Monday, 2 September 2019

WHEN YOU THINK MUSKRAT, DO YOU BELIEVE “NEVER AGAIN”?

There are a few matters that need to be discussed before the details of the Muskrat Falls debacle test the patience of readers (as if they haven’t already).

Reflections on the past year, as the Inquiry examined a bevy of politicians, bureaucrats and consultants, leads essentially to a single question: how did so many people in positions of responsibility exclude themselves from common ethical norms and processes, as well as the “best practices” of their professions, affording themselves engagement in a lengthy, complicated, and costly plan of deception to achieve the sanction of such a reckless, state-sponsored project?

The question is only partly addressed here; the lengthy and diverse evidence supporting the mostly likely thesis — better coming from the Inquiry Commissioner anyway — would test most anyone’s patience. Still, the likelihood of Muskrat’s repeat is high. If the next one is not on that scale of “crazy” it is only because no one is foolish enough to lend us the money — not because the current political leadership is any less reckless. 

In this context, it is well worth reading from a Presentation to the Commission of Inquiry by Consultant, Dr. Bent Flyvbjerg, who has studied the successes and failures of megaprojects globally. The academic and lead writer of the Presentation categorised the factors that gave rise to their birth and applied his research to explaining why so many projects that should have been “stillborn” received the enthusiastic support of their boosters, leaving one purse or another far poorer.


Flyvbjerg’s thesis of “strategic misrepresentation or political bias” (at P - 00004, p 17) is a quite suitable ascription for the rationale that licensed, in Stan Marshall lexicon, the Muskrat “boondoggle”. It fits with the facts as the Inquiry heard them, not just once but on multiple occasions. After all, the Inquiry dealt with a multiplicity of forecasts and conclusions — comprising a litany of contrivances neatly presented by Nalcor as if they constituted a serious business case for the project. The explanation defined by Flyvbjerg is given context in this quote from his Presentation:

“… forecasters and planners deliberately and strategically overestimate benefits and underestimate cost and schedule in order to increase the likelihood that it is their projects, and not the competition's, that gain approval and funding.

“According to this explanation, actors purposely spin scenarios of success and gloss over the potential for failure. This results in managers promoting ventures that are unlikely to come in on budget or on time, or to deliver the promised benefits.

“Political bias can be traced to political and organizational pressures, for instance competition for scarce funds or jockeying for position, and to lack of incentive alignment.

“The key problem that leads to political bias is a lack of accountability for the parties involved in project development and implementation:

“(1) Because of the time frames that apply to major project development and implementation, politicians involved in producing overoptimistic forecasts of project viability in order to have projects approved are often not in office when actual viability can be calculated.

“(2) Special interest groups can promote projects at no cost or risk to themselves. Others will be financing the projects, and often taxpayers’ money is behind them, including in the form of sovereign guarantees. This encourages rent-seeking behavior for special interest groups.

“(3) Contractors, who are an interest group in its own right, are eager to have their proposals accepted during tendering. Contractual penalties for producing over-optimistic tenders are often low compared to the potential profits involved. Therefore, costs and risks are also often underestimated in tenders. The result is that real costs and real risks often do not surface until construction is well under way.

“Explanations of cost and schedule overruns in terms of political bias account well for the systematic underestimation of costs and schedule found in the data. A politically biased estimate of costs would be low, resulting in cost overrun, a politically biased estimate of schedule would be short, resulting in delays.

“Optimism bias and political bias are both deception, but where the latter is deliberate, the former is not.”

Flyvbjerg makes a very fine point in characterizing the difference between “optimism bias” and “political bias” in the context of its deliberateness. Still it is one, I suspect, that will not challenge the Commissioner’s analytical skills too deeply, especially considering the frequency with which the “best practices” claimed by both Nalcor and the Government were ignored. 
                                                 ________________________________

             “The Problem Is Not Error, It’s Bias. Biases do not                              cancel out, like error; biases compound!”                                                        – Dr. Brent Flygvberg
                                                ________________________________

Interestingly, too, if anyone works through all the occasions when bias influenced the rosy predictions (fulfilling Flyvbjerg’s first criterion of deception) of the politicians and Nalcor senior bureaucrats, is that another conclusion is warranted: it is that the Muskrat Falls project was “predetermined”. This is an important issue for which the evidence is substantial and, in the view of this observer, in alignment with Flyvbjerg’s thesis.

In addition, and by implication, “predetermination” placed all alternatives to Muskrat outside the ambit of objective inclusion. Readers will recall that Nalcor gave Muskrat a Cumulative Present Worth (CPW) that exceeded the “Isolated Island” option by $2.4 billion. “Predetermination” of the Muskrat outcome makes that “lie” palpably maddening!

The idea of “predetermination” has at least one other linkage. The authority given Nalcor by the Williams’ Administration to build a megaproject, in alignment with their Plan for an “energy warehouse”, enabled skirting of even the “normal” processes of government review and oversight.

The megaproject mandate essentially came cloaked with an authority akin one taken by a “rogue” regime. Consider, for instance, the idea that the CEO could arbitrarily decide what information could be kept secret merely having classified it “commercially sensitive” — which often exhibited a standard of disclosure far below that held by public companies on the European and North American Stock Exchanges. Such secrecy having been “legitimized” in legislation, it is not surprising that Nalcor’s wanton behaviours include even the ill-treatment of its Board of Directors (even if they were unable or too partisan to recognize the fact), and the failure to inform politicians of critical project cost data.

This enabling afforded Nalcor the opportunity to engage in “practiced” deception, considering the number of occasions and the many forms in which it was employed. It is important to understand that, on the government’s side, the enabling and the de facto (if not overt) nods of approvals of its tactics permitted a style of Corporate behaviour that also became “legitimized”.

It came as no surprise that in the Final Summation of Edmund Martin, the former CEO, laid claim to such authority. His Summation in detail is beyond the scope of this piece but suffice to say whether Martin’s argument is even coherent belies the expectation of a professionally-run and ethical Corporation. Nalcor might, at least, have covered off the content of the briefings and decisions obtained from the Government, with a paper trail — which it did not.

The Commission of Inquiry turned up multiple examples of both “predetermination” of the project and “deception” of the government, but more especially the public.

Public concern over Muskrat long ago shifted to the ‘bread and butter’ issue of “rate mitigation”. That is understandable. But, as did the Tories, the Liberals under Dwight Ball continue to use hundreds of millions of dollars of public money (the Bay du Nord equity stake) for investments, though they bring no experience to the table in the assessment of the risk against which this money is put. There is only the hope that, if an investment is good for major oil companies it is good for the province, too.

Often not even aware of the risk/reward fundamental or having assessed the downside from a policy perspective, Government delivers these investments to the public as a “fait accompli”. The public’s contribution is their nod to blind faith that the politicians know what they are doing.

Is the horror of Muskrat the last such example? Not if “optimism”, rather than fact-based analysis, is allowed to drive public policy.
                                                  ______________________

P.S. In bringing to a conclusion an appraisal of some of the evidence which the Commission heard during the past year, I will add a post that will chronicle some of the evidence confirming the Flyvbjerg assertions of “optimism bias” as well as evidence that underpins the suggestion of Muskrat’s certain sanction — “predetermination” — any other option having been set up for rejection.

Finally, I want to address the question of penalties that ought to be meted out to the “culprits” most responsible for saddling the province with the Muskrat debacle.


134 comments:

  1. I look forward to your post on the penalties that ought to be melted out to the culprits although we both know nothing will ever happen.
    At least $33 million of taxpayer money for an Inquiry that will say Nalcor leadership inexperienced and more govt oversight was necessary.
    Is that worth $33 million? Call it what it was - a protracted negative ad campain to make the PCs look bad going into a general election compared to the do-nothing Ball govt that should have stopped the project.

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    1. As useless as the inquiry is the 33 million is a drop in the bucket compared to 15 billion wasted on the Churchill!

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    2. A great example of a person blinded by political bias, which is the primirary reason we are in the muskrat mess. Also a great example of penny wise and pound foolish. Want to emphasize the spending of $33 million of tax payers money, but hush hush the spending of $15 billion plus that we don't have.

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  2. “strategic misrepresentation or political bias” something to always keep in mind when listen to politicians and CEOs, especially with a federal election coming up.

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  3. It will never happen again, because there's nothing left to squander. We destroyed the fishery, we destroyed the forests (we even tried to sell what was left to make pellets, every where else such things are made of waste; which sums up our perspective perfectly, our forests are "waste"), we acted like babes in the woods and lost control of one of the world's major hydro electrical facilities, we have now blown all the offshore money. We have nothing left, unless perhaps we dig up the very "rock" and ship it off to make buildings/roads/infrastructure that we are too stunned to make for ourselves. Declining population with increasing ill old people only seals our fate. The only thing we have to watch now is what will the psychopathic liars that constitute our political class give away to keep the lights on a little longer. We are like the little match girl and our little flame will soon be extinguished.

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    1. Unfortunately I have to agree with you. We are far deeper in the hole than we were in 2014 when oil crashed. The Liberals have had this plan to reduce the size of government through attrition. I have never understood how this could be done, as with the population aging, won't the needs for services increase? We can also see the public sector unions gearing up for a strike with dry run of picket lines at Confederation Building. They will be coming with demands for increases in the next labor negotiation, even though the provinces finances are shot. You can't get blood out of a turnip but that won't matter to the dummies who run the public sector unions. The reality is the size of government will either be reduced voluntarily or our finances will dictate eventually that it happen anyway. If cuts are left until there is no option but to cut because the province becomes insolvent, the cuts will likely be massive. It is delusional to think that you can keep going to the well for more when the water is running out. NL has become a place where nobody cares about the collective health of the province and it is every man for himself.

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    2. Yes, have to agree with both of you. But seems you want to place the blame on the little guy, making 15 or 20 bucks an hour just to survive. Imagine if we had what was squandered on those world class experts of all descriptions at 500 bucks an hour and more, for several years, the well would not be dry. But the well is like the north spur, all for naught.

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    3. Not blaming the little guy for anything. Problem comes about when you have almost 50,000 little guys demanding job continuity and soon pay raises on the back of the tiny and fragile tax base in NL. If you use your $20/hr rate, which is way understated, then this becomes a $1,000,000/hr. The big revenues of the oil boom are behind and this burden is way beyond anything we can afford at this point. Just like a household that experiences a reduction in income, cuts have been made to keep your finances stable. The heavy taxes and fees associated with living here are not even enough to pay governments' bills, as government continues to borrow at an alarming rate to make up the shortfall in tax revenue. Eventually, the economy will tank and the private sector will collapse and then it all comes unraveled because the tax base has been destroyed. We all saw the massive jump in business bankruptcies this year, so the destruction of our private sector is well underway, further increasing unemployment and further diminishing the tax base. It's not about blame but rather about realities. We can keep our head up our arse like we did in the run up to MF or we can deal with reality and develop a practical plan to improve our situation. Unlikely to happen though because NL politicians are clueless and weak. So we will likely continue our trek toward financial disaster rather than do what's needed to save the ship.

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    4. There is more to squander. Newfoundland politicians can sign 50 year contracts for billions in public private partnership (P3) deals for roads, hospitals and schools. Newfoundland won't be paying it back because we will be insolvent. All Canadians will be stuck with the bill.

      It isn't just Newfoundland where amoral psychopaths are wreaking havoc -- it is world wide problem. It is a major failing of the human race - the willingness to be ruled by a small group of psychopaths.

      As George Orwell said in his book 1984, “But the proles (common people), if only they could somehow become conscious of their own strength, would have no need to conspire. They needed only to rise up and shake themselves like a horse shaking off flies. If they chose they could blow the Party (Lib/PC/NDP and the Oligarchy they serve) to pieces tomorrow morning. Surely sooner or later it must occur to them to do it? And yet-!”

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  4. Optimism bias here is a negative force leading to bad results. This seems in contrast to one's personal outlook of being optimistic, which studies show can add 10 % to a man's life and 20% for a woman.
    Consider Danny Williams and Ed Martin. Danny values MFs project at somewhere shy of 100 billion. He is critical of "negativity" of the MFs naysayers. So too with Ed Martin, who puts high value of the 50 to 100 year assessment, ignoring the 726 million a year now needed with falling electricity sales.
    Can it be these optimistic chaps will live 10 % longer?
    Where is the justice in that? Or is their optimism a fake, a marketing tool,subject yet to Leblanc's pen, and the negative impact of this project on our economy, and perhaps even on Galway? The sick, the poor and middle class will need more on rate mitigation that can be offset by 3 cent teabags.
    Winston?

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  5. This is a Rogue corrupt political regime.

    Ill-treatment of its hack Board of Directors

    Nalcor engaged in “practiced” deception

    The nods of approvals of its tactics permitted a style of Corporate behaviour that also became “legitimized”.

    Corporate ethics that allowed with a paper trail paucity.

    The “predetermination” of the project and “deception” of the government, but more especially the public.

    This can all be summed up by saying your government is CORRUPT! Why is that so hard to say when the evidence is overwhelming? MF is a testament to GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION! It is such a relief speaking truth to the corrupt political system you inhabit. Why can't you and all concerned residents of NL speak this obvious truth?

    The truth will set you free!

    Screw optimism bias, it is corruption pure and simple that MF is the product of! Corrupt Premiers all, Conservative and Liberal alike, with an impotent third party unable to do much but start a circular firing squad at the first chance.

    Your democracy is DEAD. Your opposition non existent, your sleepy media complicit, your "inquiry" headed by a fool with a rubber chicken.

    Happy Labour Day NL! One last problem NL, your unions like the FFAW are a corrupt arm of government sans accountability, transparency or commitment to working people!

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    1. You can add the NL locals of the IBEW and IUOE to the list, as management in both union locals have been removed by their own international reps for corruption over the past few years. Nearly all of the construction unions in NL are run by gangsters. Despite this, the Building Trade unions have largely gotten a pass for their contribution to the failure of MF. It's certainly appropriate to bash government and Nalcor for their incompetence and corruption but why hasn't anyone looked at the unions? If anyone loaded their coffers with money from MF, it was the Building Trade unions. Productivity was around 30% (3 hours worked for every 10 hours paid) and shop stewards at the site made sure that anyone who wanted to do an honest days work was removed from site. People talk about the great reputation of NL workers across Canada. That is mostly because the most energetic and motivated left NL to work elsewhere, creating an impression outside NL that we have great workers. The workers who have stayed are not as energetic or motivated, and those workers in the NL Building Trades represent the bottom of the barrel of those who have stayed. Their performance on MF drove another nail into our coffin.

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    2. Unions like NAPE and CUPE are corrupt too and sell out their members for backroom deals. When contracts are negotiated, the members are not even allowed to read it in advance of ratification!

      Politicians and diapers need to be changed regularly and for the same reasons. Unfortunately, workers seldom change unions, and over time, unions become mafia like.

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    3. The construction union movement in NL is one big shitty mess of theft, bribery, corruption, nepotism, blackmail, lies, threats and bullying. The same standards that exist for government transparency and conduct should be applied to unions. Union workers in NL are wising up and demanding transparency from union leaders but it is a struggle for the workers. Most workers are treated with contempt (except those in the buddy circle of union managers) by union management and the workers are expected to swallow. Legislation should be passed to ensure unions are transparent with their members and that union executives are legally bound to a specified code of ethics. NL construction unions have destroyed NL reputation around the world as a place to invest. We have become known as the place with some of the most hostile and laziest unionized workers in the world... no exaggeration. I have heard it many times from construction managers who came here from outside the country to manage projects in oil & gas. This agenda is driven from the top of unions and many of the workers tow the line to keep their jobs. Show stewards are more like goons than professional union representatives, beating on productive workers and employer reps alike. There are many talented and productive workers here who are held back by the union leaders, who penalize those workers who won't slow down the work. Next time you hear that an oil company wants to minimize construction here related to an offshore project, there is a good reason for it. They are tired of dealing with the shitty attitude and extremely high cost of the NL trade unions.

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  6. I fear that, never in the annals of the history of our province has so many been exposed to such danger to their lives, as at present, with the filling of the MFs reservoir, by the few in authority having recklessly refused a review by an expert independent panel as to the safety of the North Spur.
    Historically the greatest loss in a single event was 174 people, when sealers perished during the loss of the Southern Cross in 1914, more than twice the 78 lost that same year on the sealing ship Newfoundland.
    What is the Preparation Plan if there is imminent indication or an actual complete sudden failure of the North Spur?
    If I lived at Mud Lake, or the lower elevations of Goose Bay-Happy Valley, I would have an escape plan. I and PENG2 have stated, on this blog, we believe it is unsafe to live there.
    When you board a commercial aircraft, you are instructed on where the exits are, in case of an emergency. If in Mud Lake, where is your exit route?
    Nalcor is closing in on the 39 ft elevation mark, now already exceeding the 37m level. As of yet, all is quiet on the western front. I expect this situation is under the watchful eye of Gilbert Bennett, who assured others that the situation of May 17 2017 was of no concern for a flood.
    Winston Adams

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    1. The North Spur is becoming a worst case situation. Since it now looks like it will hold for awhile -- people will become complacent. When it lets go, a statistical certainty, many will die.

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  7. I notice the Digger posts form select publications that routinely are climate change deniers. Today he posts that climate change actually improves world wide crop productions, not impairs them. That other use false data, and not to be believed. If the Digger is right, we should not see the increase in climate change refugees, including many of the 100,000 a month coming to the Mexico-Us border, many from central America with children, where crops have failed.
    Likely the Digger thinks Greenland will produce corn and wheat soon, and too the Canadian Shield will be transformed to grow tomatoes or even cucumbers. Mr Sprung is already making pitches for greenhouses.
    Winston

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  8. "Optimism bias" in this case is just a clinically anodyne term for what essentially boils down to the class of commercial fraud known as the "bait-and-switch"

    The MRF scam was the largest "bait-and-switch" scheme ever perpetrated collectively upon NLers.

    The culprits responsible need to be frog-marched into court, tried, and locked up, and the Act of Government creating Nalcor repealed.

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    1. We didn't need experts (or an Inquiry) to tell us that Muskrat was "predetermined".

      I think an objective review of the articles and letters that The Tele published BEFORE sanction will confirm that.

      But even though those Tele public comments (an expose' of "what was 'known' AT THE TIME) were available to the Inquiry, to the Inquiry co-counsel, to the CA, MFCCC and other counsel, and were again part of my own written 'public comment' to the Inquiry, it seems they may never see the light of day as far as the Commissioner is concerned (it seems only Andy Wells' and the Island Industrial Customers Group's written 'public comments' made it to the Commissioner ---- only those two written submissions are posted on the Inquiry website.

      I wonder why?

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  9. From my last posting I was referring to presentations by the NRCan, Geologic Survey of Canada, form 2011, that Bruno attended. At first I thought these presentations were reasonably transparent, but now consider them superficial.
    the expert mentioned earthquake size based on the Richter scale, a 5 usually not doing damage, being about 1 km fault. A size 4, a fault of several hundred meters in length, and a 3 just a few tens of meters in length.
    The Richter scale actually is a measurement of the vibration wave amplitude, measured 100 kw from the (62 miles) from the event. One might assume that a size 4 is 1.33 more powerful than a size 3 on the scale.
    Actually every increase by 1 is a 10 fold increase in amplitude ; a 2 is 10 time that of 1; a 3 is 10 times that of 2, a 4 is 10 times that of 3.
    So a 3 is 100 times that of 1, a 4 is 1000 times that of 1 in amplitude.
    That was not explained.
    Further, the energy of the event results in a 31 fold increase from each number, so a 2 on the scale has 31 times more energy than a level 1 event and so on.
    Would a person attending this presentation get a true impression of these forces from the way it was presented by them?
    Last week in England, fracking caused a 2.9 quake that shook pictures on shelves in houses in an area about 10 miles across. The legal limit from fracking is o.5, and the fracking had been halted for 7 years in 2011 for causing quakes of about level 2. The quakes there are also shallow a mile deep or less. The earth movement was at 5 mm/second.
    How safe is a quake of size 1,2, 3 or 4, as to the risky North Spur and issues of liquification of silt or marine clay?
    Winston Adams

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    1. One source asks whether a earthquake will wake a baby, and says: a 3 makes a noise like someone putting on socks, and a 5, like a light breeze of any source.
      Another gives the equivalent in dynamite: a 2 = 1320 lbs, and a 3 =44,000 lbs, and a 4 = 132,000 lbs.
      In energy equivalent as to destructive force, it says:
      2.5 is like a moderate lightning bolt
      3.0 is equal to the Oklahoma City bombing
      3.3 is equal to a large lightning bolt
      4.8 like an average tornado
      6.2 is equal to the Hiroshimo atomic bomb.
      Would any of these wake a baby? The end result depends on the distance and attenuation and damping effect, but also "excitation" if a structure is subject to that effect.
      Winston Adams

      Winston

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    2. Will you stfu with that Chicken Little shit for chrissakes... yor like a broken record, put a sock in it ffs.

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    3. Guess anon, you are anxious to buy a cottage at Mud Lake, given Stan's assurance it's "absolutely safe"? You oppose an independent expert panel review?
      Which data is inaccurate that I cite? Let's hope you'r right and only I am like a broken record, and that the North Spur don't get broken, hey b'y.
      Winston
      Winston

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    4. Suspect, Little Chicken Shit, with his one liners, don't have much effect on you, but uses his entire brain power in coming up that.

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    5. Re Chicken Little analogies:

      The North Spur is like letting four 200lb men climb up a ladder rated for 300 pounds. It will hold, but it is stressed to the limit. Your company may get away with this for several years, but the ladder will eventually fail and people will get hurt or killed.

      Only a fool or sociopath would build a dam on quick clay.

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  10. Re: "How did so many people in positions of responsibility exclude themselves from common ethical norms ... sanction of such a reckless, state-sponsored project?

    Aside from being a great piece of prose, I think I know how:

    Virtually every position of importance in the province is occupied by cronies. If the Lte Governor's daughter wants a job, one is created for her with a higher than normal salary AND qualifications are waived. All a minster has to do is deem someone "most qualified". In this messed up province merit equals wealth, political donations, family connections, political connections and blackmail. Skills, ethics and ability to perform the job well are often liabilities especially if you use them.

    Nalcor is full of Danny's buddies. The Auditor General was a former deputy minister. Look at the boards of MUN, Nalcor and executive positions -- they are all intertwined. Many of these have been well documented in the press.

    This may have started slowly, but over the last few decades the public sector has been destroyed and virtually every important position is now occupied by someone who shouldn't be there and who owes the political establishment. None of these people will upset the status quo or speak out and bite the hand that feeds them.

    There are two things needed immediately:

    1) A new political party

    2) A plan. The new party needs a plan. Policies, a realistic budget, and it needs to engage the public to get buy-in for that plan.

    3) Marketing via social media and a grass roots movement.

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    1. I think you are right on a lot of your commentary. One thing I don't agree with however is any benefit that can come from consulting the public. A lot of NLers look at the government for what they can get for themselves or their towns. Very few consider what is beneficial for the province or are willing to make even modest sacrifices to help improve the provinces situation. Consultation with the public would likely lead to a wishlist and subsequent marching orders to deliver the goods regardless if we have the means or not. One of the challenges of giving everyone a say is that everyone has an opinion but very few have informed opinions. Leads to a lot of noise but very limited useful commentary.

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    2. By public consulting, I mean going to the public and saying things like: Schools with less than 5 children will be converted to distance education and parents have to bring their children in for testing twice a year at the nearest school. New communities will not get a school unless there are 100 or more children. This is the road network - these roads will be unpaved, these will be cleared 24x7 in winter, while these roads (say less than 10 vehicles a day) will only be cleared during the day. We are going back to oil based road paint -- eco friendly is not worth lines that last a few months and lead to traffic accidents and death. If we promise to fix a road this year and run out of time, we will say we are sorry - no road will be paved over snow. No lines will be painted in the rain. Don't hold this against your elected member.

      The discussion can then revolve around aspects of the plan.

      The goal of the discussions is to get public buy-in for a plan that might hurt them individually but is optimized to benefit everyone as much as possible while still living within our means.

      When consulting was attempted with an ideas web site, the only useful commentary came from insiders within government, mostly pointing out which departments could be eliminated and why. Some of the insider commentary was brutal. Many residents would comment on things that are wasteful (say less than $1000) while being oblivious to the larger waste (that adds up to billions). Insiders know where this waste is.

      Going out to the public and asking "what should we do" is useless. People will say "fix the pot holes". What they need is to be told that it costs $225,000 a kilometer to grind and repave lanes. They need be shown that someone has looked at everything and proposed a compromise - a compromise that is also a balanced budget and sustainable.

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    3. Sustainable Development;

      https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/envision2030.html

      Now you're talking. We all should be working to elect worthy people, who practice the art of achieving self sufficiency. Do you have anyone on the ballot, with such potential?

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    4. Robert - I looked at envision goals but think this province needs to look at more practical things. We need to build small, solar passive homes that are permanent and cost almost nothing to heat. That would cut down the cost of living tremendously.

      Then we need to figure out communities. Are we individually self sufficient? If so, we need land reform so that people can be granted large homesteads of approximately 80 acres. If we are to be self sufficient in small communities, then we need low cost housing mixed in with farms.

      We also need to make a living. That would require Mondragon style worker owned cooperatives rather than the corporate greed based model. That would fix much of the equality problem.

      I am not sure society is ready for this. They need to see a prototype. If funds were available I would do the following:

      1) Create a cooperative of engineers and trade workers whose initial business was engineering and then pre-fabricating housing suitable for the local climate that was also cheap to heat and maintain.

      2) Create a new municipality, request crown land and and reserve the best soil areas for farming. Another area would be zoned for housing of co-op employees, well out of any potential flood zone.

      The coop would be initially charged with developing all the components and products for the homes and many of these might become new cooperatives that could be spun off. e.g. double wall construction would need a tractor trailer of insulation so best to develop a shredding machine to transform black spruce into insulation. Why import fibreglass when you have fibre locally?

      The Mondragon model is quite interesting -- it started out of desperation and grew into something huge that independently provided government like services. For example, if you have enough workers, build a small K-12 school for the children, hire a registered Nurse for routine medical care etc.

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    5. Here's what Alberta is considering to get out of deficit. The politicians there are not afraid to make tough decisions and that is why their economy generally thrives and their standard of living is the highest in Canada. in Alberta, workers in government don't control their employer, like in NL. They have leaders with an understanding of financial management. By shedding expense in slow times, they don't squash their tax base, giving the economy the opportunity to recover. A similar plan is desperately needed in NL.

      www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/mackinnon-report-alberta-budget-1.5267846

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    6. Anon 18:55 Don't you get it? Alberta and Dougie Ford and his Trickle Down Austrian Economists, always "Balance" the Budget, by raping the civil servants, Labour unions, and lower income workers. Let them eat some cake.

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    7. Oh I get it. Under our free market system, the government taxes the private sector to raise the money to pay for government expenses. The economy as a whole is cyclical, regularly gyrating between expansion and contraction. Accordingly the tax base sometimes is growing and sometimes is shrinking. In expansion, most businesses grow, hiring more workers and investing in new assets, which increases the tax revenue for government. This increased tax revenue provides the government with the means to spend more... build new infrastructure, expand services, etc. During contraction (recession), the business sector shrinks, laying off workers, as businesses have to take a defensive position to minimize the financial losses associated with contraction, or they may go bankrupt. This leads to a decrease in the tax revenue for government. If government is to responsibly manage their finances, they have to decrease expenses in recessionary periods in the economic cycle, or incur debt to make up the shortfall, which brings about its own nightmares if the debt becomes excessive... like NL for example. A real smart government would sock away money during expansion to have money available to avoid layoffs during recessions but there is always a lineup (municipalities, government employees, etc) looking for more during expansion so financial strength is never built by government when the opportunity is available. Workers in the public or private sector, whether they want it or not, share the risks associated with the financial realities of their employers. It's foolish to think that this is avoidable because an employer who is near broke, like the NL government, doesn't have the means to continue to employ as many people or spend as much money. The mixing of politics with economics does not change economic realities. If you are a government, business or household, the same financial realities apply. In NL, by maintaining the bloated civil service with no layoffs, we have only shifted a huge burden onto the badly weakened private sector, which has been in recession for some time. Eventually, the overload on the private sector will lead to acceleration of bankruptcies and private sector unemployment... just like we saw last year and will see again this year. In effect, we have been shooting the businesses and private sector workers who pay the bills of the province and at the same time sparing the civil service of any of the pain. Eventually, enough of the businesses will be wiped out that the tax revenue + borrowing will not be able to support the expenses of government. Then the jig is up. Government employees provide valuable services but they drain financial strength from government, as there is a net outflow of cash. If NL government doesn't reduce expenses, we might get a few more years before we reach the limits of our borrowing and become insolvent, but it's coming. We don't have a shortage of workers in NL.... we have a big shortage of employers. We better wise up and provide some relief for the few NL businesses that are left or there will be nobody left here for government to tax to pay for their glutinous spending. That is why Alberta is doing what they are doing and that is why Alberta's economy almost always leads Canada. The people and the politicians of Alberta understand economic fundamentals and don't allow political influences to skew good economic planning. NL has its head up its ass pursuing an agenda that devours the private sector and spares the public sector. It is uniquely backward. Even BC under an NDP government is careful not to damage the private sector because they understand that a strong private sector creates a healthy tax base for government. Our economy has always lagged and it always will because the people and politicians in NL do not understand even the basics of sound financial management.

      Delete
    8. Another Free Form poster that no one will read for lack of hitting Enter key now and again!

      Delete
    9. Now Bruno, I didn't write that but I will comment, and only those with an attention span of over 30 seconds will be able to read it. How many exhibits were before the commissioner, thousands, and how many pages and paragraphs, millions, did many of UG read it. A few I would think. But the one liner guys know it all and explain it very well with a few 4 letter words, but occasionally with longer words like bullshit or is it BS. Maybe I should hit the return key.
      Yes a great explanation of how it should work, when economics is mixed with politics, it doesn't change the economics. Our greatest politician, elected with the biggest popular vote, also happened to be one of our greatest eupteneers. What did he do. When oil money started rolling in, he bloated the public service. Did he put any away for a rainy day, no he spent it all, and invested in big oil, wanted an equity steak, in Hebron, and other smaller deals. He wanted to go it alone and build muskrat, with no business case, so all at the tax payers risk, and govt. equity and loans. Then small business flourished and new ones popped up everywhere all based on a make work project, supported and funded by governments that was borrowed. Now try and make any business or economic case out of that. Sure small business will go under, bankrupt when the govt and borrowed money runs out. And if you decide to build a town the size of Gander, with a declining population, you just shift people and business around, no overall growth. We just move business from the east to the west, as is happening with Gulway. Now you better not tell Danny el al they dont understand the basis of sound fincincial management. The only thing that builds greater GDP is immigrants, how many comes into Canada each year, maybe twice the population of this province. How many come here and stay, maybe a couple of hundred. But with changing climate, who wants to live a couple of feet above sea level, like the Bahamas. Most of NL ground is hundreds of feet above seal even, so all may not be lost yet. People may come seeking higher ground says Joe blow.

      Delete
    10. How can, sea level, become seal even, only my smart computer knows.

      Delete
    11. There are two main reasons why we, as a province, have no chance to have our provincial finances properly managed.

      1. Public sector unions don't give a shit about stability of the finances of the people or the province. Not only have they hung the citizens out to dry in negotiating their no pain deal, they have watched their union brothers in the private sector barbequed, along with the businesses they worked in, under the massive weight of taxes and fees. Worse, the province is so stretched financially trying to carry public sector workers, cuts have been made to the modest support given to our seniors. This turns my guts and shows how selfish and greedy the NL public sector unions are. There is only so much to go around and NAPE (or should they be called RAPE) and CUPE will take as much as they can, regardless of who else gets hurt.

      2. The labor movement in NL controls the vote. The numbers of unionized workers (and their families) in NL makes up such a large percentage of the population of the province that, provided they stay unified, can control which party can win an election here. Mary Shortall and the NL Federation of Labor used to boldly state this fact on the homepage of the NLFL, but has since removed it to tone it down. The public sector unions use this leverage in their dealings with government to gain the upper hand. The fix is in, as the taxpayer and vulnerable groups like seniors receive no consideration or representation by our elected reps. The unionized workers get paid with no layoffs, the politicians get paid and get re-elected, and everyone else gets screwed. Quite a democracy we have going here in NL.

      If you are young and want to get ahead through your own effort and ambition, this place is a waste of time for you. Considering the numbers of young people who have already pulled out, I think many have already to come to the same conclusion.

      Delete
  11. Has anyone noticed, Patty Daley of VOCM has gone Green, or to shades of Green. Recently he was promoting EVs for Nfld as a good idea. Dirt cheep operation costs as compared to ICE (internal combustion engines). Also good to use up hydro power, if ever we get the DC operating, and the Spur holds.
    Now today he defends Greta Thunberg, who others attack. Patty says she is but the messenger, as to the science of the climate crisis. Those attacking her, I think includes the Digger and Rex Murphy.
    Is Bruno's "buddy", Daley now more green than Bruno? I don't recall Bruno with positive words for EVs for Nfld,nor for Greta. Did I miss his commentary on that?
    Meanwhile DORIAN....the European hurricane computer models seems better than the American ones.
    In the 1970s I observed that my basement was at risk of flooding over the floor, and once did, just to wet the carpet. This from 2 inches of rain in 24 hrs, so I installed a sump pump, just in case. I was surprised to learn in the 70s that parts of the world could see as much as 12 inches of rain from a storm. Locally, in Nfld, a few years ago, 4-8 inches caused much damage.
    Dorian is to dump up to 10 inches on Florida, 15 inches on the Carolinas and 30 inches on the Bahamas. That pales as to Harvey in Texas not long ago , with FIFTY ONE inches of rain. Holey Moley, what happening?
    We know that God dumped much more that that in Noah's day, because mankind had grown wicked. How did God to it?
    Trump, who recently announced he is the chosen one,( while looking to the heavens), is excited about Cat 5 hurricanes. He has heard about them but doesn't know about them, he keeps saying, for 2 year now. He plays golf while millions evacuate.
    As Maxwell Smart might say, God uses the old " slowdown, stall, sit, and spin trick" to maximize the rainfall: 2 or 3 days of stall can deliver over 4 feet of rain. I may need to upgrade my sump pump.
    So what if these Cat 5 storms sit and spin for say.......40 days and nights? It that possible within the laws of nature? What of 10 days even?
    Yesterday we saw pictures of water falls again from Churchill Falls, this now twice in 1 year, needing to spill water. I saw the Falls in the 60s, when I worked there, before the diversion.
    Did not Bruno predict less water for CFs with climate change?
    MFs is supposedly designed for reservoir elevation 44 M in flood mode. Should they test for that now, being now already at 38m? If a break, better it occur in summer than in winter.
    Winston Adams

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    1. BTW only you and Inhoffe can't tell the difference between weather and climate. Where is your snowball?

      Delete
  12. Great post UG. Your reflections and somewhat summary of the inquiry.....of why so many people...................such a costly plan of deception to achieve the sanction of such a reckless, state-sponsored project? As you said hope the inquiry can answer that question. We have to go back to the beginning and we needed some power to get over the "winter bump" in our power consumption. And hopefully phase out Holyrood. Overall our power needs were declining and not increasing. Why was CDM not the focus of the plan and the island option. Why was the 3rd. Line from BDP cancelled in 2010 and only built 2 years ago and only to the western Avalon. Why were wind farms not added. Maybe we needed a couple more CT's for emergency operations in winter time. Why were we not told explicitly how much power we needed and when. Why were we told muskrat was the least cost. Why was the cost set at 6$ billion and it was know this was low balled and would cost twice that amount. Why did Emera jump on the bandwagon, was it because they could smell the federal loan guarantee and Mackey and Harper were behind it. Think Harpers attitude was send the fool further, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves. Why was there not a referendum on such an expenditure. Why did they think the price of oil was going up and up, never to come down, so it would be easy to pay for muskrat no matter what the cost. Why was the second Fed loan advanced. Why was there no pause and evaluate. Why was Astaldi hired as the main contractor. Thhere was no water management agreement in place. No markets secured for sale except give away to Nova Scotia, and 5 cent power. The North spur was a sand dune. Did they need further proof that muskrat could only be a boondoggle, ask Joe blow. You may say all in hindsight. I say no, all was in clear view for those who were not blinded by the taughts of becoming an energy wharehouse, and their brain operated free of oil, and the rest blinded by $ signs in a gigantic make work project.

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    1. You cover so many of the key questions,that were obvious from the start,all pointing to a boondoggle. Not hindsight, but obvious to those reasonably informed, but not obvious to the masses fed with propaganda and fake news, which our main media did no investigative journalism, so enabled the boondoggle. PENG2 says the masses should have understood all of this, or enough to vote against it. But the cone of silence was over MUN experts, over Fortis and Nfld Power, over the Board of Trade, and many others, even the Feds. Collusion? Conspiracy?
      And this cone of silence operates, even now. Some cracks? Patty Daley? Cracks maybe, but no fault, not a 3 or 4 fault on the Richter scale. Mostly all quiet of the eastern front.
      You even got the fact that the 3rd line comes only to the Western Avalon. Was this even mentioned at the Inquiry? What little benefit it serves for the Avalon if the DC goes down. The 3rd 230 kv AC line, about 300 million cost, terminates about at Long Harbour. Most all Avalon residents, commercial and institutional buildings are east of that, depending on electric heat.
      Winston

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    2. Winston, is that Patty, or Paddy, and is it Daly. Many variations of Daly. Think that's the correct spelling, but hey what do I know about spelling. And variations of nick name for Patrick, I guess. Or does Daly tread lightly so you call him pitty patty. We had a horse that we called paddy. But sure Patrick would say I have been called worst than that. Average Joe gives a lesson in spelling.

      Delete
  13. Look what happens when you have adults in charge instead of psychopathic liars aided and abetted by an incompetent civil service composed of nepotistic sycophants. Tom Osbourne after Moody's downgrade "sure don't worry, everting's gonna be fine". Were adults are in charge, his press conference would have outlined immediate cuts to stop the bleeding. A hard rain's gonna fall in NL.

    https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/alberta-faces-a-critical-financial-situation-government-panel-recommends-sweeping-reforms

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    1. Yep. Good to see that there is some sanity left somewhere in the country. In Alberta, the tail doesn't wag the dog. I wonder will our government have the balls to stand up to the public sector unions when the next labor deal is negotiated? I doubt it. The unions smell weakness on our leaders and they take full advantage. Cathy Bennett had the gumption to deal with it but she was hung out to dry by the career politicians who are there for a paycheque and a golden handshake pension. We're very good at chasing away the people who can make a difference.

      Delete
    2. Here are the 26 recommendations:

      https://edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/mackinnon-report-all-26-alberta-government-panel-recommendations

      All we have to do is look at our own studies, and ones linked above and just start doing something.

      For example:
      Recommendation 5: Decrease the percentage of government funding that goes to K-12 administration and governance (currently 25 per cent) to a level comparable to British Columbia (17 per cent).

      We already had a AG report showing that our single school board NLESD was corrupt, lacked ethics, employed thieves and promoted unqualified people while giving them upscale salaries because they were the only candidate in secret competitions.

      Most of the 26 recommendations could be adapted to NL quickly and serve as a starting point.

      Delete
  14. I just made a pass through the new consultant reports for rate mitigation:

    http://www.pub.nf.ca/2018ratemitigation/report/The%20Liberty%20Consulting%20Group%20-%20Phase%20Two%20Report%20-%20September%203,%202019.pdf

    and

    http://www.pub.nf.ca/2018ratemitigation/report/Synapse%20Energy%20Economics%20Inc.%20-%20Phase%20Two%20Report%20-%20September%203,%202019.pdf

    It is long and confusing at times, so perhaps we can add comments here.

    If we do nothing, rates have to double!

    The Reference scenario “low rate” assumes that average rates increase from 11.3cents/kWh in 2019 to 23.3cents/kWh in 2023 (nominal), before flattening out after 2023. The Reference load scenario reflects a “do nothing” approach for collecting the revenue requirements, and it contains no changes to load from either electrification, CDM, or rate design efforts.

    Everything else seems to be playing games and fantasy. Electric vehicles at 30% by 2030 (unlikely and EVs are approx $40,000), assuming there is a profitable market for excess energy and that the AC/DC GE issues go away, rebating the HST on electricity (and tax something else?), converting buildings to electric heat (ignoring the millions in new electrical service and updating to code) ...

    Even if my bills stay the same, if I have to spend $10,000 on a whole house heat pump I am worse off than before.

    No matter how you slice it, someone is trying to extract extra billions from the tax payer.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Everyone should just collectively refuse to pay their electric bills beyond the level which the rate differential to cover the MRF rip-off cuts in.

      What's The Man gonna do?

      Cut EVERYONE off?

      Good luck with that...

      Delete
    2. That this "rate mitigation" bullshit has even become a topic of discussion in a province afloat with hydro-electricity capacity only proves the maxim that if shit was worth money, Newfies would be born without arseholes.

      Delete
    3. I would suggest the problem is a result of the politicians the Newfies tend to elect... they're either dimwitted, or corrupted, or else possess a varying combination of both these undesirable attributes.

      Delete
    4. Now that's a good one !!!!!

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    5. You guys are having more fun than a barrel of monkeys.... I mean a barrel of assholes...

      Delete
    6. I don't know where you're going to get a whole house heat pump for $10,000.Maybe if you already have the ductwork;even then it would be a stretch.

      Delete
    7. Anon at 21.18,that's my plan.

      Delete
    8. TM @ 22.43: You are paying a lot more than $10,000 for MF's. Yes that is right!!! YOU are.

      Delete
    9. If you plan on not paying those bills, the civil disobedience needs to be orchestrated anonymously through social media and it must be massive. If only a few (hundreds) do it, they will simply disconnect your electricity and the debt sent off for collections.

      The $10,000 figure above for whole house heat pump is more like $20,000+ for eight+ mini split heads, or adding duct work to a home that doesn't have it, or going air-to-water with an existing hot water heating system.

      Another interesting figure is 12 billion / 218,673 occupied dwellings is: $54,875. We will be paying this plus interest on top of the already huge provincial debt + accumulated interest.

      Delete
    10. Anon@ 11;14
      The problem with your analysis:
      In 2012 the avearg electric heated house in Nfld used about 5.6 Kw load.
      In winter, 2 cold climate 1.5 ton rated, produces about 3 kw each at -15 C. Two of those installed at about 4000 each = $8000 plus tax. Your figure of 20,000 is more than double that. Very large house may need 8 heads. A R2000 , 3700 sq ft uses 5 heads plus one more for the garage, so 6 heads. This is not an average house, which is only about 1100 Sq ft.
      12.7 billion = 58,000 per house, vs 8000 for minisplits on average, about 7 times more. And the minisplits reduces grid load so less need for Holyrood capacity and fuel burning.
      But Hey, Stratton likes baseboard electric heat, and wouldn't change a thing .....do it all over again he said on the stand.
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    11. To Anon at 3:29.I know that already.Yes,that is right!!.I do.

      Delete
  15. I meant the arsehole thing, Anon 21:33 not bad either

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  16. It will happen again. The politicians can't wait for the Gull Island site to be developed and who cares if the province picks up the tab right? We got to keep those high paying construction workers out of debt and on their quads. Or how about another cool 13 Billion for a GBS for the next offshore oil find like was spent on Hebron? Doesn't matter that we have to give up billions in royalties (that is money that the province badly needs now) for upwards of 12 years so it can become profitable for the oil companies. There is one thing that was missing in the inquiry and that was this mentality that jobs at any cost come first in NL and it was probably the biggest reason for Muskrat Falls in the first place. Nl workers have the attitude that their jobs matter more than the next person's and must be maintained at all costs. We saw this with the fish plants of past, construction workers in heavy construction, civil service workers and oil company employees all of who somehow justify massive spending on the premise that they are keeping the economy going. It is that mentality that has gotten us bankrupt and it is for that reason it will happen again-very soon.

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    1. The one and only reason for MF was so one man could show PQ that we could do it on our own.He was obsessed with anti PQ rhetoric.As for oil projects contributing to bankruptcy,There are many large projects in Norway and Alberta.The problem here is the skullduggery from the top.

      Delete
  17. So the rate mitigation reports are issued to the PUB. Not a pretty picture being painted.

    But the most obvious conclusion is that demand growth has went from 1% year over year to a 0% just with the threat of increasing rates. A 50% jump in rates will have even a greater impact.

    One defeciency of the inquiry was that it did not focus enough on the demand projections from NLH.

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  18. If I have not made a math error ( you can check at http://www.vision2041.com/demand.html ):---

    ACTUAL average increase in peak demand over 15 years (2002-2016) was just over 0.3% per year.

    ACTUAL average increase in energy use was less than 0.1% per year (compared to Nalcor's 50-year forecast average 0.8% increase annually) --- 8 times LESS THAN forecast.

    And keep in mind that those actual increases would have been significantly due to Vale Long Harbour coming on stream.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The good news is that if Nalcor/GEPower stumble and fumble for a few years the demand will not be a concern. Now about that power to NS?

      If the spur fails demand shortcomings are the least of NL concern.

      Delete
    2. As AJ often mentions, it's the winter hump that needed to be cut down, due to our electric heating load. Ideally a summer and winter load the same is most cost effective,but impossible to achieve such a balance. At about 1800MW winter and 700 MW summer , this is a about 2.5 ratio, needing expensive fuel and generators at Holyrood , or the alternative chosen: "least cost" 12.7 boondoggle to address that hump.
      All prudent utilities take cost effective steps to address these humps, and for Nfld to lessen baseboard heat loads should have been a priority.
      Here from MA data, we see peak load is increasing at a higher rate than energy use increase. It is doing the opposite what is prudent. Now they are trying to add to the peak further with schools and MUN baseboard heat, so DUMB and DUMBER.
      With or without the DC line, making this hump and the ratio higher is plain STUPID. If Peter ALteen, Stan Marshall, or CA Browne don't realize this, they should be FIRED. Synapse makes suggestions to address that, but will it be followed?
      Reducing the winter peak may likely also reduces energy sales, so they ignored it pre MFs and seems likely to ignore it now, and only tinker to again mislead customers.
      Winston
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    3. Yes, you are right Winston. So what are we going to do with the GD BUGGERS. DUMB and DUMBERS. Their only purpose in life is to maximunize the amount of power we consume all year round, but especially at winter season. That was always their reason for being, right from the start, yes goes back to the seventies. As a matter of fact when I was building a house they were on my tail encouraging me to put in electric heaters, rather than oil. In the election of 2011, they were at my place again, telling me why I should vote for them and muskrat, because who would I rather give my money too, the big oil companies, to keep Holyrood going, or my own company nalcor, for muskrat. And towing the same line today, change govt buildings away from oil and get on muskrat power, so as to increase the WINTER BUMP. Now that's what you call strategy, mitigation, and diversify the economy. THE PLAN. THE BUGGERS, says Joe blow.

      Delete
  19. Our health care:
    At St John's Health science ER, you see a nurse, then a doctor. Even the doctors, many are junior.
    At Carbonear ER you see a paramedic, then a nurse practicioner. Is this suitable for a major hospital like Carbonear?
    Maybe someone can comment who knows how this works?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what happens when you are broke. The standard of health care is slipping because there is no money to pay for anything better. Expect it to continue to slip as our provincial finances continue to spiral downward. Even a wannabe like Tom Osbourne can't put a positive spin on it anymore. With lower oil prices and major production outages on oil platforms offshore this year, it will be interesting to see how Moody's rates our financial position next year. D for Dismal I expect.

      Delete
  20. Congratulations are in order? Nalocr has effectively reached it's 39m elevation impoundment, and the North Spur still holds. Actually it is about 38.5 M and they are trottling back a little on the rate of elevation increase, and letting a bit more water pass through the spillway gates.
    Gilbert must be smiling, as he did at times on the stand. Is celebrations commenced? No media announcement yet on VOCM or CBC.
    So I was right afterall.......I said 80% chance it would hold, 20 % it would not. Even Bruno and PENG2 feared to make a call, I wonder why?
    Now my guess of a complete failure for the next 12 months drops form 20 % to 10%.
    Why am I still not a happy camper.
    Well.......for the North Spur or other dam, an event that could cause a complete failure should be 1 in 10,000 minimum ,and ideally between 1/100,000, and 1/1,000,000. If I say 1/10, that is unsettling if that is anywhere near the case.
    Is this structure good for 1/10,000 minimum? Pray, someone should know and tell us.
    How many, if any, earthquakes of level 0.5 to 3.0 were triggered during the impounding? Shall we never know? Were recording seismgraphs installed as recommended by NFCan experts?
    Last summer we had the media event of the DC line was operable. Stan mentioned a few minor issues then, the "software" being last on his list.
    We have since seen this being a very big issue, and getting only 150 MW over the line on single pole this past year, and operation on 2 poles now delayed from Oct to Jan 1, .....to late for Leblanc to even say if it's a failure or success.
    So, congratulations Nalcor, for this milestone.
    But I am not yet wearing the jersey. Doubt if I ever will.
    Boondoggles tend to be millstones.
    Winston Adams

    So why am I not a happy camper?

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    Replies
    1. G'way witcha ya silly bastard...

      Delete
    2. You're right anon@21;14.
      That filling was way too risky to deserve any congratulation, and should be immediately lowered in a safe way.
      Lowering must be at a slower rate than the filling rate it trigger a slide, as stated by NRCan.
      Do it before winter, as a compete failure of the North Spur in winter likely will be 5 times worse than in summer.
      Yes, silly to congratulate them. Very silly. Good you point that out. Thanks.
      Winston

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  21. Anyone watching the CNN Climate Crisis special.
    Bernie Sanders said in Vermont, his home state, they are not using any more energy than they were 10 years ago, because they invested in Energy Efficiency. We had the ability to do better than Vermont, but .....Stratton, Nalcor, Nfld Hydro, Nfld Power and govn ......none wanted to invest in EE, being second worst in Canada. Nova Scotia did invest in EE and reap the benefits.
    Winston

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  22. As a Canadian and NL taxpayer, I hope the North Spur as well as other dam works hold for the project life. This big federal/provincial political mistake project will cost us all enough as it is now.

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  23. So there you have it, UG was first with the news, the Voice of the Average Joe, with my announcing the completion of the impounding at MFs , yesterday at 2;17PM. I beat Nalcor's media people by hours. I win the prize for announcing this historic event. Some kind of gold pin.
    Late in the afternoon Nalcor announced it, and then VOCM this morning but nothing yet from the CBC or the Tely. Ashley was napping, Russell dwelling on software issues, and the politicians and Stan as quiet as mice, no clinging of glasses.
    Jim Learning was on with Paddy Daly, saying it (the North Spur) could go any day, last 30 or 200 years, no one knows, so an anxiety issue. He had appropriate unkind words for the enablers of MFs.
    Nalcor's website says "safety first" yet omits any reference to seismic detectors, as recommended by NRCan.
    Even Bruno is silent on that detail! Hmmm. Why? Was he not at the JRP hearings?
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  24. I find myself following the debates in London on Brexit. We Have Boris, a Trump like character, who thinks himself another Winston Churchill, who also had been getting paid up to 30,000 a month for writing a column for a London newspaper, and up to 100,000 to write speeches.
    So far he acts as a bully, has been defeated in 4 votes as PM. He wants to take Britain out of the EU, much like Quebec wanted to separate, but retain privileges of using the Canadain dollar etc. .......having your cake and eating it too.
    The British parliament is interesting and amusing to watch , especially the speaker.
    The discussions are much better and respectful, generally than here in Nfld.
    Boris Johnson had 21 fellow Conservatives turn against him, including Churchill's grandson, and also his brother Jo.
    A no deal is expected to be devastating as to industry, the British pound dropping,and medical care risks etc, and even they are increasing their supply of body bags. Isotopes for medical scans etc will be disrupted ( here too we daily get these flown in for our PET scan machine.)
    I wonder......is body bags being increased for HVGB in case of a mayor failure of the North Spur? Likely not, or if so, it is a secret. Over there it is openly stated in Parliament, as to the risks of a no deal, which Johnson wants. We have much more secrecy here.
    Winston

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  25. Those of you proposing the Alberta alt Right trickle down agenda, for NL;

    https://edmontonjournal.com

    Health and Education cutbacks will spread pain to the masses, favouring the business sector. Who wins?

    ReplyDelete
  26. Solar plus storage replacing coal plant in Hawaii. The future is here today, without 1100km of extension cord.
    https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/sunrun-lands-1000-home-solar-and-battery-grid-services-contract-in-hawaii

    Interesting is paying for consumer batteries use during a energy shortage. This offsets the cost of home battery systems and strengthens the grid!

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    1. After about 3 years to telling Bruno that cost effectiveness of renewables depends on climate and location, recently , Bruno , on one comment , seemed to grasp that idea as sound. That seems to have been a momentary insight, as he again preaches on solar and batteries for such sunny location as Hawaii or Arizona, Australia etc. WE are in coastal Nfld ,Bruno. You once sort of made the claim for solar for the North Pole I think. ,....something we might expect from the Digger, for a cucumber adventure.
      The future is here today says Bruno. Are we also talking the Bahamas? Or Trumps Sharpiegate to say Dorion was to impact Alabama? The future is here......is that from Orwells 1984?
      Winston

      Delete

    2. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/yec-funding-battery-powerline-1.5272112

      "It will serve as a flexible and dependable supply of electricity for all Yukoners connected to the grid," Hall told reporters. "When demands are high or during emergencies it will also help us to prevent outages from happening or respond more quickly to outages once they occur."

      Hall said the utility hasn't settled on a location for the battery unit yet. Yukon Energy hopes to have it in service by 2023 at the latest. The project is slated to cost $25 million, with $16.5 million coming from Ottawa.

      Delete
  27. As to the stability of the North Spur. The expert panel who reviewed Polley, Vardy says it might cost 2-4 million for such a review?
    That review had much site investigation and analysis after the failure which is costly and time consuming.
    I would think if such a panel was engaged, first to review the current information and design, it could do that in 10 days and say if sufficient information supports the safety of the North Spur.......maybe less than 50,000 cost. If the safety is not evident than Phase 2 is to do the necessary investigation and testing .......a much more costly component, and several months to do. Phase 3, if safety is not assured, then the stabilation necessary and cost for compliance.
    Meanwhile, after phase 1, a decision whether to lower the reservoir if stability is not now evident form present lack of proper investigation.
    Would PENG2 or others care to comment?
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Design and related mathematical analysis for the North Spur is not a simple undertaking. There are no simple formulas to plug in a few numbers and out comes the answers.

      The lead geotechnical engineer (doctorate level training) has likely used a numerical model (Finite Element method), using powerful computers, to analyse the stresses in the dam. Defining proper boundary conditions is critical to accurately modeling the North Spur, and defining boundary conditions can be a topic of hot debate between scientists and engineers. That is why there is disagreement between various engineers as to the appropriate design and related analysis. Normally, for such critical design work, experimentation in labs is also performed to verify the results of the numerical analysis. Using both methods in tandem provides a high level of confidence in the final design. Analysis and centrifuge experiments of this type are done regularly at C-CORE at MUN.

      I was involved with geotechnical engineering for Confederation Bridge in PEI and also geotechnical design of buried pipelines in Alberta under pressure from soil flows, and these were the steps that were performed in the analysis. The final designs have worked very well for many years.

      The people in NL have rightfully developed a high level of mistrust for certain individuals in government and at Nalcor but I would not tar Stan Marshall with that brush. Stan is an engineer and a lawyer, so he has the expertise to assess for himself whether the design has been done properly or not. Stan stepped in to help clean up the MF mess when there was nobody else to lead it and he will be gone again as soon as that project is finished. He's already rich so he's not doing it for the money. The salary he receives from Nalcor is way below what he could get from other employers in the private sector. The man has a solid reputation based on his many years at Fortis and I can't believe he has suddenly gone rogue on MF. If Stan says he has reviewed it personally, I feel pretty confident we are on sound footing. If you want to find an engineering consultant who will argue with the final design, it won't be hard. You can find a consultant who will argue anything if you pay them enough, particularly when the analysis and related design is not simple.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous6 September 2019 at 16:46 Your thoughtful description of the probability of spur failure and the wide range of possible outcomes is wasted on WA who wants simplistic answers to complex questions. His intentions are insincere and meant only to troll his victims.

      The rest of us found your injection of probability and the wide range of possible outcomes both informative and intuitively correct.

      Thanks and I am glad to see all engineers are not lunkheads.

      Delete
  28. Just just a question. Can't say for sure what is going on. But is this guy Sullivan and the FFAW for real. He is screaming blue murder about the CNLOPB and opening up more average for sale to oil investors, in a closed area to fisheries especially crab. That all sounds great and what is job is all about. But the timing and silence by DFO is suspect. Is he just the wiping boy for the Feds, that dish out millions of dollars to the union every year, to get them to do their dirty work, like manage quotas and be the spokes man for DFO. Now we all know Bill 69 in Ottawa is being ratified and will affect the CNLOPB authority and control over the off shore and give Ottawa more control including aspects of the Atlantic Accord. So just asking the question is the FFAW most concerned with the fishermen and crab quotas or being the mouth piece for DFO in exchange for keeping the FFAW's till full ask Joe blow. DFO remains silent. Isn't it their job to stand up for the fishermen and their rights to the fishing grounds.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ....acerage.....

      Delete
    2. There is no small irony in the FFAW, threatening to block the seismic vessels for oil exploration, with their diesel powered fishing boats. Maybe if the fleet returned to sails and ores that the fish stocks might stand a chance.

      The most destructive force known to Eastern Canadian Marine Life, is those the FFAW represent.

      Delete
  29. The world is going green. All no win a rush. Russell notes the NDP turncoats in NB gone green. Paddy Daly is putting Bruno to shame citing the need to listen to science. In the USA , the Democrats, will it be 2 or 16 trillion they will spend on the New Green Deal? The fishery Unions here wanting to protect crab stocks and prevent oil exploration, and the Ryan , the Fighting Nflder too wanting to clamp down of rogue oil development and seismic testing.
    Today 102 municapalities meeting at the Holiday Inn on an urgent issue : cleaning up our shit. 600 million needed for sewer treatment and not one area in Nfld meeting the standards. Was this not announced needed 10 years go by the feds to give us time to act?
    Muskrat falls was more of a priority.
    All of coastal Nfld and Labrador is dumping raw shit into the ocean........nothing new. Now an emergency? Even Bruno has been silent on this, or did I miss his rants.
    Paradise sewer breaks causing raw sewage to be spraying unto the streets for weeks.
    Where will the money come from? The feds they hope. Oh what the 12.7 billion could have done!
    Yesterday I noticed the Conception Bay ocean green instead of our normal blue. This happened for a few days 10 years ago, and may be some southern ocean currents, more like off the Bahamas. A local fisherman told me"that is DIRT in the water". I guess a lot of local sewage dirt too.
    Must be the Greta effect, this sudden green shift.........now a worldwide union general strike this month .... for the climate. A green strike. Wonder if local unions have signed on for this?
    Is this too little too late? Bruno says the future is here. Is this a Green Revolution? Is Bruno leading this, or cheering it on, on the sidelines? A closet environmentalist, who advocated for burning native coal and native gas? Let the real Bruno show his color, is he green or black? He wavers like the wind, and too slippery to pin down. A one liner joke now and then. He merely squeaks nowadays, far behind his buddy, Paddy on VOCM.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
  30. And where is the celebration of the Muskrateers on achieving the impoundment full elevation? I missed TV news.......was it covered? Not a word in the Telegram or CBC online was there? And what of the Nalcor officials and government officials? Is this legal strategy,least there be a complete failure, there is no evidence they celebrated or even noted this historic event?
    Winston

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have thought that Stan, (Boondoggle Kid), would have collected his booty bonus, declared he had "finished strong", and departed, by now. Why is he hanging around?

      Delete
  31. While Stan had the knowledge and experience to, early on, categorize Muskrat a 'boondoggle', HE DID NOT.

    It was The Telegram, in 17 September 2011 (that's right --- September 2011) that first raised the prospect that Muskrat was a boondoggle by headlining one of my earlier articles ---- "Muskrat Falls: boon or boondoggle".

    Stan, had the knowledge and experience, but failed his duty to the province and lacked the courage until everyone could see the obvious (five years later).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As PENG2 should agree, Stan did not want EE and CDM used as a measure to avoid a boondoggle, as this would reduce revenue for Nfld power and Fortis, and Fortis shareholders, of which Stan is a big shareholder, I suspect, though PENG2 says don't pick on Stan.
      Even now they oppose EE and CDM and replace the C to mean customer instead of Conservation, pulling the wool over the eyes of the public once more.
      Winston

      Delete
    2. Did Stan have the knowledge to avoid the boondoggle. He laid out most for a solution costing about 1.1 billion, at the Inquiry, but leaving out CDM with EE.
      As CDM and EE is cost neutral, the lowest cost alternative would be about 1.1 billion, his figures. But this is little acknowledged by the media or the Inquiry. Why?
      Did Stan have the knowledge of HPs (cold climate models) reduces winter peak demand, the Hump, the Bump? He said NO, they don't reduce it , which shows he is ignorant of the technology and its ability,so DUMB on that, or deceptive under oath. Which is it?
      For a 3700 sq ft R2000, the heating load went from 17.5 kw with programmable thermostats, 12 kw with out those stats, to 3.7 kw, at -17C, with cold climate HP. This using "end -use " method of assessing the difference. This reported by me on UG, and other data to the PUB and Nfld Power. But they are "lovers of the old wasteful baseboard heaters", suggesting 10 watts per sq ft, as for the 1960s, which is best for their revenue and dividends.
      Winston

      Delete
    3. Grow up a-hole. Marshall stepped in when he was needed, when there was nobody else to take the lead. You can bet he didn't want the job because of the stupid-ass politics of NL but he did it anyway because he was asked by Ball to step up and try to get MF back on the rails. Only an idiot would pick away at a guy who we should thank for limiting the MF damage. NL is a hateful place for talented people because you become classified as an "elite" and then you become fair game for every imbecile who lives here.

      Delete
    4. Yes, we are bursting at the seems with talented people like Danny, Ed, Gil, Locke, etc., etc., etc.

      That's how come we now have a $13 billion boondoggle that in 2011 this ratepayer (without their kind of talent) could and did correctly conclude that Muskrat was something that we didn't need, could not afford, and that was too high a risk.

      If Muskrat is an example of what their kind of talent (or is it deception?) produces, then Newfoundland and Labrador would be better of without it.

      Delete
    5. I do not regard those people as talented but neither is Stan Marshall part of that cast. You need to distinguish between the good and the bad. The good do not need to be smeared by the actions of the bad. But hey in NL everyone, good or bad, is fair game right? God foresake than anyone who helps ever get any credit.

      Delete
    6. That's goddam right... the armchair critcs trying to badmouth Stan Marshall for coming out of a comfortable retirement to try and salvage the horrendous wreckage of that Williams/Martin/Dunderdale fiasco should just stfu.

      Delete
    7. Sorry Maurice you erred, it is at least 15 billion by now!

      It is too soon to declare victory for lunkhead Stan who in secrecy "got er done". But wait the job is incomplete, get that software working and get to commercial power by spring. I also want to see a cost update AFTER the election when there will be a "whoops" moment and a couple of billion in costs will materialize.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous6 September 2019 at 20:55 to fully describe the Nalcor crew after Stan came onboard we need to call them "the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". Stan took the job for the same obscene pay for a PART TIME job! Good work if one can get it in feudal NL!

      Delete
    9. When Marshall stepped in he said he would a full review. Enough said.

      Delete
    10. When Marshall stepped in, his objective was to stop the bleeding and get the project back on the rails. I guess he could have pissed about doing a big review but massive amounts of money would have been lost by idly standing by. There are times for talk and there are times for action. We would be billions of dollars further in the hole at this point if he didn't move as quickly as he did.

      In 2016, Marshall's compensation while CEO of Fortis was $11,556,689. Marshall didn't own Fortis, he only worked there. His salary was set by the money grubbing Fortis shareholders who won't pay a dime more for anything than is absolutely necessary. They certainly felt the value Marshall brought to Fortis justified the pay. He could have continued as CEO of Fortis if he wanted beyond 2016 but he went to Nalcor instead. He went to work for Nalcor for annual pay of $661,100. I won't explain why salaries like this are justified but will say that it is linked to rarity of his skills and the decline in the risk level a man like this brings when he manages a multi-billion dollar project like MF.

      I would like to see where we would have been without Stan Marshall stepping in. It would have been a far bigger shit show without him. Thanks Stan for stepping up, despite the clueless commentary of many of those who live in NL.

      Delete
    11. Yes, guess there are a lot of "what if's, that could have happened in 2015. What if, Eddie had bit the bullet and stayed on?? What if he resigned, and Gil had moved one step up the ladder, or Harrington 2 steps up the ladder. What if, Astaldi had brought in the main man to take over, or SNC. And what if, Davis had won the election, maybe him and a Dally would have really got involved and rolled up their sleeves along with the chief, and personally got her done. What if there was no second FLG. So if I consider all the possibilities, maybe the current outcome was the best of a really bad situation, as it worked out, despite no pause and re-evaluate thinks Joe blow.

      Delete
    12. Stan told the people he would do a full review, while Ball told him to 'finish strong'.

      Ball merely changed horses. And Stan fell in lock-step to get her, no matter what --- no rational analyses of options other than full speed ahead.

      What's the difference in the two approaches? None.

      Stan was a hired gun. He could have (he had the opportunity)and should have, done better.

      Top-down, dam the torpedoes approaches, both.

      Delete
    13. Guess the discussion was would we have been better off or worst off if Stan the man had not taken it on. What would have been your choice, continue with Eddie etc..and I added what if Davus had been elected, what would he have done, what would you have wanted him to do, or should have done. Guess Eddies Dividends would be rolling in now. Average Joe.

      Delete
    14. Boys, Time will tell if they can finish strong, or finish weak , or finish at all:
      1. No good software working yet.
      2 No generation yet.
      3 Dc line was working to about 5 % capacity last winter, now nothing at all until try again Jan 2020
      4 Is the North Spur safe or a serious danger to life and property
      5 How to stop declining demand on the island to pay operating expenses of MFs. Now using baseboard heat for schools and MUN, is backwards as to conservation, and worsen the peak load.
      6. MFs is for sure unreliable, so how do we address backup: keep old Holyrood running for a decade , add more GTs, extend the 3rd line from Western to Eastern Avalon, add wind? Considering these and other things, Bruno's 15 Billion is not much off
      7 if MFs operates ok, do we elecrtify with EVs to add load and revenue, if so we must encourage HPs to reduce the winter peak , the BUMP, the HUMP, to allow NS committments.

      Going out STRONG has a long way to go. Possible it may require abandoning it altogether and starting over for lowest cost, so we may be going out Wrong not Strong? No one can tell the future yet except Bruno , who says"the future is here today". We must wait a while yet. But Leblanc wants out, before we know if this turns out strong or wrong, to keep his sanity. Stan must stay put, to try to save face, for the strong finish
      Maybe if Stan tried some of Bruno's ABC Aurora weed, all for him wound now be sterling strong and he could retire from MFs with a big smile, and then head up Nfld weed export market, which Ball totes as our next salvation, many new jobs to counter our 13 % unemployment rate.
      Sex , drugs and rock and roll:
      We have the dildo craze, encouraged by Ball, photo taken next to Capt Dildo.
      We have the drug promotion with cannibis, promoted by Ball (a pharmisist is he not?
      So, we are ready to rock and roll on the ROCK, our Revolution achieved. In the 70s they sipped Hibernia oil, and got oil on the brain, and went for the boondoggle. Now our MHAs can smoke the weed, all legal, good for medical and recreation says Ball. Then we are ready to do Gull. We can borrow from Germany at negative interest rates. What could be better?
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    15. To Anon 09:22:---

      You misrepresent the issue.

      It is not a choice between this CEO or that CEO (Ed or Stan), the KEY difference between them as to this conversation is negligible.

      They both took their marching orders, virtually unquestioned, or at least not rationally questioned, as a given --- no integrated rational planning, or no integrated rational reassessment, AND THEY JUST MARCHED FOREWARD -- as directed.

      What does it matter if was Danny/Dunderdale to Ed/Gil, or if was Ball/Coady to Stan/Gil?

      The process, the unquestioned march as directed, was the same.

      There was no independent/critical-minded thought, integrated/bottom-up analyses.

      And still none.

      We are being fed the same pablum, (Kool-aid) and we are drinking it down ---- as if it was something new or different.

      We have had another wake-up call, but it seems many still prefer to believe in the tooth fairy.

      It is still the tooth fairy, whether of the blue or red variety.

      Delete
    16. Without misrepresenting the issue or the discussion, I will just ditto Winston's comment. Average Joe.

      Delete
    17. Maurice - You are totally wrong in your comments about the negligible difference between Ed Martin and Stan Marshall. You are measuring these people from a political perspective. They should be measured from a perspective of their ability to fulfill their role in overseeing the execution of the project. That is what they were mandated to do as employees of Nalcor.

      Ed Martin was a pure politician who needed to surround himself with people who had the knowledge to execute the project. Martin was no more than a figure head, like most politicians. He really did a poor job of selecting his team and that, combined with his dishonesty, lead to disaster. By contrast, Stan Marshall has the training and experience that does not make him vulnerable in the same way. He has a great deal of insight into the legal and technical details that are over the heads of Martin or Ball. Marshall is qualified to do his job while Ball and Martin are not.

      Knowledge is power and Stan has the knowledge. Stan was not, is not and will never be a politician or a figure head. He gets involved in the details and leads his team rather that following them. I would compare Marshall's relationship with Ball to a brain surgeon working for a child. The surgeon knows he has to do the job and he can't expect much from the boss that will be useful. The boss is really a liability who can offer practically nothing to a successful outcome.

      It seems like everything in NL becomes politicized. Some things have nothing to do with politics and determining the effectiveness of Martin vs Marshall is one of them. I guess if you have never been on a management team overseeing a major project, you wouldn't have the insights regarding what to look for to determine effectiveness in a project leader. For you, you look at political measures. For me, I look at further cost escalation, claims associated with contracts, ability to hold schedule, labor stability, Safety performance, Environmental performance, etc. These are the things that determine if a project is successful or not.

      Stan was passed a very bad hand and made the best of it despite working for a clueless employer and beaten on regularly by people like you. In simplistic terms, if you were going to build a house, would you hire a master carpenter (Marshall) or a first year apprentice (Martin)? I think the answer is obvious.

      Delete
    18. Sure 661K for a part time gig! It did us a real favour in the dark completing the civil works, never mind the spur instability just plod along! We don't now how Stan performed with the secrecy at Nalcor. Easy for anon praise, is it from Stan himself?

      Delete
    19. Nice try Anon 13:01, but no cigar.

      I am not measuring Ed and Stan from a political perspective.

      Their first responsibility was to form their own independent assessment of the REAL needs, costs, and risks associated with "the project".

      Does the evidence show that Ed did that? ---- No reply needed.

      Does the evidence show that Stan did that? ---- Same comment.

      They both followed the direction from, your word-- the "child".

      A responsible leader/manager would have made sure that he or she had a comprehensive, cohesive, rational, evidence-based understanding as to what was being asked of him or her and only after such a, dare I say, "integrated planning approach" would he or she either move forward as directed, or make every reasonable effort to effect the necessary changes.

      Stan told the public he would do just that (conduct a 'full review') ---- then promptly followed the child's "uninformed" direction.

      And FWIW, been there, done that.

      Delete
    20. And as to 'insights':---

      Here are two excerpts from Pages 65 and 80 of the 2012 PUB MF Least-Cost Review Report:--

      Page 65
      "MA ... concluded that ... (Decision Gate 2, low quality, Class 4, feasibility level)... cost estimates ... are insufficient grounds on which the Board can reasonably, rationally and reliably conclude that the Interconnected Option is least-cost."

      And the Board's page 80 Conclusion?

      "The information provided by Nalcor in the review is not detailed, complete or current enough to allow the Board to determine whether the Interconnected Option represents the least-cost option for the supply of power to Island Interconnected customers over the period of 2011-2067..."

      Delete
    21. THE MIGHTY MINI:
      The verdict is in. The question being does uptake of Minisplit heatpumps present a liability to rate mitigation or is is beneficial? The economic rule of 'elasticity' suggests that reducing load with heatpumps requires rates to go higher, suggesting it is counterproductive , or even harmful overall.
      Dave Vardy asked is it now necessary for the public to invest in heatpumps after the 12.7 billion spent on MFs.
      I suggested the answer is yes.
      Now, according to Synapse, the answer is indeed yes.
      The Mighty Mini, attacked from all quarters:
      1. John Smith ridiculed it as similar to butterflies and rainbows.
      2. Nalcor, Nfld Power, and Nfld Hydro ignored it.
      3. Wade Locke refused to read my short technical presentation to the PUB
      4. Bruno ridiculed it big time: " A minisplit in every attic, a chicken in every pot"
      5. James Feehan came around some, but declined my performance data from monitoring as to peak demand reduction ability, and the importance of cold climate models.
      6. MUN : one engineer said their performance was a myth, 2 others expressed no interest since one was doing work for Nalcor , the other doing work for Nfld Power.
      7. Our Quebec commentators: Heracles vowed to abandon UG unless I quit giving performance results. Military Engineer believed, as did Heracles, that these were useful prior to MFs, but detrimental overall to promote them once MFs is operational.
      7. PENG2 conditionally acknowledges their high performance, but seems in the camp with Military Engineer. His commitment on UG to do a cold eyes review of my performance data did not materialize.
      8. MA installed one and posted his results on VISION 2041, and also posted my Telegram pieces form 2012, but has been quiet on rate mitigation ability.
      9. The public is responding this way: 12,000 installed in 2018 alone, making Peter Alteen of Nfld POwer very nervous......fearing a death spiral of our power system.

      Seems it was I that advocated for the Mighty Mini, on this UG blog. I was mostly just a messenger, that others wanted to shoot, especially when proving performance by end-use analysis, many saying : STFU. ( Shut the fuck up).

      Synapse's "major conclusion" for rate mitigation, filed with the PUB Sept 3rd says: "Go for electrification plus CDM. Concern with loss of revenue due to CDM is offset by slightly higher rates and reduced average consumption" It is saying, so mighty is the energy savings that a little higher rates don't matter, go for the Mighty MINI.

      There you have it: All of the critics must now bow down to the Mighty Mini. Yet.....there remains Stan's slip up at the Inquiry,........saying that heat pumps DON"T reduce peak demand! And too Nfld Power's Alteen , saying "they have limitations" They may yet have the last laugh, since deception on the public helps dividends. Which is to take priority, truth and openness or deception and dividends? Is the days of programmable thermostats and 10 dollar rebates soon to end, or not? Many still want to bow to Stan and Alteen, the Mighty Mini be damned. Marshall and Alteen are both lawyers after all, and know the ropes of the PUB procedures. Mitigation or not can be like, as we have learned, "least cost" is not the same as lowest cost. Slippery fellows , those lawyers. Would I bet the minisplits gets reasonable incentives for uptake? Not at all. Truth is not a priority, never was. It is not highly valued.
      Winston Adams

      Delete
    22. Well my 2 cents worth again. Seems to me the discussion was who is qualified, from experience, ability, and in the field of building hydro electric projects, to even be in that position as CEO. I mentioned, Martin, Bennett and Harrington. Neither would seem to fit that bill, all were on their first hydro project. Now my assumption was Marshall has built hydro projects before as CEO or the equivalent, since he has worked all his life in hydro with Fortis. If my assumption is incorrect, then please tell me. Then I mentioned, Astaldi, brining in their man, meaning a perso that has built hydro projects as CEO, and similar for SNC. So I asked the question what would they have done compared to Marshall, in taking over a project half completed, under the circumstances that we all know. You could only compare apples with apples, and the first 3 are not apples in the field of building hydro projects. I could have started the project, if someone was silly enough to ask me, but I doubt that I could have finished it. So I would just fuck it up enough, that even the best of the hydro project managers and CEO's could ever straighten it out properly, unless they abandoned the sight completely and started all over somewhere else. Now was that an option ask Joe blow.

      Delete
    23. The only difference between Stan Marshall and Ed Martin is that Stan Marshall is a good man whereas Ed Martin is low-life ball of slime.

      Delete
    24. I have only briefly looked at about 10 pages of the Synapse, but notice:
      1. they suggest rates of 7 cents per kwh for EVs, charged at off peak times, so nighttime
      2. grid peaks only reduces 1 % by time shifting but with CDM a 10.9 % reduction
      3.Dunsky estimates adoption rates for HPs of 16% by 2034, whereas Shnapse says 62 % by 2030 on top of the 18 % at present. Was Dunsky hired by the Consumer Advocate, not sure?
      4 Synapse findings supports that provincial policy that aggressive supports CDM.
      This 156 page report should be reviewed in more detail,maybe Planet NL would do it? These issues now before the PUB this fall.
      Winston

      Delete
    25. I see reports of some roofs blowing off houses in Halifax area, and half a million without power, due to Dorian.
      Bruno may be in the hurricane path. hope he has a wood supply or coal even. Doubt he took his own advise and has a Tesla wallpac battery for backup?
      Stay safe Bruno. Give us an update. We are lucky for now on the Avalon, our turn will come someday.
      Winston

      Delete
    26. THE MIGHTY MINI!!! Have to agree with you Winston, you have preserved and so has the mini. Too little too late. This applies with a proper assessment of the north spur as to its stability for an hydro project, and the ability of the mighty mini to minimize the winter bump. (Notice someone has renamed trumpie, Donald Hump, which is Why I prefer to use the term winter bump. Think it has something to do with Stormy) Yes, too late for a re-evaluation of the North spur, the die has been cast. Re-evaluation could only result in wait for it to give way, or drain the white elephant, very little could be done in terms of its stability. What is done is done. But Winston's Mighty Mini, rotates onward and upward, killing any increase in power consumption despite all ensundry to electrify the province, and to reduce the bump. I'm gonna get my cold weather mighty mini (CWMM) sometime soon, and NL power is going to pay for it. Now that's not like The Hump's campaign slogan, the Mexico is going to pay for the wall, this is factual, as light and power paid for my chainsaw, trike, and truck years ago when I burned wood. Light bills averaging around $1000 bucks a year for almost 2 decades. And I enjoyed both the toasty heat and the outdoor activity, says average Joe.

      Delete
    27. SYNAPSE;
      As I suspected, the power of the Mighty Mini is to hogtied. While the report has much to say, half of the mini's potential will be ignored ( can't have a power company death spiral , I suppose)
      The plan is that likely there will be no incentives for them , but incentives for other measures. The thinking is that the mini is so mighty , that people will install them on their own anyway. If any incentive it would be merely 500.00 per ton, so 750.00 for the popular 1.5 ton (delivers about 3 kw of heat at -15C)
      Further no indication I see to promote best practice, requiring cold climate models.
      Data they used had only partial CC models , used in the USA studies, about the year 2011, so performance is far from best practice.
      Me thinks Synapse, like other consultants for Nalcor , have their marching orders, that puts the ratepayer second, the power companies first. Same old, same old. My excitement was premature.
      So too for electric vehicles....they mention the federal rebate, but no suggestion of a provincial rebate, as other provinces do. So the load growth for MFs power for EVs will lag.
      My comments are from a partial 1 hr review, and hope others will dig into this report.......if this is too lead us for our future energy use.

      Winston Adams

      Delete
  32. What to do with our human shit problem..........are we all incompetent asks someone at the big meeting today at the Holiday Inn
    A big story elsewhere is that we are starting to run out of phosphates that are used for fertilizer , so world food production is heading for a nosedive. One solution they say : human sewage, our poop, our shit has high commercial value for phosphate, and this being done now in some locations.
    Instead we poison our oceans and streams with our waste.
    Winston Adams

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are there no smart users of organic toilets left in NL? They were a brief rage in the 70's for God's sake! Remember when you buy China grown garlic buds at Sobeys, they were probably grown with human fertilizers. What is the estimated tonnage of locally garlic, chard, cabbage, turnips and kayle this year? Is Indian Meal Rd. still a productive farmland, or just another paved parking lot? Hunker down, Dorian is approaching.

      Delete
    2. Somebody put a "grown" between the locally garlic, please. The 80 yr brain is slipping up as Joe would say. How old, (young) are you Joe? Have we met sometime in the past?

      Delete
    3. Ok for you Robert, you have no cover to blow, and way out west, where as I am in hiding, and operates undercover, and a fincincial empire to protect, as the guy on tv use to say as he overlooked his junk, rusted, used car lot. Gotta have some agents like that so I can say anything I want, within reason, and never have to answer for it, right...other commentaries. No Robert we have never met. Joe blow.

      Delete
  33. "Take heed, take heed of the Western Wind". From the Dylan song, Spanish Leather, sung by Nanci Griffith;


    https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&sxsrf=ACYBGNR2_QhwgsRnsiyrkNUAOBnKukkQEA:1567944641842&q=boots+of+spanish+leather+nanci+griffith&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjT7J37mMHkAhWAHzQIHTWIBfQQ1QIoBnoECAwQBw&biw=1230&bih=698

    Enjoy the total irony

    Had Ms. Coady and the bright lites who shunned the potential of wind energy actually taken heed

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  34. Any reports of new transmission tower damage on the Northern Peninsula?:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/dorian-nl-warnings-1.5275154

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  35. 400,000 of approximately 500,000 customers of NS Power/Emera in Nova Scotia without power. A similar situation for Fortis/Maritime Power on PEI. High winds have a way of finding weaknesses in transmission and distribution lines. The DC lines on the Northern Peninsula could get somewhat of a test as Dorian passes over today.

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    Replies
    1. Not to worry, this is just a summer breeze compared to a winter icing storm on the northern peninsula...

      Delete
    2. Having worked at transmission line protection, yes icing is a major potential problem but flashovers from wind driven salt from the ocean is a problem any time of the year. And may cause trips with immediate reset or outages for hours. This happens more frequent that ice damage.
      For the DC line Nalocr falsely claimed salt contamination would not be problem. Existing AC line have this as a frequent problem, and DC can also. Last year some 20 trips of the DC line , not aware if any were slat flashovers?

      Winston Adams

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    3. Yes, salting can occur any time of the year, as you know, but would depend on wind force and direction. Just checked wind direction at port au choix, for example, and southerly now, shifting more to the Sw and westerly this evening, that may give more salting as blowing more on the land. But no doubt difficult to predict, only when it happens. As for icing, was thinking more of icing on the wires, to bring down a tower, and you have a much better idea than I do on the added weight. Joe blow.

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    4. The wind from Dorian over the west coast/Northern Peninsula today is around 130kph so the design wind must be much higher. What is it, 200kph? The wind on iced lines of course in the fall/winter season is a different ball game but not this time of the year of as someone said summer breezes.

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    5. Are the DC lines located on the low lying salt side of the peninsula or on the high ground atop the mountains well away from the salt problem?

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  36. Reading the Independent this morning. Story there about supporting local business? I've been in a union here for 30 years and always told by the office that local businesses were bad people. Why would we support them now? Hard to get union members to go along with this when the message has always been to tear down the businesses.

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  37. Half a million customers without power in the Maritimes and the commenters on this site don't see that there is a problem worthy of comment. Is it Muskrat blindness?

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    Replies
    1. Most of our hydro lines etc. Were built long before Nalcor and muskrat blindness. And simililiarly with oil flowing from Hibernia, white rose and Terra Nova oil fields. But interesting to know which main lines are down in Nova Scotia and NB as well as Pi. Maybe you can tell us being a nalcor person in the know.

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  38. LIBERTY NEW REPORT:
    I wondered, since we know from Liberty , and has occurred here , if an expenditure is not prudent , the PUB can deny payment , whether to Nfld hydro or Nlfd Power.
    Leblanc is likely to find MFs not a prudent investment, so the PUB will not approve any rate increase for it, I wondered? Customers should demand it be so.
    Liberty comments on this and may suggest the PUB has no prudence authority, and also must take MFs and the LIL reliability "as it finds them"
    Reliability costs rests with the customers.......this out of wack with how most all North American utilities operate.
    It says Nalcor has a "split personality" due to inherent conflicts of interest.
    What a web they weave........
    Winston Adams

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  39. The question the inquiry should have asked to every person testifying was "Outside of your salaried position payment, did you financially benefit in anyway by having ownership in any company or influencing decisions ". It appears to be a well known fact that key people were involved in hiring firms and supply companies. Why has this not been exposed. In other words how much did Nalcor Staff or Government members make from the project

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