75 MW could have been reduced on the Jan 4 the peak by just NOT setting back night time temperatures, and keeping temperatures constant, although it adds a little to fuel burned, but part offset by reduced transmission losses.
    We do the opposite: programmable thermostats are promoted that ramp up the peak loads, at very little savings to customers, and needing higher generator capacity.
    This is one issue to be addressed by Synapse. Our high winter peak loads is a shameful legacy of our power companies showing incompetence of operating principles for the past 20 years. This approach mostly permitted wrong assumptions to create a need for MFs remote 13 billion boondoggle.
    I doubt if anywhere else in North America has such a ratio of about 3 to 1 of winter vs summer peak been allowed to exist, with no serious attempt to address it. And Nfld Power is not immune from this situation. They handle 90% of retail power use, and now wants the other 10 %. They are most responsible for the meaningless savings via Take Charge. They have remained under the cone of silence prior to and since sanction of MFs.
    Even now, there is no indication of concern on their part as to addressing our outrageous winter peaks, and the increased risk to rotating outages.
    Winston Adams



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    1. Wow!! Winston you give such basic excellent information to the general public, for those that are interested. Why don't Nfld power give that kind of valuable information to the public, rather than scallogwag nonsense and 3 sweaters technology. Then we could all understand and know when others, Eddie, etc. Is giving us a crock of bull. As you have pointed out Nfld power can predict with excellent accuracy our power demands into the future, weather it be for 24 hours, or several years in advance. Why could they not do that a few years ago when we needed them to tell us the demand, like around the time of DarkNL. No, they were all in cohorts, govt. nalcor NL hydro, etc. To intentionally misled us. Nfld power reported reported a few weeks ago that they were expecting to meet all of our power demands this winter even with colder temps than normal. Why could they not meet our demands during DarkNL??? One word...S - A - B - A - T - O - G - A - T - E. Did I spell that correctly. Yes, they, nalcor etc. Intentionally let Holyrood, Hardwoods, and Stephenville etc. due to lack of maintaince not be available when we needed them. Kennedy predicted brownouts, as a prelude to blackouts and DarkNL with the intent to convince us unequivocally that we need the power. That was the reason for DarkNL, the buggers says Joe blow. The Liberty Report told us that, and KD made her escape less the public would turn on her. Need we be so gullible.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I get angry now, and can't focus, drake out the spelling...sabotage. Lol.

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    3. WA @ 11:24:

      2 interesting links:
      https://calgaryherald.com/news/local-news/this-is-big-alberta-sets-new-summer-power-consumption-record
      https://globalnews.ca/news/3630992/alberta-sets-summer-electricity-usage-record/

      The math is about 5.3% difference in summer record peak vs winter record peak for Alberta. My only thought as to a potential place with a winter power load 2-3x summer power load would be a northern climate with moderate summers - maybe Yukon / Alaska / NWT etc; I haven't checked with their data, but I'd suspect most of Canada has similar summer - winter loading due to summer AC requirements.

      I will debate with you the NL Power responsibilities some other time - I don't think their responsibility is like most think it is. NL Power is a retailer with a fixed profit margin - their profit is set according to expenses; what we pay on our bills contributes to revenue, not NL Power profit. So, I see no advantage/disadvantage to increased or decreased consumption by the public to NL Power - thus, I'd say they are disinterested either way.

      PENG2

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    4. Most of our power is produced by Nfld Hydro and distributed and sold retail by Nfld Power. Cost to Nfld Hydro, especially at Holyrood for plants and fuels is very large. This cost is passed along to Nfld Power who then puts a mark up on it. Lorne Henderson and I chatted about this a few years ago by telephone ( he invited me for lunch, but I did not unable to accept the invitation), but we agreed that about 20 % of our retail cost of power is related to thermal generation costs, most at Holyrood. So it this cost did not exist,and we were all low cost island hydro say, our retail price would be about 8 cents.
      That said, it seems apparent that excess imprudent costs by Nfld Hydro gets passed along to Nfld Power who then would make extra revenue and profit,(not from Nfld Power imprudence but by Nfld Hydro's imprudence), would you agree?
      As to Nfld Power's ability to inform Nfld hydro of such imprudence, and how to counter it via prudent CDM etc,or wind, or more island hydro generation, it seems some beneficial to Nfld Power's benefit to let sleeping dogs lie, and stay under the cone of silence, I suggest. Maybe you disagree.
      Of course, Nfld Hydro, Nalcor, and government policy is paramount and the buck stops there. But Nfld Power is in the public spotlight, with sending out the power bills, and prefers to suggest, no fault with them. Hens are coming home to roost, it seems, as to that approach, with Peter ALteen suddenly regaining insight and memory, thought 6 years too late. Take Charge should be charged under the False Claims Act ( once Ches Crosbie brings in that legistation, and make it retroactive,(likely not to happen) instead of the Honesty Act.
      Maybe I'm off base on this opinion, so invite counter opinions.
      And the False Claims Act can generate millions for whistleblowers who have inside knowledge of wrong doing, which leads to prosecution and fines. Indeed, in the USA, such events often includes conspiracy and criminal activity, which being corporations is usually settled by fines , not jail time, but effective anyway.
      This is standard practice to keep the drug manufactures in check from false promotion of drugs that are not FDA approved for certain uses.
      Winston

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    5. My own experience, working in the oil patch, is that resident workers wanted super-cooled offices and bedrooms. They tended to shun natural cooling and fresh air. The lower humidity and cooler nights were quite comfortable, (to an Easterner's liking). Somewhat like some people in QC who waste electric heating, because it is considered cheap, some Westerners follow this wasteful practice. Here in the mountains, it is rare that nighttime Summer temperatures do not go below 15C, and with low humidity;
      < 50:-)

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    6. Yes, go ahead check out Alaska, Yukon, NWT, and Iqaluit, just for comparisons. Suspect their winters are much colder than ours, and longer with more days and nights below zero. Cheers, average Joe.

      Delete
    7. WA @ 14:08:

      You said:
      "That said, it seems apparent that excess imprudent costs by Nfld Hydro gets passed along to Nfld Power who then would make extra revenue and profit,(not from Nfld Power imprudence but by Nfld Hydro's imprudence), would you agree?"

      I don't think so - I will need to digest the financial statements more closely, but I am not so sure that the cost of power from NL Hydro factors into NL Power Profit like that. Costs from NL Hydro do go dollar-dollar into revenue, but I think only an administrative financing charge goes into profit for NL Power ontop of power purchased from NL Hydro.

      I think NL Power profit is only calculated ontop of NL Power expenses - someone else know for sure??


      PF @ 14:46:
      I have no idea what you mean here?

      I would suspect Alaska/NWT/Yukon climate to be a continental climate comparable to Lab West including temperature. Iqualuit on the other hand is likely to be a Maritime climate comparable to insular NL with a mean temperature spread being colder.

      PENG2

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    8. PENG2: comment at 14:46 is by AJ.
      I was surprised 2 years ago to see considerable uptake of air source of minisplits in Alaska, as I though it was too cold. So likely much milder than like Lab West.
      As to winter peak loads in these northern locations being very high vs summer, it may not be so bad as winter heating is more likely oil based, not electric resistance heat, as on the island here.
      But the comparison of Alaska may have significance as to coastal Labrador.I believe Synapse suggests air source may have little value for Labrador, but coastal Labrador seems to have considerable portion of winter warmer than -18C, when HPs can deliver high COP, and so reduce fuel use for the diesel generators.
      Nfld Hydro not even doing a pilot study for this , I bet?
      Winston

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    9. Bruno says we don't need the Pixie Dust that Synapse is selling,and as there is o political analysis , it is a waste of money.
      I suggest that Synapse has value, and ma be fleshed our more in Phase 2.
      I suggest there is much political considerations in Synapse, so they go with modest consideration of CDM, not aggressive, and try to make a silk purse from the ear of stinky rat.
      Maybe Bruno is aware that they say solar is not beneficial due to our winter heating loads? Some may recall I offered a 500 dollar reward for an essay to show solar was of value, me suggesting it was of little value. So here Synapse and I are on the same page. So now I hold on for Bruno's attack, or rebuke, or maybe agree? Who can predict Bruno, but I'm prepared.
      Winston

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    10. Bruno says he once had a lover in St. John's who insisted that the longer anyone went to school the stunner they were. He asked me if she was right. At the same time he references engineers who wear iron rings, and that he has right to use a methapor of needing lots of Pixie Dust to sell MFs to the public. It implies that most or all engineers are stunned!

      Am I offended? Not at all. I found it amusing, and maybe Bruno has a sense of humor that is hard to detect.
      But his suggestion deserves a serious reply by engineers.
      Winston

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    11. Alaska has about 118 power systems many small villages up to 1000 people. Typical winter vs summer loads for residential is about 50 % higher in winter, as electric heat is not much used. So generally Nfld winter peak ratio is much much worse than typical Alaska
      Also wind -diesel hybrid is much used in Alaska and wind can vary from 50 to as low as 7 cent costs, with larger wind generators of 1.5 MW providing lowest costs.
      Also minisplits are uses in some locations and 90 % satisfaction, and saves significant energy but not much on peak demand based on sampling typical installations, as it seems cold climate models are often not used and studies sample what is installed, not what should be installed ( so like Take Charge, who do NOT promote cold climate models and best practices). Much of Alaska in probably closer to coastal Labrador for climate. Anchorage temperatures are just a little colder than St Johns, but lowest recorded about -40C, so on rare occasions much colder than St Johns
      WA

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    12. WA @ 18:07:

      To be fair - much of Alaskas population is on the southern coast, and as you say they do have a Maritime climate (ie lots of heat capacity in the air), but in 2012 they did rank #2 in the US on per capita energy usage. Demographically much of Alaska is Maritime in climate, geographically most is continental-arctic; good example for your minisplit usage potential.

      I also found that much of heating in new construction in the Yukon is now going toward electric heating. I suspect less minisplit potential due to climate.

      The most surprising thing in using Google, almost every region you search for has 'ALOT' of energy consumption reports in the public domain, NL has few comparison.

      To Wayne's question below, lowest St John's temp was -29.4deg in ~1870, highest was 33.4deg also around the same time.

      PENG2

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    13. Technically , by name, Nfld is not a Maritime province but an Atlantic province, if I recall. Yet we are surrounded by the ocean whereas NS and NB is not. But more important, we get significant benefit from the gulf stream, and warmer ocean than winter land temperatures, moderates our coastal towns for temperature. The ocean is always warmer than -2 C if not frozen , and this adds to benefit airsource HP operation, but can add some to frosting (but not significant as it gets colder there is less moisture in the air) Westerly winds give much colder temperatures in winter in central NS and most of NB, as compared to most of Nfld , especially to benefit Nfld around the coast where most of the population is. For this reason, Nfld has a better profile for winter temperature operation, especially the Avalon, and south coast.
      Even parts of New England can get very cold with westerly winds. The performance of Nfld various regions can be calculated but better measured, especially due to the impact of Relative humidity levels. This should have been done for Nfld and labrador, or Synapse will need to do it or estimate, which can lead to error. Generally, our climate is rather good for high performance of air source HPs, and better than most of the official Maritime provinces. Some color coded climate maps show this, and the very rare extreme cold means back up power at Holyrood would rarely be needed as to HPs exceeding temperature limits and poor efficiency.
      Even without promoting of best practices, survey has shown high satisfaction of customers.So too much of Alaska gets the maritime climate benefit , as you say.
      My suggestion to Nfld Power to do detail monitoring of perhaps 10 different style house, using best practices, and at various locations showed NO interest on their part. Would have been very useful now for Synapse, and the PUB and Consumer Advocate. I have monitored but 2 sites.
      WA

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    14. Very true Winston what you are saying, and one could wander over all of Gods creation, and compare and contrast weather and climates to see where we fit in, but the fact remains we have our own unique weather patterns, and unique power needs. I will just make one comparison and leave it at that, if you check any web sight you will see that, st. John's, is the third warmest city in Canada right behind Victoria, and Vancouver. But that distinction not only resides with St. John's but with the entire Avalon peninsula, and maybe with the Bruin peninsular, and much of the south coast, and maybe along the coast as far north as Clarenville. But if we just consider St. John's and the Avalon, that is where 50 per cent of the population resides, industry power for Val etc. Plus public buildings, most of our power needs are located on the Avalon. Has nalcor, govt. the PUB etc. ever focused on our unique power needs, mainly concentrated on the SE corner of the province, and the third warmers area in the country. Or is that beyond their mental capacity. Because if they did, I think they would adopt, hook line and sinker, the position you have put forward, as our power public policy. Heat pumps and aggressive CDM, and remove that real bump in our power needs for a couple of months of the year, where we consume almost 3 times the power as we need during the summer time, to make that curve as flat as possible. Too bad it took 13$ billion for some people to begin thinking that way, but others to never begin thinking that way, NO, not even after 13$, too set in their ways and silly thinking. NO hope for them at all says average Joe.

      Delete
    15. ICF consultants in 2015, deleted demand reduction from HPs (expected it was instructed to do so by likely Nfld Power or Nfld Power and Nfld Hydro). ZERO reduction, where likely over 300MW reduction possible from the domestic use of HPs alone is likely.
      In a note, botton of the page, and easily missed, they say what you just said, that St john's has a relative mild climate and so many would expect to stay operating, and not shut down. So they covered their ass, as a consultant, but did what the power companies wanted, to show no chart of peak demand benefit. This approach is what we see continuous with the MFs boondoggle, so to with our Conservation and Efficiency plan. Who will answer for that? Is that reasonable that ALL HPs would fail under our climate? Scandalous that this got by the PUB and the public. And even now covered up essentially. but in plain sight.
      And for Jan 4 th , a ramp up of 300 MW in the morning, was this from TVs at that hour? My 48 in TV uses 75 watts. That, I think, 300 Mw need 4 million TVs in the morning, and the heat from those reduces the heater load , so even 4 million adds almost nothing to morning peak demand.
      Who was Dunderdale tutor on the need for power?
      WA

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    16. If you google North America minimum temp zone map. you will see coastal Nfld from Corner Brook , , then down along the sout coat , all the Avalon, and up to Bonavista is zone 6 , with min avg temp from -10 to 0 F, and this the same as northern Texas and most of New Mexico!
      I think that impressed Tom Johnson, when I showed him, as to HP efficiency for Nfld , as Nfld is generally considered sub arctic, but a climate better than much of the Maritime provinces, and NE USA for large HP savings and demand reduction. Has Dept of Natural Resources plotted this, as too our wind profiles for wind generation? Or they sit on their butts all day and do nothing? Or wait and pay Synapse to do this basic work, what can be done locally? Has MUN Engineering or Geography dept even, done any of this?
      Winston

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    17. No Winston, they are not going at that b'y, what at Confd'B or MUN, no... too busy asking, "is it bad out, is she go' be shut down for a snow day", yes b'y, they got the busses taken off sure....."

      Delete
  33. Winston, if I recall correctly we hit -40 during the winter of '75, '76 or'77

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  34. My comment @11:24 was mainly to show the ramp up of 300 MW in the morning, due to mainly setback thermostats and hot water use. I said Hps could reduce that by about 180 MW to have a peak of 1440MW. That was a really big error, that Nalcor would let be.
    Consider first that if baseboard heaters were left of steady , the peak would likely be about 1520 instead of 1620, as heaters are likely cycling, instead of on 100% as when recovering from setback.
    If all domestic was Hps, and left of steady, as these are meant to do, we see this: domestic space heat was 650 MW in 2012. At COP of 2.5 as suggested by Synapse ( I have recorded a COP of 2.7 at -17C), this requires just 260MW for space heat, a reduction of 390 MW . This would have resulted in a island peak of 1520 - 390 = 1130 MW peak for -16C as recorded Jan 4.
    If we apply Hps to domestic water , and commercial space heat, it would reduce peak by more than another 130MW, so a peak of not more than 1000MW, easily handled entirely by our existing island hydro generation.
    This is what is potentially achievable, taking a decade of progressive aggressive CDM. In practice it is hard to achieve all the potential, and insulation and window and air sealing would reduce the need for maximum HP capacity.
    If those figures seem startling, given the question of "Did we need MFs power", recall PlanetNl too recently gave analysis why Holyrood would not be needed unless for emergency use. And at higher power rates we are headed for continuing demand and energy reduction, much more than Synapse suggests. Consumers are ahead of the power companies and Synapse's expectations for reductions. It can be ignored or encourage customers who so reduce loads, to use Best Practises, to maximize reductions of peak demand, the prudent thing to do,including help to avoid rotating outages.
    WA

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    1. We have been on the wrong path since the 70's in terms of Power needs Public Policy. The policy should have been to minimize the amount of power we need rather than maximize the amount of power we needed. After the days of sail there was a saying in the shipping industry that from a ship's engineers point of view that the ship only existed for one reason, to float his engines around. So all emphasis was placed on acquiring bigger and more powerful engines. Of course the real purpose of the ship was to carry profitable cargoes, including people. So our hydro engineers have been blessed with the same thinking. That the province only exist to see how many power lines it could support. And of course adopted by most of our governments as a public policy to electrify the province. To maximinize the amount of power we could use. I suspect we were not the only people that adopted that policy, maybe provinces like QC did too, as hydro power was readily available and cheap. I remember in the 70's when building my first house I was encouraged by the powers that be to go with electric heating rather than oil, as it was better and bigger and the thing of the future. So guess guys like me went whole hog, electric. It was like houses only existed for one reason, and that was to get hooked up and use as much power as possible. Not much effort put into installation or air tight windows, remember having the glass sliders, and the curtains stood out straight from windows when the wind blew. And there was a special placed reserved in each room for that electric heater, directly below the window. So that was our house building mentality. The main purpose of the house was to consume power from the hydro engineers thinking, similar to ships engineers. Think the nalcor engineers, like Stratton etc. had the same mentality, and with muskrat there was a special effort to electrify everything, just to justify we needed the power including sabotage. So as you have pointed out Winston and others, if we had adopted a public policy of minimizing the amount of power we needed and less costly power, Holyrood may have never been built. We just didn't need it, except to satisfy the silly public policy of electrifying everything in sight. And guess that public policy still exist, as ball et al are looking for new areas to consume more electric power, like when ships tie up in port to switch them over to shoreside electric power rather than using their own power from diesel fuels, etc. to the electric cars etc. as other examples. All great stuff except, by God, we are going to pay dearly for it over the next 50 years, says Joe blow.

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    2. Good perspective Joe.
      As mentioned, my Christmas reading included the Nfld whaling industry:After the Basque.
      Sealing captains like Kean made as much as 5000 dollars on a 4-6 week sealing trip, whereas ordinary swilers, like my grandfather, John Adams, made about 50 dollars.
      But for the whaling industry, ships with engines, this book shows for 1903, Job Brothers: captain $16.00 per month, plus $1.85 for a blue whale, 1.00 for a fin whale, or humpback. So captains a dime a dozen you might say. For the same ship, the HUMP, built for $25,000, the 1st engineer was paid 40.00, the second engineer, 17.00 the 1st mate 16.00, seamen 13.00. A blacksmith 32.00.
      So yes, the engine and those who knew the mechanics of it was paid more than twice that of captains.
      So too, high wages for Nalcor engineers for MF scheme, vs tradesmen on the isalnd and for rural Nfld for conservation scheme, self promotion maybe and bias by engineers?
      Not all valued the engine so much. My old man, a Master mariner, Capt E F Adam, salvaged a schooner that the Mounties were unable to sail out of Hudson Bay, as the engine was damaged. He sailed her out with a Nfld crew. Once in St John's, he loaded 3000 quintals of salt fish for Portugal market. The engine he removed, and that space he put another 300 quintals, and set sail, this in Oct , 1918, near the end of the BIG ONE WW1. Wages for engineer : Zero. Yet he was hired as a mechanical engineer for the boondoggle Port Nelson, so he knew much as to mechanical systems.
      Ships "to float around his engines" mentality, well describes the attitude you mention, and now to find uses for MFs 824 MW generators! This the mentality of Gil, ED, Danny, and many more. So too, Nfld Power, still use 10 watts per sq ft for sizing heaters, though new house need 4 watts, or 1.5 watt if with HPs. And heaters no longer needed under windows, but they use more electricity there!
      All one has to do is look at the energy saving tips on the power bill flyer: a farce and speaks to incompetence, and to mislead the consumer. A shameful thing by Nfld Power, as PENG2 will likely agree?
      Winston

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    3. When we talk of Megawatts or even one watt, we owe the term to James Watt of Scotland, a mechanical engineer who improved the steam engine, made it much more efficient, and so the basis of train transportation and the Industrial Revolution, this when Washington and the French had just expelled Britain from the USA in 1776.
      Are engineers stun asks Bruno, as Bruno's lover wondered about too much education.
      Meanwhile now we are faced with global warming, that may destroy our civilization, the result of the success of Watt's inventions, and fossil fuel burning on a gigantic scale.
      I am certain Dunderdale could not state the equation for an electrical WATT, and whether we needed even one of the 824 million of them from MFs. Nor too could ED give the equation. In Ed and Kathy we Trusted. Now Dwight wants our trust. Can Dwight state the equation for a watt?
      Watt is # 84 of the 100 Greatest people of Great Britain. Efficiency improvements made him rich and famous, and allows our modern prosperous life style.
      Bruno, if you benefit from Watt's genius, bow down to Watt, as you do to the Tesler battery man. Maybe only some engineers are stun, not all? I know of no stun engineers, some a bit lazy , maybe, some with too much bias, maybe some are corrupt, as they are only human? Steve Bruneau is not stun, is he? Nor is he a communist.
      Brunno maybe pleased to know that john Lennon ranks # 7, far ahead of Watt. Is that reasonable?
      Winston

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    4. Young Bruneau acted publicly as a "Professional Duty", to his community. A Knoble cause, in which we of the concerned citizens coalition share. Each in one's own right and capability should see contributions, however simplistic or all encompassing, helps to enlighten the grand debate, and advance Society. Let the more technically endowed deal with formulae.

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    5. Hey Winston, have you heard of the recent interest that Chinese interests have in Churchill MA? Seems they recognize the strategic importance of shipping ports and lanes through Hudsons Bay for getting there industrial needs on Canadian resources. Why not let Russian and China do us a favour in developing what your respected pappy's toil helped initiate, even if Western Canadians do not see the opportunities and benefits?

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    6. Robert, I am of the opinion that the North is already way too warm, and very detrimental as to climate change impact. Our planet will be unsuitable with less ice and more open water, already drastically changed since Bob Bartlett and Perry days.
      We have 11 years, scientists tell us, to take necessary constructive action, and our oceans is full of absorbed CO2, with little buffer left. Shipping out of Hudson Bay is one thing, but opening up the arctic for shipping and oil /gas development is suicidal likely, as changes will not be linear, science now realizes, with sudden dramatic consequences. Not a pretty picture, if you believe the science. MUN, I read does research, for oil companies, that aids the speed up of tipping points as to feedback loops.
      We engineers, have unintentionally made a fine mess for our grandchildren. You have often said the same. You, Me and Bruno seem a lonely trio, on this blog, as to the environment.
      WA

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    7. I would have to check to verify what I recently read: that the energy being trapped now in our atmosphere from CO2 already there , is equal to one atomic bomb being set off every second! Whether this was a nightmare dream, or I read it , I am pretty sure, but rather startling.
      WA

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    8. No dream. One A bomb per second is the 150 year average, ( so since Watts inventions took off) but now at between 3-6 A bombs per second.
      WA

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    9. I hope the irony is not lost on RGH and WA. The one honourable, articulate member of your fraternity of the iron(ic) ring was hounded publicly and professionally from getting in the way of the MF steamroller. Was it not sad and pathetic watching Bruneau testify?

      The fact remains the rest of the fraternity still can't do simple, back of the envelope calculations to determine MF is nothing more than a make work project from a megalomaniac with a Napoleonic complex.

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  35. Remember folks. The current Finance Minister voted for M.F...... say no more
    Complete lack of Due diligence by all MHA's who sanction it. Now we have the Liberals in power and are asleep at the wheel....
    "Greece" is the word...

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