Monday, 8 July 2019

LeBLANC’S ADVICE TO BALL AND SIX OTHER TAKEAWAYS

 The completion of testimony by Premier Dwight Ball on Friday, June 5th brought Phase II of the Muskrat Falls Inquiry to a close. His comments can easily be described as anti-climactic given the larger narrative that the Commissioner, Judge Richard LeBlanc, has heard. Yes, it was important to hear the Premier’s version of the events that led to Ed Martin’s departure as Nalcor CEO, and about the mess he faced having taken Office. But the Commissioner’s advice to the Premier at the end had far more relevance than anything Ball shared.

 It wasn’t as if the Premier had had the intestinal fortitude to let Mr. Martin grovel in front of a Judge pleading for his severance package. Or even that his lack of forthrightness leaves us doubtful how both “ratepayers” and “taxpayers” will escape Muskrat’s underestimated and misunderstood financial burden.
That said, for all its shortcomings, Phase II Witnesses offered the public — if anyone was listening — significant insight into a megaproject ill-conceived from the start and as poorly managed as one might expect from a team of cronies. We heard lots about the Astaldi Contract and the problem of constructing the Labrador Island Link, largely absent geotechnical investigation. We also heard about lost notebooks and listened to plenty of forgetfulness.
The larger narrative, however, was of a government that gave complete control of the public Treasury to Ed Martin. The Commissioner is likely to have a lot to say about the latter’s copious employment of the “commercial sensitivity” refrain, just as one hopes that he will be merciless with successive Premiers conflicted by the public interest and their own political self-interest.

Concerned about Nalcor’s lack of cooperation, EY, after having obtained evidence that the $7.65 billion project cost released in September 2015 was a fiction, suggested that the reasons given for 10 of 11 issues deemed “commercially sensitive” by Nalcor were bogus.

Indeed, if members of the public wanted to obtain a quick handle on Nalcor’s secrecy and lack of professionalism — and avoid the mind-numbingly poor recall and lack of knowledge of so many others — they might, accompanied by a large double-double, listen to the Examination of EY’s Michael Kennedy, in which he told his story of bureaucratic foot-dragging, complicity by the Oversight Committee, and the complete absence of political leadership at a very critical time.

That said, this item will not attempt to recast the 76 days of Hearings but will simply offer the most compelling takeaways from Phase II. Others may differ on the selection, but this is my take:

1. Confirmation that the Government was not informed at "Financial Close", November 2013 (when the conditions precedent were met allowing access to the Federal Loan Guarantee, at which time the Government could have paused or cancelled the project), that contract bid prices exceeded the amount budgeted by 25% or $600 million. The Bids exhausted a drastically understated Contingency Allowance and increased total project costs from $6.2B to $6.5B (plus financing) only four months after sanction! The Government and the public were not informed. At this point, Nalcor knew that the project was already suffering a delay of 6 months on a schedule given a 3% chance of succeeding by Westney, Nalcor’s Risk Consultant.  

2. Confirmation that there were no Reviews conducted of the Project Estimates. Remember how Ed Martin used to say that the estimates and the business case were solid?  

The Consulting Firm of Validation Estimating were engaged to review the cost estimates, but weren't allowed to finish the job after they raised questions about risk assessment. If any attestation to its lack of professionalism were needed, Nalcor used an out-of-context comment from Validation Estimating’s Draft Report to suggest that the estimates were “best in class”. The Firm’s Head, John Hollman, also called for a Risk Factor higher than P50, which would have raised Project Estimates at the start. No, Nalcor did not share that information either.

This testimony added to assertions that grew out of Phase I which revealed that Nalcor attempted to manipulate any negative feedback from ostensibly Independent Reports, most notably MHI (which neither assessed the Business case nor received the Westney Risk Report). The latter had recommended the inclusion of $500 million of Strategic Risk in the project estimates. 

3. There were no checks and balances on Nalcor, and no Oversight role was played by Government. Neither prior to project sanction nor afterwards did the Finance Department undertake an analysis of the financial risk to the Province of the Muskrat Falls project. The Department of Natural Resources and the Executive Council were little more than conduits for Cabinet Papers in which Nalcor was seeking one formal Approval or another. The Reports claimed by former Premier Danny Williams to have been conducted were not found at the conclusion of Phase II either. Funny that!

Corroboration of the extent to which critical government departments were left out of the Muskrat decision was heard from one Deputy of Finance during Phase I and, during Phase II, from a second Finance Deputy and the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources along with the Clerk of the Executive Council, who served principally under Premier Dunderdale.

No senior bureaucrat stands in line for a leadership award on Muskrat. Rather they exemplify precisely how, in the British Parliamentary tradition, government bureaucracies (including senior officials) are not supposed to behave. Todd Stanley, a former Deputy of Justice, described — even if with some regret — that Nalcor had become a “runaway train”.

The Oversight Committee established by Tom Marshall was completely ineffective — a fact well-known when it was struck — based upon its bureaucratic composition and lack of power; matters confirmed by the Consulting Firm EY, hired to give it guidance and to perform the investigations. It was stone-walled by Nalcor, but the Oversight Committee deferred to Nalcor anyway. They relied solely on Nalcor for their data. Nalcor edited their Reports.

Even the so-called Independent Engineer, acknowledging that his was a perfunctory role, didn't perform a deep dive on any issue. The Provincial Government, having given the Government of Canada a “Completion Guarantee” for the project, was essentially treated by Nalcor as a blank cheque.   

4. Ed Martin maintained tight rein on the release of financial information, including to the Nalcor Board of Directors and to the Provincial Government. (No evidence was given that any of Nalcor’s VPs had ever attempted to countermand Martin’s direction). Grant Thornton wrote in its Forensic Audit that Nalcor’s expenditure commitments often exceeded its own official forecasts described in the requests for the Board’s Approval for Expenditure (AFE).

Nalcor had the strangest way (more precisely described by Grant Thornton as contrary to “best practice”) of accounting for cost overruns: it didn't update its forecasts until the cost overruns were actually booked, when most (normal) companies use the results of Bids, trending of costs, and Quantitative Risk Analysis performed by Consultants, like Westney, schooled in the science.

Nalcor did not provide timely information to the Government of Canada or the Independent Engineer, either. The Inquiry heard evidence that Nalcor was threatened by the Federal Government’s lawyer that payments under the Federal Loan Guarantee (FLG) would be cut off if more timely financial information wasn't forthcoming.   

5. As reported in a June 17th Blog Post entitled Paul Davis Kept Lid on Release of Cost OverrunsPrior to 2015 General Election, EY, the Firm hired to assist the Oversight Committee, confirmed that the $7.65 billion project cost, released in September 2015, was underestimated. While Nalcor and the Oversight Committee played “footsie” over its claims of “commercial sensitivity”, going so far as to bifurcate the Report in order to isolate the ostensibly more sensitive parts, neither Report was released until after the General Election — held November 30, 2015. Undoubtedly, some partisans will think this decision astute. 

6. Stand Marshall's objective — to “Finish Strong” — is in grave doubt, and not just due to GE Alstrom’s lack of readiness with the software required to run the power capacity of Muskrat through the Labrador Island Link.

Although Stan showed up at the Inquiry regaling the Commissioner with his characteristic bluster, no one could mistake victory’s impossibility. 

No good choices survived Ed Martin, and Marshall didn’t exactly arrive at Nalcor accompanied by an international skill-set or brilliant ideas. His singular management change was to bifurcate the project. Though it was wise to give Gilbert Bennett less to do, the decision to keep Astaldi around, or any of the Project Management Team, was questionable. He had given the Italian connection an $800 million settlement in 2016, only to see the Company kicked off the site in 2018. Another arbitration of similar size is now underway threatening, in the process, the current $12.8 billion price tag for the project. “Finish Strong" may best be a boast kept within the sphere of personal training outfits like New World Fitness! 

7. As noted, the Commissioner’s advice to the Premier outweighed anything Ball had to say. While, for reasons known only to him, Stan Marshall believes that we can trust Nalcor, the Commissioner, on the other hand, is more sceptical. Though the Premier awaits a Report from the PUB on rate mitigation, the Commissioner noted that while he was not “suggesting malfeasance by anyone,” he would like to see the costs tied to the Muskrat Falls project (including maintenance and operating costs) stated by Nalcor to receive independent review.

Stated the Commissioner: “I do believe the ratepayer of the province deserves some form of oversight with regard to the calculation of those costs that are basically going to form that [guaranteed] stream of revenue” required from ratepayers.

Of course, the Commissioner didn’t need to tip his hand as to what his Report might contain. Deception on a massive scale is a theme that has permeated the Inquiry like a noxious odour. Based on the PUB’s Interim Report there is evidence that it has been far too reliant on Nalcor for its data. The PUB’s Final Report on Rate Mitigation will be worth little if this situation persists.

PUB: are you listening?

100 comments:

  1. Good summary of key eye openers so far ---- though for most naysayers, eyes have been wide open for almost a decade now.

    e.g., your statement that "The larger narrative, however, was of a government that gave complete control of the public Treasury to Ed Martin."

    As early 2012 I referred to Ed Martin as our "proxy premier", see www.vision2041.com .

    But what bugs me about this inquiry is that while much of it (not unlike the least-cost review terms of reference imposed on the PUB by the previous government) is again corralled, fenced off, by the inquiry's TOR and intentionally limited in that way by the replacement Liberal government.

    e.g., evidence will be assessed in terms of its reasonableness and the 'knowledge that was available at the time'.

    While there is considerable evidence by both expert and non-expert 'naysayers' that most all of what has been exposed (confirmed) by the inquiry, was 'known at the time' by the naysayers (and a lot of it has been submitted to the inquiry) it will never be listed as an Inquiry "Exhibit" and therefore will never be seen by the Commissioner.

    So, while the naysayers know what was "known at the time", and through numerous letters, articles, have at least since 2011 made these public ---- from the public inquiry's point of view, they have never and will never see the light of day.

    So what will Leblanc, Learmonth, and premier Ball do about that? ------ NOTHING.

    Unless, Leblanc, Ball and NDP wake up, the inquiry will give us a structured, well organized document (a new, taxpayer-paid-for, and government manipulated process and report) that can be waved around by a later government to, once again, manipulate public opinion --- that is, "that we now know what we are doing, that we will not make the same mistakes that were made with Muskrat Falls, and our next, legacy mega-project 'will be done right'.

    That is the real purpose (as evidenced by Leblanc's limited "interpretation", and application) of another purposely designed (but hidden) terms of reference.

    Fool me once .......

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    1. Maurice,"So what will Leblanc, Learmonth, and premier Ball do about that? ------ NOTHING." Remember:

      Always look on the bright side of life
      (Whistle) (What have you got to lose?
      You know, you come from nothing
      You're going back to nothing
      What have you lost? Nothing!)

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    2. I am looking on (and at times can see) the bright side, Bruno. If not, I would have no reason to be angry at what has happened, and continues to happen to unsuspecting and all too trusting fellow citizens.

      What to lose? Just 13-15 billion dollars, a yoke around our business community neck, trust in our elected officials (and public service), the loss of what would have been a tremendous benefit in 2041 from the Upper Churchill, an tremendously increased risk to our fiscal position ---- just to scratch the surface.

      And I do not believe we 'come from nothing' or that we 'go back to nothing'.

      I think it is closer to the truth to say that the province, and our children and grand children, have lost much.

      The NDP now has the opportunity and the duty to make a difference.

      Will they?

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    3. I offered darkly cynical lyrics from The Life of Brian that I should have attributed.

      Your wide eyed summary offers a clear picture of the road ahead. Unless I wildly underestimate the NDP ability they offer little hope after the circular firing squad and subsequent party disintegration after most of the caucus left town.

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    4. Yes, I got the gist of the cynicism but did not recognize where it was from.

      I too do not expect a great deal from the NDP --- they are in as a precarious position as the Liberals.

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    6. I would not depend, on the Liberals, P C's or the N D P or the feds to get us out of this mess. Sadly I have no confidence in any of them. The ratepayers, and the poor, will pay for the costly Boondogle of Muskrat falls.

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    7. PJN. Possibly expecting any and all Political Parties to right the ship in NL may not be enough. The Concerned Citizens Coalition, and some of the Posters here, was a necessary intervention to convince Ball and other Leaders, that the Inquiry into fraud and deceit was the appropriate step. Let's all contribute to a better run governance for all.

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  2. Nalcor a runnaway train? Duh............!

    No oversight by provincial government? Double duh........!

    No oversight by "oversight committee"? Duh......cubed!

    No access to timely financial information? Duh to the fourth power!

    Now that the General election is over expect a repeat of 2015. A new update to MF cost will soon be announced. Whoops!

    Marshall exposed as a "Finish Strong" blockhead? What was your first clue?? Was it his first words that he would "get her done"?

    Is the PUB listening? Is the provincial or federal government listening? Is the Opposition listening....whoops you don't have an Opposition!

    The shortcomings of MF were on the record at the JRP. Party discipline was maintained by a menacing presence of a justice lawyer, whose only role was to terrify provincial civil servants, threaten their jobs and "edit" presentations.

    Regulatory function was "truncated" and remains to this day neutered. Why was this allowed to happen?????

    The results were predictable when a strongman was allowed free reign with the treasury!

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  3. A very good summary, listing all the reasons that "We do not need Nalcor" and it must be dismantled for ever & give control of Muskrat Falls to Nfld Hydro.
    Madan Rana

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    1. That is a bit of an odd conclusion or solution, given that it was a rogue government under Williams who created a rogue CEO named Martin to disrupt NL Hydro and create Nalcor, and subsequently a series of puppet PC governments, to create the mammoth mess we now find ourselves in. It seems to me that poor governments who failed the people are the main issue and not poorly run government agencies per se.

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    2. Stan Marshall said experienced power utility people at Nfld hydro never had a voice. Have we heard any of those voices during this Inquiry? Not much.
      Winston Adams

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  4. What I don't understand is why UG is paying someone like WA for him to create activity in the blog and at the same time, does nothing to get rid of such an XXXXX as Bruno who's stupidity, vulgarity and more only drive people away.

    Well... Maybe UG is just another typical NL leader: A hater, afraid of the people with strong and valid points, surrounding himself with brainless people who can not threaten him, paying money for ruining his own value instead of developing it... Pretty common ways of doing things among NF leaders actually...

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    1. As Ed Martin wold say; 2, or 3 answers to that
      1.I am a poor man, I need the money, and my rates are low, and UG pays me by the word, so I comment often and it adds up.
      2. Someone has to counter Bruno and his Bruno battery and other silly ideas, and UG hates to censor.
      3. I offer at times to pay others to write on some topics, but no takers. So anon, have the brainy people you mention contact me, and I'll put in a good word to the Uncle. But he has the last word.

      Bruno, has entertainment value, such as calling Stan Marshall a blockhead.(Did Stan not earn about 5 million a year and a major Fortis shareholder,....some blockhead). Stan said 150 MW of hydro capacity and a few gas turbines would cost 1.1 billion.Nothing blockhead about that, and some wind, all less than 2 billion, as an alternate to MFs. To me that was very informative, and what I have been saying(plus CDM, so Stan is almost as brainy as me).......and we will soon be considering some of those options,... .but Bruno gives NO credit to Stan putting to rest the stupidity of the MFs scheme. Bruno, I suppose ,sees the big picture, and that is black and white, no grey. He is as fixated and world class as Nalcor was, but he was too saucy to get hired by them, but occasionally adds humour to this blog, with his vulgar one liners. I like him.....sometimes,...... well.....I don't hate him.....but maybe I might yet.
      I just earned another 100 bucks. And the Uncle never yet disputed a bill.
      Winston

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    2. WA @ 22:08:

      In the strictest technical sense clays doesn’t ‘usually’ liquefy – that is the reaching the load required to cause loss of internal strength and induce dilation. The more importance difference between clay and silt is particle shape, not always size – with silts being more sand like and clays being plate like. Both provide different Engineering challenges and required different solutions – thus a solution in silt subject to the potential of liquefaction wont work in clay and a silt solution wont work in a clay that is subject to strain softening.

      Having said that, there are unique differences in dealing with silt vs clay in construction – silt usually being much more difficult. I cant say the definitively Spur is safe or unsafe – I haven’t seen what I would say is the required geotechnical testing and investigations to deem it so or actually tell me what is there. The other issue I have is because clays are rare regionally, many call silts clay and try to cope incorrectly – as I said, most don’t know the difference, even technicians/Engineers without a lot of experience can have difficulty. An example of this is field testing for Atterbourghs can tell you a sample is a high plastic silt in certain conditions – in this situation more advanced testing is required to confirm what you have.


      The only other thing – why would you say SM is a major Fortis share holder, and how would you define major? Fortis being a company with $53b in assets, I find it unlikely any one person is a ‘major’ shareholder. For the sake of an argument, considering SB’s father was the founder of Fortis, wouldnt you also say his view is tainted in the same fashion by the same measurement?


      PENG2

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    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    4. wnston, etienne your favorite troll is back.

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    5. PENG2, agree that this area is technically complex, that technicians and engineers can have difficulty. I think you mean even geotechnical, so electrical such as myself of Gilbert Bennett, or mechanical, or chemical, such as Stan Marshall, have little knowledge and no experience. I did one soil mechanics course at MUN 50 years ago, and did compaction testing on Upper Churchill dykes, so I have no expertise on this. I have followed the issues somewhat on the North Spur, which causes great concern to me as to safety.
      For my household piping, 40 years ago I used type L copper from Canadian Tire, still holding strong. In recent years for commercial /institutional use we often see China low grade copper, about type M, thin wall, getting pass many engineers, but not all.
      My household water is max 50 psi. Type L has burst pressure of 2200 psi, and a factory guaranteed working pressure of 400psi, so that is a safety factor of 8. Type M was introduced in WW2 when there was a shortage of copper, so thin wall got a foot hold.
      A safety factor of 8 is very high , but copper has impurities, so weak spots that can shorten it's life.
      Concrete dams, I think can have safety factors relatively low ....maybe 1.25? With certainty of strength from concrete type and testing, and high cost of over design, relative low safety factors are ok for concrete.
      For a natural dam like the North Spur, and few test holes as to the material and testing, much seems not best practise maybe, and speculation as to safety factor.
      There are about 20 holes with pumps there for about 30 years, only some were getting significant water volumes, and these aligned with the narrowest part , I think. These now intended to monitor going forward, in hopes that any increase in water penetration will be gradual and permit emergency reservoir level dropping if needed. That plan seems inadequate if a sudden liquidification, as we see form other quick clay failures. Vibration, whether mad made or a small earthquake or other cause, may cause rapid failure. Nalcor even limits the man made vibration from equipment, such is the concern.
      That said, I assume as a geotechnical engineer you have followed intently the issues, seen all the reports and data, and feel not assured as to safety of the North Spur. I assume, unlike Ed Martin, you have not turned a "blind eye" to say "I haven't seen what I would say is the required geotechnical testing and investigations to deem it so (safe or not)or actually tell me what is there". Can you clarify that you mean is that you are indeed aware of, and reviewed the data and reports and that you consider it inadequate to conclude it is safe? Further, clarify that investigations done( despite 50 years and 30 reports, as mentioned at this Inquiry) is such that Nalcor cannot reasonably be assured what proportions and types of material is there to do proper analysis, in our opinion?
      I expect that is your position, and why you repeated say you are not satisfied it is safe. You would NOT, I take it, sign off on this as being safe. I assume you have not been denied access to technical data that could permit you more certainty of your opinion?
      Winston Adams

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    6. Bruno, was the deleted comment from Etienne, I missed it? Or you confuse him with PENG2 who you call PENGZERO?
      As to which you consider my favourite troll,please clarify? And how do you assess I show favouritism?
      PS, you made 3 errors in your 7 words. You missed 2 capitals, and the i in my name. A hard night? Not a big deal, except you are much critical of AJ for minor issues.
      Winston

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    7. Never mind Winston, prattle on!

      You seem delighted to have your troll to play with.

      Your blurt was indecipherable, zero already told you he knows shit about the spur.

      Etienne is Anonymous8 July 2019 at 21:26! you are so slow to see similarities. Try using your sliderule.

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    8. Bruno and others: EVERY SINGLE COMMENT I have left here at Uncle Gnarley's I have left under the name "Etienne". No exception. None.

      This includes the comment by Anonymous 21:26 of July 8: I did not write it and have no idea as to the identity of whoever did write it.

      Incidentally, I would never misspell "whose" as "who's". Nor would I use nouns such as 'stupidity' or 'vulgarity' to describe Bruno, or indeed any of my fellow comment writers here. I have my faults, but I do try to maintain a certain level of basic politeness.

      On that topic, incidentally, might I be so bold as to gently suggest to everyone here that minimal good manners on the part of all participants might go a long way in allowing some constructive discussion to occur?

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    9. Sure Etienne, you bit rather quickly.

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    10. And you actually accuse ME of trolling? Wow. I will leave it for other readers here to decide whether you are a woefully misunderstood master satirist or suffering from a truly extreme, nay gargantuan, lack of self-awareness. I lean towards the latter, but I cannot claim to be objective; besides, as a CFA from Quebec I suppose my opinion does not matter much anyway...

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    11. Good to see you around Etienne!!

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    12. As much as UG wishes to bury the truth, Bruno is Greg Malone. And Greg/Bruno serve as UG's Greek chorus. His/their, or whatever pronoun, role is to comment on the action of the post, give back story, and to connect the post to other myths. I don't expect this reply to last the night as UG has become humourless and dour.

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    13. I think Etienne has best yet summed up the character of Bruno. Greg Malone was a very good comedian, and I may yet read his book on Nfld, having seen only bits, but who does not recall his imitation of Barbour Frum of CBC National, when he said "are you bitter Barbour, and she cracked up laughing. Bruno is no Greg Malone.Hear he running for the Green Party. Bruno like native coal and gas, and disputes fish has preferred temperatures ranges and subject to ocean changes, so doubt Malone would fit with those ideas.
      So, Etienne's statement of Bruno's lack of self awareness seems on the mark.
      Winston

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    14. Bruno and self-awareness, sounds like an oxymoron (emphasis on the latter)?

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    15. Winston on yet another issue you have not "read the book".

      It seems funny the inverse relationship you have with knowledge about a subject and how much you blather on about said subject.

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    16. Bruno, you talk in riddles. Read the Book? The guy you recommended before, who experimented with LSD? Some folowers thought they could fly like a bird, and jumped to their death. Great book.
      I blather much about subjects I have no knowledge, and little on subjects I have much knowledge on you suggest. Give examples.
      I commented much on minisplits, from PUB presentation in 2012,to Nfld POwer Application involving CDM in 2015, up to last year doing detail monitoring.
      At the Inquiry , Stan says heatpumps are good for energy saving but not peak demand reduction. Stan is "absolutely wrong" when cold climate models are used. Ball says minisplits are good, and besides, they do operate on electricity. Rate of conversions with Ball's go forward plan is 180 years to convert all house.
      Now Bruno, for the record, Is Stan right on demand reduction? Is Ball's plan to help the low and middle income and for our climate change plan for energy use reduction, a good one?
      Is my knowledge and blather on this truthful or Stan and Ball? Show your colours Bruno. We do not forget you advocated for native cola and gas burning.
      I have blathered a little on capelin and ocean temperature, based on 10 years of monitoring. I have no knowledge on that ?
      I have blathered to counter your misguided promoting of Bruno batteries as the salvation for Nfld, and too for PV solar. When challenged, you run and hide and unable to do simple arithmetic.
      I await your answer to my questions: your course you mentioned, for yu fishery knowledge, you took, how long was it? How long ago? And did you study or do research on capelin, or on fish/ temperature relationship?
      Squeak up Bruno, to borrow AJ's style.
      Winston

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    17. A couple of things : I am not your monkey, I won't jump when you say so.
      2. I proudly " advocated for native cola" named Iron Brew bottled here in Sydney.

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    18. You, Like Ed Martin : "A couple of answers to that", but twist and turn and avoid the truth.
      If not my monkey, whose monkey? And why be a monkey at all?
      You infer you are an environmental advocate, with training and knowledge. As to fisheries, you refuse to state clearly your course duration, or details, and experience as to capelin or cod/water temperature. What are you afraid off?
      2 . You advocated for "native cold for NS, and for gas for Nfld from offshore, both GHG problems, threatening our civilisation. If not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Donald Trump does like wise, for votes of coal miners. You confirm here you "proudly" so advocate coal. Maybe Nflders should follow your logic and advocate for return of the killing of seal pups, if the market is good in China? Most of Spain now outlaws the bullfighting, but if "native" you would advocate for that too to be retained, by your twisted logic.
      I begin to think you know as little of fish science as solar panel science,or Bruno battery cost effectiveness for NFld, and you only fool people for so long. Nalcor has been exposed as not world class, so too is Bruno's environmental credentials suspect. And he says PENG2 knows "shit all" about the North Spur! I suspect he knows more than he is saying.
      Winston

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    19. 1-Ex-military Engr.: Thank you. At the same time the "quality" of discourse here is such that I do not regret my decision to radically cut back on my comments/interaction here.

      (Incidentally, I had sent you an e-mail a few months ago: did you not have the time to reply, or did you simply not receive it?)

      2-Anonymous 23:24: Err, what part of "minimal good manners" did you not understand?

      3-Winston: I think Bruno may well be Greg Malone. The latter seems blissfully unaware of the limits of his own knowledge and competence, and seems to believe (for example) that his 2012 book uncovered something which all professional historians had overlooked or hidden.

      Now, as various reviewers have noted, those true facts found in his book had been brought to light by professional historians years or decades earlier, whereas those things in the book which are original are either demonstrably untrue or unproven, as has been show by competent reviewers (see, inter alia, Jeff Webb's "Confederation as Conspiracy" and Raymond B. Blake's review).

      I am reminded of the joke of how McGill professors commit suicide ("They jump from the summit of their self-image to the summit of their actual knowledge/competence": The fall is said to always be fatal. Whether the same method of suicide would prove equally fatal to Memorial University Professors must remain a matter for further research). In like fashion "Bruno" exhibits the same kind of brash self-confidence, whatever the subject being discussed, despite lack of in-depth knowledge (or, indeed, ANY degree of knowledge) of the subject in question.

      This is a trait often found among politicians, and considering that Greg Malone is now a candidate for the Green Party and once was a candidate for the NDP, the psychological similarity between Bruno and Greg Malone is such that I see no reason to reject the possibility that both are one and the same. If they indeed are one and the same...well, when it comes to Newfoundland, he is "one that loves not wisely but too well", to misquote The Bard slightly.

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    20. My bad Etienne!

      I only monitored that temporary email for a short time.

      (I just found your msg; I'll get back to you soon)

      Sorry for that.

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    21. Etienne
      Much smoother than I, regarding Bruno, but reaching the same conclusion that he is a moron. "It was once applied to people with an IQ of 51–70, being superior in one degree to "imbecile" (IQ of 26–50) and superior in two degrees to "idiot" (IQ of 0–25)."

      UG break out your eraser.
      Anon23:24

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    22. Etienne you are living testimony to the fact that little knowledge is a dangerous thing. You know as little about Greg as you do me!

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  5. So, how is the New Minority Government doing so far? What innovative ideas around sustainable development are emerging? Economists usually say we need to capitalize on growth opportunities, to fix past planning mistakes. Why is Ches keeping his cards hidden? Anyone heard a peep from Seamus? What issues will decide the fast approaching October Vote?

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  6. A blog ideal


    Until they teach rhetoric, logic, and argument starting in elementary school we are doomed to discourses of poor articulation.

    A Tower of Babel without shared meaning is a worthy lesson few now know.

    Find a common ground. A manifesto, a belief, a Cause, define the terms and welcome all input.

    Don’t deride or dismiss, banish no ideas, root out all emotion and desire, develop clear, shared meanings, practice equanimity.

    Otherwise blah blah blah until everyone stops listening.

    Read John Heider and Lao Tzu

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  7. BTW, except for UG articles themselves, I stopped reading the comments.

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    1. Tor; I'm reading your very deep comments. Who are you rooting for at the House of Assembly?

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    2. OMG, Tor, you advocate and expect teaching philospsy (rhetoric, logic and argument) in elementary school?
      A common ground, A manifesto, belief , a Cause, and censor all critical opinion you suggest?
      So communism, facsism, environmentism, Christainity, Muslim or other... or on energy policy: hydro, solar, nuclear, coal oil or gas, or CDM or Bruno batteries.......chose one and all speak into the echo chamber. Sound very boring.
      Find a common ground, but banish no ideas.....is that not logical?
      Root our all emotion? Deny that Quebec bashing was a contributing factor to the boondoggle (I think it was minor one). Deny Bruno to call Danny Williams the Emperor? Censor AJ for his spelling maybe?
      Indeed there is blah, blab, sometimes funny, often not. Since you have stopped reading the comments, you will not see I disagree with you, nor know if anyone agrees with you.
      By the hits to UG, someone is sure reading.
      Winston

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    3. Winston; Don't forget your own "coined" Water Battery:-)
      The Avalon still has it's fair share of ponds. Is the long paid for Heart's Content hydro plant still paying for itself? How about pumping up pondage in the Southern Cove Pond, using Bruno Batteries, increasing the power etc. Can this be done at other similar small hydro facilities? When does the embargo on baseboard heating kick in, from direct executive order by the Minority Govnmt? Is solar supplement happening at Holyrood? Wind farms along the Istmus and the Burin/Bonavista peninsula? Get it on New NALCOR!!

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    4. As do I...they have become dreary and irrelevant and debase the article. Looking for a worthy comment is becoming tedious.

      Gerald

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    5. Yes Robert, I touted pumped hydro over Bruno Batteries, noting an article that said stored hydro is the world's largest battery,
      From that, if memory serves, You coined "Winston's Water Battery, which I thought was cute.
      In terms of storage, Stan's statement of more wind energy to allow water storage of existing island hydro, and then the 150MW extra capactity at Bay de Espoir, is typical of missed opportunities. 150 MW at 450 Million cost is 3 million per MW, vs 2 million per MW for gas turbines. And wind for added energy instead of fossil fuel for the gas turbines, is Green and much more cost effective.
      This is not an idea of genius, but common sense, and no one from Nalcor accountable for missing this? Is that why no one from the old guard Nfld Hydro was called to testify, and makes Stan look good now? But we now now the lowest cost did not exceed 2 billion. Stan's statement. So the real blunder is now 12.7 minus 2, so 10.7 billion, and the Inquiry ran out the clock over the 300 million issue. The Inquiry has exposed less than half of the rot and deception, me thinks.
      Winston

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    6. Is there not a Shawmont Study regarding Micro Hydro potential on the Avalon, proximity Load Centre? Phil Helwig? Others?

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    7. Yes Robert, if memory serves, about 800 MW on the island and maybe 140 sites,some in the range of 30 MW each. Most are off the Avalon. Nalcor considered only 3 for total of 78 MW, only now Nfld Hydro has added 3 more for consideration. As mentioned , we now now about 350 MW viable,including the ones adding capacity, so 4 times what Nalcor considered.
      This done about 1985 at the request of Nfld Hydro engineer George Sturge I believe, and Phil Helwig involved with Shawmont. Phil applied to be a party before this Inquiry and Leblanc tuned him down! Imagine that. So the alternatives to Muskrat has been short changed with this Inquiry, big time, most evident since Stan made the statement, or the slip, to bring it up.
      Winston

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    8. City of St john's member says we must be more Green, bu must also reap beneifts from the offshore oil. So no climate emergency there.
      VOCM question: Do we rely too heavily on offshore oil?
      79 % say yes
      18 % says no.
      Seems many are changing colors, and ripe for a Green Party as in Europe of other parts of Canada.
      Yet the govn here, all parties, are deaf and blind to the views of the population, as usual. Double Production, hey b'y. Better they check the water temperature at Middle Cove and ask the capelin what they think!
      Winston

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    9. Great opportunity Gerald...make one.

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    10. Winston; The ponds at the bottom of Nagle's Hill, which sometimes overflow. A potential thermal energy sink. Think of it. Lots of solar for 2 or 3 months, grey water heat recovery from Aquarena, Arctic Tank, Health Science, MUN, etc. Should render the need for baseboard/oil heating redundant would you not agree? Must be one or two competent MUN Mechanical Engineers to do heat loss/gains, come up with a $B project, to get some Trades a job for a couple years. Ball would look like the genius job maker, we all expect him to be. Put in a wind farm at Admiral's Green, pump the water up hill, create a monster Winston Water Battery, so to speak:-)

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    11. The more I think of it, Three Pond Barrens, with WWB has sufficient head to drive a small hydro turbine about where Frank Moores' Dog house, (Former MUN PresRes was). Combined with a Bruno Battery as backup, you could take the whole campus and Health Sciences off the grid. With some Tors deep thought you could even salinate the ponds to create a capelin fish hatchery:-)

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    12. Capelin hatchery? Cod I believe lay more than a million eggs (can that be right), and capelin 12,000?
      Cod eat their own, saw one last year with a 12 inch cod in its stomach, and often rocks and sand, but much prefer capelin.
      I have seen thousand of flat fish for weeks eating capelin eggs. A few days ago I read from Fisheries research that off Nova Scotia, capelin were eating cod fish eggs, when capelin there were plentiful and cod scare, but cod then rebounded there. Anyone ever hear of capelin eating cod fish eggs? Was new to me, but i believe it.
      I will update you Bruno,soon, on recent sea temperature information, seems not as drastic as I first thought.
      Winston

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    13. Winston you just won't take a hint that less is more, much more in your case.

      You chase away thoughtful readers with your blather. It is tedious.

      Get it???

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    14. So how come I have not chased you away? Because you are not thoughtful? You get jealous if I ignore you silly comments, or exchange comments with others more than you.
      I state many facts and figures, you avoid facts and figures,except a recent long overdue compliment about Vardy,

      MORE IS LESS; and up is down, and in is out, and black is white, and coal is clean, and gas is pure, and oil is ethical.
      And too, less is more, so your ZERO analysis on solar, batteries, North Spur, transmission risks, etc etc is maximum analysis.
      Echoes of George Orwell in the background.
      Winston

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    15. You are are tempestuous child Winston.

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    16. Tempestuous child you call me Bruno.
      As to being a child, the Good Book says that "unless you become as a little child, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. So I am working on that part,but not there yet.
      Tempestuous: it is said a good writer should never use a big word when a smaller common word would do.
      Here are common meaning of tempestuous, and I asked my wife which applies to my character.
      Violent;NO
      wild: NO
      explosive: Rare
      uncontrolled ;NO
      unrestrained : when talking, I'm blunt
      hysterical ;NO
      frantic: once in a while I goes off my head
      emotional: a bit on major stuff
      passionate: somewhat,
      intense :yes
      tempermental; Got moods, yes, example : she can't talk to me when I'm engaged with MFs issues.
      excitable : somewhat
      unpredictable: I can be
      erratic :somewhat
      hot tempered : a little bit
      quick tempered; somewhat( I do not consider myself quick tempered, but maybe, on rare occasions)
      I asked my wife which of those applied to my character, and after told her you were interested in this, and read her your comment. She was much amused.
      Now Bruno, the phrase "tempestuous child".. is there self reflection at work within you, a short coming, as mentioned by Etienne?
      Any who knows me can comment freely on the degree of my tempestuous nature, or if my wife is on the mark.
      Have someone assess you on these, I suppose one might do it from your comments on UG.
      Winston

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    17. How do you get by with a 200 word vocabulary Winston?Do you refer to your slide rule?

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    18. A person should use the tools of his trade, or would you disagree, Bruno?
      So yes, before electronic calculators, the slide rule was useful, when more accuracy than the Rule of Thumb was needed.
      At MUN, literature and arts were not my strong points. Yet old records from school show a keen interest and good marks in history, and I did well in Latin, imagine. How is your Latin, should be ti notch with Italian heritage, or am I in error?
      You are puzzled how I get by with 200 words?
      Did you not say for me that less is more, and for me much more?
      So from that logic, if I use only 100 different words, it would be much , much more.
      Or 10 words would be better still.
      Let me try. I will copy your style from your recent postings;
      Your lost, Bruno.
      You are stupid Bruno.
      You blather , Bruno
      DW is an Emperor, Bruno says.
      You're hopeless, Bruno
      Etienne is my favourite troll, says Bruno
      Not sure thoughtful readers will get insight from that approach, and prefer slide rule analysis, like minisplits for the Avalon get a COP of 2.7 @ -17C, as monitored carefully and accurately by the not so tempestuous child. Yes, a man of the slide rule culture, rather than the BS culture. How you envy the iron ring, Bruno! I might be able to get you one, from eBay, just ask.
      Winston

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    19. Boyz; There are more mature and serious conversations to be had. Stop the "Bun Fighting".

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    20. Yes.please,you are turning other people off with your silly oneupmanship foolishness.

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  8. If memory serves me correctly the 6.2 billion dollars at sanctioning in 2012 was not the same 6.2 billion on first proposal of Muskrat Falls in 2010 as the cost of the maritime link was removed from nalcor's project budgeting. The 6.2 billion was just to fool the newfoundland people into thinking the cost was just as Danny promised. In reality the project to newfoundland had jumped by 1.2 billion dollars in 2 years and not a shovel had broken any ground. People seem to forget that the reason the original loan guarantee was for 5 billion dollars was that was what Ed and Danny said it would cost us in 2010. Kathy Dunderdale being surprised that the cost of the project had jumped by 3oo million in a matter of 4 months has to be questioned. If the cost had jumped by 24% in 2 years from proposal to sanctioning she should have been aware what peril she was putting the future of the province in and stopped Muskrat falls then.

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    1. Good point, telling it like it is, even if the commissioner missed it.

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    2. Then there was the final squeeze for more power from the newly elected premier of Nova Scotia that presented an off-ramp for Dunderdale and Martin, which they ignored and proceeded to give up more bargain basement priced power to NS on the backs of NLers. It is indeed a sad tale.

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    3. The fix was in and nothing on heaven or earth was going to change that after the emperor had the MF wet dream.

      Do you recall the shit fight happened in the back rooms between Cathy D and and Little Napoleon over who was on first? She was on second!

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  9. Robert, the Shawmont report can be found at http://www.nlcpr.com/SmallHydro.php

    "Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro commissioned a study in 1986 to conduct an inventory of the potential small hydro resources and found a total of 850 MW in small hydro schemes available on the island that could be connected to the existing power grid. Of this, 172 MW supplied by 22 plants had very good cost/benefit ratios -- i.e. they would likely economical. The report was written by SHAWMONT NEWFOUNDLAND LIMITED, the same engineering firm that built the Bay d'Espoir hydroelectric power station."

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    1. Thanks again. Shawmont and others, in the 80's, aware of just how precarious the supply of off Avalon power generation was to the actual demand centre, (Holyrood), did good work and analysis for the decision makers. Single supply transmission lines were failing under ice and wind loadings, across the country. Smart minds were touting the concept of smart power grid, and distributed generation from various sources; thermal, hydro, wind, photovoltaic, etc. What seemed to be missed at the time, was the concept of load centric management. Shorter duplicate transmission lines, to small scale distributed generation points. Do you know if such studies were ever done? Is it already too late to secure benefits from such concepts, within the Avalon load centre area?

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    2. Paradise River at 8 megawatts was constructed and is now in use. Were any others on the list ever built? Being involved in the Paradise River project is part of the hydro-electric experience boasted by one of the senior members of the Muskrat project team during the inquiry, as I recall from the inquiry testimony?

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  10. UG lists the most important takeaways from Phase 2. They are all important.
    But for me, the most important was Stan figure of 2 billion for what seemed to him the lowest cost alternative. We were misled by Nalcor with their figure of 8 billion (or was it 8.4 B) for the Isolated Option. Rather than the lowest cost as the Power Act required, and also reliable power as the Power Act required, Nalcor contrived this least cost option, while omitting proper evaluation or various options or combinations.
    The current figure of MFs choice is 12.7 billion and likely to go higher,The reliability is much in doubt, as to the capability of ice loads, flashovers or other extreme events, or the software integration issue.
    The 2 billion vs 12.7 billion has gotten no attention from this Inquiry, and put forward by Stan near the end. What if had been put to the Nfld Trio, Stratton and buddies in phase 1, and have them say why it was wrong or why Stan's options not evaluated?
    Phase 2 spent weeks dealing with the 300 million, with Bernard Coffey going on and on about accuracy of 300,000 or 30,000 dollars, until Leblanc told him to move on. Even Stan said he doesn't dwell on beyond the first decimal point.
    The second biggest surprise, was Stan ignorance of heatpumps capability to reduce grid peak demand. His knowledge and experience in power utility business with this false impression is to me, astounding and incredible. Also, that the Consumer Advocate counsel nor MFCCC counsel let this misinformation to the Commissioner stand unchallenged.
    Whether by design , no energy efficiency expert was called to inform the Commissioner, though in Phase 1, such was suggested, and the Synapse Report points to past deficiencies by our power companies. Leblanc has turned a blind eye to this it seems.
    Winston Adams

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    1. It is a take or pay Muskrat contract that we have from the "some good deal bye" so why conserve power and energy more, so that Nova Scotian's can benefit, when we can burn it here and enjoy it now that we are stuck with paying for it. Base board heat is easy, low capital cost, low maintenance, so why not NLers enjoy it since we have to pay the heavy cost of it. Pay for it through taxes is the way to go and burn, burn, burn. Enjoy what you are stuck with paying for anyway.

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  11. Robert, yes, to move the conversation along;
    1. I await PENG2's reply on his North Spur concerns.....he is slow to respond.
    2. I await Bruno's confirmation of his fisheries course duration and capelin/cod research/ temperature issues.
    3. Nfld has 22 expressions of interest in the rural sites to reduce diesel fuel use, about 6 or 7, mostly larger Labrador coastal communities were excluded, and no prior consultation with locals. Even demand reduction was mentioned. Interesting this was not a consideration for the island Isolated option, and of little consideration here now. Ramea by Nalcor as to wind and hydrogen has been a failure, and low on their priority.
    Winston

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    1. All good Winston; But I get it that no definitive Study or Planning has been done to bring about the necessary Re-Engineering of our Life Support Syastems;

      https://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/yes-climate-change-can-be-beaten-by-2050-heres-how/?utm_source=UrbanAirship&utm_medium=WebNotifications&utm_campaign=MME_WN&utm_term=11-Jul-2019&utm_content=climate_crisis_averted

      Now is the time to harness our Engineering minds, and get the potential for Sustainable Development in front of the Leadership. I would suggest reengineering the whole Health Sciences/MUN campus District Energy potential is Priority One.

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    2. It seems they are instead pressing ahead with last century resistance heat to build load for MFs without even knowing if MFs will be reliable, and if so, will have barely enough for existing peak demand, and not waiting for the PUB to report on Synapse suggestions: seems no lessons learned by politicians.
      I expect the old Holyrood will be on standby for the next 20 years. Without it the Avalon has only about 200 MW of 1200 needed, and the 2-230KV west of Long Hr allows only about 700 MW over that, so 300 MW short when the DC line goes down. Stan hinted at 20 years for older units on standby.
      As to the software,Stans says Plan A for the new version and 2 pole,and hopeit works, Plan B, go back to the present version which is not good, and Plan C is shut it down altogether and sell some MFs power to HQ, and bring on some GTs and wind maybe.
      So, no time to be adding additional resistance heat loads , but the opposite.
      Maybe Nfld Power and Peter ALteen will bring some sanity to politicians? I believe he is to appear at the Inquiry Phase 3.

      Question: Leblanc mentioned the "opportunity cost" of power and cost of the ML to NS. I hear Leblanc also has an accounting degree, so good with numbers. Essentially we are financing the 1.6 B ML indirectly with zero cost power for 35 years. This promoted by Nalcor as wise least water be spilled, and they assumed no "opportunity" to use it on the island.
      Yet this energy, as I see it, could have been used for transportation electricification for Nflders, so the gift to NS is like giving Nflders free electricity for 35 years to power electric cars and trucks, and that could have create a rapid uptake, with 5 rates for that.
      I wonder if Dave Vardy or Planet NL would do the comparative analysis as to this power going to NS for free vs to Nfld for transportation? EV growth now would be hindered by our peak demand situation, with commitments to NS.
      Seems to me that Ed Martin and Nalcor short changed us on EV uptake and our ability to cut GHGs there, so blunders are accumulative.
      Winston

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    3. The VOCM poll shows 61 % have various degrees of interest in buying an EV while 39 % has no interest. That is a surprising figure.
      Menawhile our opportunity for low power rates for EVs has been largely sacrificed to NS as free power.
      Meanwhile Ball continues to promote GHS reductions,(rather than GHS reductions here with EVs), not for NFld but for for NB if we can transmit our hydro power there to reduce coal burning. Dunderdales approach for NS helped give us the boondoggle, with no business case for exports, now Ball wants to add to that with a similar no business case for NB!
      So Ball is similar to Ed Martin it seems.
      Winston

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    4. Winston, the knock off for the Belledune Coal Fired Generator in Northern NB, is just a stone's throw from the Quebec border. The Spiteful Southern NB Anglos, similar in mindset to the Spiteful, how can we screw Quebec, NL Anglos, have so far denied the more efficient and environmentally preferred solution. Those who have rejected the concept of an Atlantic Smart Grid with such prejudice, are obstacles to progress. I believe it was Kirkegaard who said "Everybody wants progress, but nobody wants to change".

      Delete
    5. You are right, a shameful situation that HQ is not seen as the solution to reducing coal fired generation in NS and NB.
      Kenya in Africa is more advanced and progressive with stopping an approved coal fired 950 MW plant there just recently, due to environmental protests and a USA consultant report that essentially deemed it a boondoggle like MFs as to eventual cost and power rates
      Cost of 2 B would 9 B, and rates 75 cents(all in) per kwh not 7.5 cents.
      Winston

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  12. So Ball has completed his knowledge of Muskrat Falls (so misleading, basically perjury which is punishable by law). He's looking out for the tax payers and rate payers of our Province. He didn't mention that he has brought in a consultant or friend that now oversees the going ons of Nalcors' oil and gas division. He has him setup with all the amenities (on the backs of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians and flies him back and forth again billed to the tax payers) to the Netherlands. Opps Ball you forgot to mention all this. And as the Government gets ready to take Oil and Gas from Nalcor the process of people moves under the table has begun so that when the gigantic layoffs at Nalcor begin friends are taken care of. When will all this behind closed door BS stop.Can't we get some honesty instead of the down right lies being told by Ball. Where the heck is Ches Crosbie, there for the people? And where's Gilbert? Still in hiding? Another bonus this year? What a joke!

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    1. How about Rodger Grimes as the new chair of the CNLOPB? Was that the arena he was to be kicked out of, for badmouthing someone's brother, that they I saw they interviewed him in on NTV news last night? How about all that for cronyism at its best in NL.

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    2. Saw that as well last night. Do you think Ball and Grimes are buddies? What does he add as the new chair? I think that might be a paid position, double dipping comes to mind. These Governments are all jokes, time for people to stand up and challenge these poor excuses for politicians.

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    3. In 2010, then premier Williams offered Elizabeth Mathews the position of co-chair of the CNLOPB but this was apparently foiled by Dunderdale shortly afterwards. Oh yes, political patronage is as alive and well as ever in NL and no political party is either immune or innocent.

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    4. Question for Winston or Bruno, do you think that nepotism begins at home? Some people believe it does?

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  13. CAPELIN FEVER: PART 1
    Anyone from Nfld over 35 years old who do not get a bit of capelin fever this time of year, must be a Townie, born and bred. Many younger Baymen have seen few capelin since the fisheries collapse. Those of my age remember the horse and carts on the beach in mid June, loading brinbags full to be carted a mile or more away for fertiliser for the potatoes. For me, Bryants's Cove was a major capelin beach and accessable.
    From ecapelin I see a week ago about 30 sites in Quebec where capelin were rolling, starteding in May and throughout June, and then only 4 sites in Nfld. Now we have have matched the Quebec sightings of 30, and many more reported on capelin calander for Nfld.
    From Capelin Calander:
    July 10, Maureen : Anxiously awaiting the capelin for Middle Cove
    July 10 6PM, Lily: capelin rolling at Pouch Cove
    July 10 1 PM Bobhettie: Capelin rolling at Bryants Cove
    July 11 9am Josh: Capelin rolling at Holyrood.
    July 11 Cherlyn Stanley : Capelin rolling at Middle Cove, much bigger than last year.
    July 12 6am, Scott: Nothing at Middle Cove. Not a capelin in sight.
    July 12 9;40 Am Dudley : Capelin rolling like "Stones" in Tarbay"!!!, W000000. (For CFAs, Tarbay is actually Torbay")

    Safe to say, capelin have arrived, none of those sightings are posted on ecapelin. For Hydro Power and hydro power engineering, HQ puts Nalcor to shame. But for capelin, Nfld was king, and maybe still is.
    Winston Adams

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    1. CAPELIN FEVER : PART2
      Yesterday, July 11 at 7pm, I was considering driving to Bryant's Cove to measure the sea temperature. I had heard a report that capelin had arrived there the day before. It was overcast, cool (55 F) and damp, capelin weather one might expect in June, rather than July. I thought it might rain, so decided to look over the bay from my cottage here at Quilty's Cove, on Bishop's Cove Shore.
      What a surprise! From here I see an occasional commercial fishing boat go by. But behold, what a sight! A few hundred feet off shore, I counter 13 boats, I estimate 65 footers, most making circles laying out their nets, seines maybe, about 250 ft diameter. Each was assisted by a smaller boat, about 20 ft long, with a single fisherman in these Others boats were just arriving, pulling the smaller boat behind.
      I managed to get 2 minutes of video, wondering if I would ever see such a sight again. My location is 75 ft above sea level. I soon learned from Les Mercer, whose house is 400 feet above sea level, that he counted 17 boats gathered off Upper Island Cove, 1/2 mile east of me, some had loaded and left, the others now off my cottage.
      It seemed as if the capelin gods must have directed all the capelin in Conception Bay to this shore. I watched for an hour, many of the boats now lower in the water, and some boats still moving westward towards Spaniard's Bay.
      Soon after Glen Jones, half a mile west of me posted video on Facebook, saying : One guy said the school of capelin was 3/4 of a mile wide by 1.5 miles long. I assume this came from fishermen who could see these with their sensors.
      My experience in a small boat was to see a school about 100 ft, but at times near beaches, schools were several hundred feet long. Is a school of capelin 1.5 miles long likely? How may million capelin was that?

      I got my thermometer and went to the Stage Rock at Quilty's Cove, and threw the sensor into the ocean. There the water is about 8 feet deep. I watched as the temperature dropped and stabilised. It read 50.3 F. The capelin arrived, right on time it seemed. Bruno would be pleased to know.
      Of interest, all these other sights, mentioned in Part 1 for July 10th and 11th, are at the same latitude, but was the temperature similar?
      Winston Adams

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    2. With that kind of thermal source, a little thermodynamics would heat and energize the Avalon, from the Bay. Oh for some Ray Guy wisdom from "that far greater Bay":-)

      Delete
    3. We Have at least one building in St John's using the harbour seawater for the heat pump for the building. It can typical reduce electricity energy for heating by about 2/3.
      This contributes to reducing grid peak demand as well.
      Tom Careen's letter in the Telegram is not approving of Stan who he says Stan is supposed to know everything about electricity. At the Inquiry Stan says heatpumps will not reduce peak load. That statement at the Inquiry is not from the Rule of Thumb, but the Rule of Dumb. And I do not think Stan is dumb. Or else intentionally to mislead as to CDM capability.
      Not even admirer PENG2 would support Stan Marshall on that statement, would he?
      Winston

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  14. CAPELIN FEVER PART3
    On June 26 I measured the sea temperature at Middle Cove, it read 56.7F. This was most unusual, if not alarming. On the 28th I checked it again, it was 57.2F. This was much much waremr than I expected, and out of sync with my research monitoring from 1999 to 2009. I speculated that the Gulf Stream had made a temporary change toward the Avalon, and it would reset. If this the cause, then I speculated that Conception Bay would be still less than 50 F, due to the colder Labrador current. On the 28th I headed to my cottage, at Bishop's Cove, Conception Bay, for a 2 week stay, with the same thermometer in my pocket. On July 1st I checked the sea temperature there, it was 57.9, warmer than Middle Cove. Oh my....what was going on? I posted on UG without giving the temperatures, but expressed concern, that my past research may now not be holding up: that my hypothesis that capelin could be expected to roll on our beaches once the water warmed to 50F. But this now was a single incident that was not fitting the pattern I had seen.
    So, in jumped our fishery expert, BM with his opinions. Our BM resides in Cape Breton, and claims to have taken a course in fisheries, but refuses to say how long, or if he specifically studied or did research on cod or capelin. When asked about his expertise, he replied " I'm not your monkey." He totally discredited my hypothesis that the late arrival of capelin, and decline in stock and smaller size is related to cooling sea temperatures around Nfld from the Labrador current, and also was a component of the cause of the cod collapse, a result of climate change affecting our ocean. Such an idea was a "brain fart", BM stated. Any relationship between sea temperature and fish abundance was wrong he said, and would take about 400 years of moitoring to detect any change, that 10 year monitoring was meaningless. The Oracle of Cape Breton had spoken.
    This difference resulted in a tit for tat of insults, from which BM was the clear winner, having world class expertise in that field.
    But what of the very unusual warm water, which should not be seen until late July?
    It was July 9th before I cast doubts on my thermometer. My dependable thermometer of good accuracy, after 10 year use,had a defective probe, so I used another I had, a cheap low quality one, that I thought would be not off by more than 1 or 2 degrees. I had done no calibration check.
    When I did this,on July 9th, I found the cheap thermometer was off 10.4 F. Instead of Middle Cove being 56.7 on June 26th, it would have been 46.9 F.
    On July 11 I used another better thermometer, calibrated it, and got 50.3 F, just as the capelin arrived, rolling on many beaches. My boo boo, but in the end, the proper reading reconfirms the 10 year monitoring results.
    Out of character for me to make this mistake, but why?
    AN MRI showed a 3/4 inch cyst on my brain 3 years ago, but likely benign. Follow up was recommended, but I didn't. A small reduction in the grey matter had also been detected, but considered normal for my age. Then there was the stress of the MF Inquiry, day in, day out, hearing no one did nothing wrong, especially Gilbert Bennett, and then the disappointment of Stan Marshall. So, borderline state of shock, I suspect. It knocked me off kilter. For Pete's sake, the wind coming off the water at Middle Cove was only 11C,....how could I miss the clues to put trust in that crappy thermometer, even the probe sensor covering was half missing. Stunned I was. That damn Inquiry is taking a toll.
    Winston Adams

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  15. Battery storage projects are taking off in the US, with a substantial leap expected in the coming years, as the country could triple its utility-scale battery storage power operating capacity by 2023.


    https://electrek.co/2019/07/12/us-battery-capacity-triple-2023/

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  16. You say that Stan Marshall was underqualified for the job he was given and perhaps so but we have to stop the practice of hiring political has-beens and other underqualified people and friends of politicians to important public institutions and businesses. Ed Martin and Gilbert Bennett to run and grow NL Hydro into Nalcor, give us a break. Look how that turned out for us with the Muskrat fiasco. A Nalcor board under-qualified and incompetent to boot. They deserved the pay they got and that is nothing. Rodger Grimes for the chair of the CNLOPB, give us a break again. That is a paid position and there must be people with some qualifications and even better qualifications available to take it on.

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    1. BM, 3 times zero is zero. Battery storage is not zero, but very small.

      Anon @ 17:59: Stan is highly qualified, but who is dumbest? BM to say fish abundance is not related to ocean temperature, or Stan to say heatpumps do not reduce grid peak demand. Both are dumb statements. BM is expected , but Stan,.... has he been misled or wishes to mislead?
      Winston

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    2. https://electrek.co/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/07/usbatterystoragecapacity.jpg

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    3. Tired at looking at your sites that show very little battery storage capacity, so don't bother anymore. Get real and wake me when it has meaningful impact.
      WA

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    4. 2400 MB in 2021 equals 0 ???

      860 MB maybe in 2021 MF equals minus 1540 MB

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    5. What is MB, except BM is reverse? One BM is one too many.
      Winston

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  17. CAPELIN FEVER PART 4:
    Year 1 monitoring, in 1999 was misleading: I located a few capelin well up in August in Spaniard's Bay, not really rolling, and temperature about 41 F. By that time sea temperature should be about 60F or better, and it could give the impression capelin preferred approximately 41 F temperature. Subsequent years and more data pointed toward 50 F preferential, and plotting on charts confirmed it. About 2007 I came across NS research data on Nfld capelin.......get this, done about 1878,( and we not then part of Canada, but the fishery was important in NS, and they did research in Nfld. It mentioned that development of capelin eggs was best at about 50 F sea temperature. I do not recall the month of their research, but mostly likely in June, since June was capelin season for 400 years and longer. It seems my 10 years of monitoring jives with what they observed way back as ideal for capelin reproduction, as to ocean temperature.
    It was not my initial intent, but after about 5 years, wondered if one could predict in advance the rolling of capelin, from the data collected.
    Here is what I found: when the temperature in the spring increases to 32.2 F, add 73 days, and the capelin should roll ( this from memory, as my records are not at my cottage here).
    What accuracy using this? Of 5 year plotted, worst was 7 day off, best was spot on, typical was 2-3 days off. I thought this might be useful also for fishermen and plants who gear up for capelin. But most for monitoring climate change effects, and changes to ocean temperature and impact on fish management.

    Meanwhile, when last was capelin discussed in the HOA by politicians? I see that in Quebec 70 million has been spent on improving beach conditions for capelin spawning. If 70,000 per beach , this would be 1000 beaches funded by the feds I assume. In Nfld I have heard of 1 beach only being funded. Are none of our members seeking such funding? Neglect of the fishery in general in Nfld, as in Joey's day, and for 400 years.
    BM, from Cape Breton, likely is impressed with my capelin timing formula? Others might test and duplicate the data to test reliability, but that was my results.
    Winston Adams

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  18. Thanks BM for your thoughtful comments on sea temperature and capelin/cod
    1. I found a site giving surface sea temperature at 17 sites around Nfld, from NOAA satellite data, didn't know it existed. One near me at Bay Roberts shows today 51.3 F ( I measures 50.3 here a couple of days ago).
    Only one site for Quebec showing June avg at 49.6 F, seems to jive with capelin in Quebec a month before Nfld, as we are only reaching that temp in near mid July.
    Also found research data on cod and lobster,Maine USA, a big correlation with sea temperature and amount of fish, saying temperature can impact as much as commercial fishing impact, and they move if temperature is unfavourable ( run away if you want to say it that way).
    Guess the 8 scientists doing the research there all have brain farts too. So squeak up if you still hold your wrong opinion.
    Do you want the links?
    Winston

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  19. Since it is as we call it "caplin weather" I will relate my observed offshore Caplin catches mainly from the late seventies and early eighties. That would be around the time when Canada proclaimed control over its 200 mile economic zone in January 1977. My observations are not based on science, stasticts or government publications, so one may consider it somewhat antidotal but certainly by my own personal experience and observations and recorded only in my mind of almost 40 years now. Caplin at that time was considered by all fisheries authorities as an unregulated species off shore nl mainly, meaning no quotes were set and the catch had no regulations but just depended on the economic viability of the catch, mainly European countries and the USSR as it was called then. So commonally referred to as free for all. Fishing for Caplin was a 9 month operation that occurred intensely for at least a decade. The USSR was by far the best equipped and intensive fishin, followed by the Polish, East Germany, and a couple other countries and the Japaneese. The Japaneese and a couple other countries fished Caplin mainly for human consumption, but the Russians, Polish, and E. Germans fished mainly to turn the product into " fish meal". Which as you know is fodder for cattle, poultry, hogs and other farm animals. So you might say using protein to produce protein for human consumption. I will confine my comments mainly to the USSR since there fishing efforts were much larger than all the other countries combined. May be running out of space so will hit publish and then continue with part 2. Average Joe.

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  20. Yes, the USSR commenced their fishing activities for Caplin off Cape Bonvusta in early March of each year, near the edge of the south bound ice edge. And they followed the Caplin masses southwards to the southern edge of the Grand Banks, or tail and nose of the banks as it was called. They completed this harvest in Septerber of each year. So a concentrated fishery for around six months. Then the fleet reappeared in September on the Hamilton banks off Labrador. They continued the similar concentrated fishery southwards to just north of Cape Bonavista by late December or early January where they returned home to Russia for a break, repair and getting ready for the next years fishery that would commence again in late March of the following year of Cape Bonavista to repeat the cycle again. Now what was the fishing effort, the fleet consisted of anywhere between a couple dozen and fifty factory fishery trawlers depending on the time of year and the availability of a good catch. As they caught the Caplin, cooked, packaged and prepared for market the finished product other Russian cargo vessels tied up alongside them to transfer the boxes etc . To be brought back to Russian ports. Yes, quite the nine month operation. These Factory fishery production and freezer trawlers measured around 60-80 meters in length, fished day and night, 7 days a week. Their tow, or net showed a bag of Caplin almost as long as the vessel itself when surfaced and taken in through the stern ramp. After observing this month in and mount out and year in and year out the only conclusion one could come to was, " the ocean was full of Caplin". But as we know that was not the case, as Caplin stocks were depleated and the cod stocks followed shortly after. The maximum Caplin fishery was in the late seventies and the cod moratorium followed a decade or so later in 1992. As for Caplin spawning or what we call rolling on the beaches, I believe Caplin also spawned offshore, especially on the SE shores, 150 miles east of St. John's in depths of 5 to 15 meters of water. And maybe also on the tail of the banks of 30 to 40 meters of water, but will leave that to the scientific community to deny or confirm. Yes, my observations and memory from the seventies says average Joe. I did check on line and that's when maximum world catches of Caplin peaked, I think at around 400 thousand tons. Would assume Russian catches were more or less estimated in the recording of that data.

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    1. Rechecked on line and seems like the global catch of Caplin peaked in the late seventies at 4 million tons and not 400 thousand metric tons, as I mentioned above. Average Joe.

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    2. Your comments are important, and I recall reading a little of the Russian activity.
      I read a lont this past few days of timing of overfishing for cod and capelin and record cold water from the Labrador current about 1990, so a double wammy. Most of the world's oceans are heating up, but that was at a record cold.
      BM is rather silent. What did he study that he is ashamed to tell us?
      Winston

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