to keep up with the craziness.
we shouldn’t be concerned because all megaprojects experience overruns.
He repeated an assertion that should bring howls of laughter (derision actually) that the project will
bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the province. At $11.4 billion and
counting you have to be pretty brazen to make the claim, as did Williams, that your
biggest concern is that “someone is going to screw it up.”
recognition by Nalcor CEO Stan Marshall, that the current project represents a cost to rate payers of 21.4 cents per kWh and that revenue on
export sales will represent a reduction of less than a cent per kWh, seems not
to have blunted the ardour of the former Premier. (Note that Stan Marshall is referring not to the cost of MF power but to a “blended” price and he makes no reference to the fact that the rate applicable to MF power generation is not even the full price in the early years after commissioning – so even at 21.4 cents per KWh Marshall is quoting a price designed to avoid “rate shock”.)
Now, Williams wants the entire Province up in arms because Stan Marshall is said to be negotiating away Muskrat Falls, Gull Island, and the Upper Churchill (again) to Hydro Quebec.
Based upon his recent outburst on NTV, Danny wants us to be mad – not at him – but at the Nalcor CEO.
In time we will deal with Stan Marshall, and a Liberal Government that sanctions any crazy plan to relieve the public of the financial burden of Williams’ crazy scheme. After all, if Marshall is up to such madness, it is precisely because this is the road down which Williams has led the province.
Besides, we might ask: how would Williams know?
Are Danny’s friends who still occupy senior posts at Nalcor doing an end run around Stan Marshall as they counsel him that everything is fine at Muskrat Falls – just keep the money coming? Does socializing with Williams give him unwarranted access to the play-by-play unfolding within the Crown Corporation?
Is Stan Marshall as dumb as he seems, having make no changes to either senior management or to the Muskrat Falls project, possibly believing as he has stated, that the management team has learned from their mistakes – even as he ignores that, for most of them, Muskrat is their first major civil project, not their 5th or 10th?
Stan Marshall has already indicated he is attempting to bury the hatchet with Hydro Quebec and that an agreement on one issue has already been concluded which might otherwise have gone to court. Should we question Premier Ball regarding the latitude he might have given Marshall? We should.
But Williams is not a credible spokesperson to tackle any unwise strategy Stan Marshall may be contemplating. He simply isn’t.
Williams refuses to take responsibility for his unctious public policy decisions as Premier. He not only spews nonsense that the province can double the total capacity of Muskrat, Gull and the Upper with Labrador’s wind power potential, he doesn’t relate the silly strategy to cost, to the province’s fiscal capacity, or to a marketplace that won’t pay even a tenth of the production and transmission costs of such a scheme. Williams himself, not Labrador in this case, is where the wind is coming from.
Most importantly, Williams ignores the human and economic costs that high electricity rates post-Muskrat will impose. He refuses to acknowledge that people will be forced to choose between food and electricity.
|Photo Credit: Sun Times Own Sound, ON|
the Bruce Power nuclear generating station, providing upwards of 30 per cent of
Ontario’s electricity. Still, the nuclear plant does little for
local residents, all of whom pay steep delivery charges to Hydro One.
of any one particular family. Since January of this year, Bruce and Grey Counties have reviewed the applications of more than 200 people seeking
assistance with their hydro bills. Some of these individuals are recently
unemployed or back at work after an extended period, while others are facing
issues such as long-term illness and disability.”
News story included this comment: “People have to choose what they’ve got to
pay,” said Phil Sams, a resident of Bruce County who has already faced one
disconnection notice. “Most people choose keeping the lights on and then they
starve for the month, which I think is ridiculous.”
“detailed the experience of one rural Ontarian who struggles with energy costs.
She shuts off her water heater during the day, hangs her laundry to dry, avoids
using the air conditioner, and only runs the dishwasher at night. Despite these
energy saving measures, she runs electricity bills around $300 a month.”
Times in Own Sound noted that Francesca Dobbyn, executive director of the
United Way of Bruce Grey, “…pointed to national news
reports that quote the Ontario Energy Board as saying nearly 60,000 residential
customers were disconnected in 2015 from hydro services due to non-payment. That number was confirmed by The Sun Times…”
Dobbyn: “If we had 30 kids in Ontario with the measles, we’d have a health
crisis. With 60,000 households in Ontario who were disconnected from hydro,
that’s a crisis. And in rural Ontario, when that disconnection means you can’t
use your well, that’s a public health crisis”.
rates compared to households in “urban high density” areas, according to the
United Way report.”
electricity, except in off-peak hours.
person except Danny Williams, is incapable of doing the simple extrapolation of
the misery meted out in rural Ontario and giving it a Newfoundland context.
Carter makes no attempt to raise any such issues – though Nalcor, under Stan Marshall, has made no secret of the cost of Muskrat power or that the problem may be further aggravated by continuing cost overruns. The requirement for more reserve
thermal capacity, too (consistent with the Liberty Report) can only further compound the problem.
What has Williams to say to all those people facing this financial imposition and the huge impact on their quality of life represented by outrageous power costs?
Can’t NTV or for that matter the public broadcaster and the media generally, not connect the dots on the economic and human implications of the issue, especially for those on limited and fixed incomes.
Why on earth must buffoonery be permitted to constitute news!
Williams is fooling no one except, perhaps, the NTV Host. Williams may as well get ready for the howls of people who are about to confuse their mortgage payments with their electricity bills.
He is about to discover just how quickly a public in financial distress can alter their perception – even possibly of the Hydro Quebec bogeyman – something that Stan Marshall might be counting on.
But Danny Williams should be most worried that he replaces Hydro Quebec, as public enemy #1. A cold house and an empty stomach.is going to make a lot of people damn mad!