Gnarley is in a foul mood.

The old
economist and Petty Harbour fisherman called up just the other day to wail that
the “Chase the Ace” lottery in the Goulds is getting more traction than
possible fraud at Nalcor.

That the CBC
had stationed a reporter in the community for the whole day – and planned to go back on-air to chase the outcome – didn’t sit well
with him. “Damn blasted,” he could be heard, “sure the crowd at ‘Here and Now’ probably think Muskrat is something to chase, too.

“A bunch of innocents thinking a church lottery makes better news than fooling people and squandering billions”, he growled. 

was not happy. And not because he didn’t have a ticket.

Yes, it’s
July. And readers are likely saying ‘for the love of Pete, knock it off… we
don’t care if Nalcor is responsible for every iceberg on the northeast coast
as long as winter is over by Regatta Day!

Of course it’s not
just the deceit at Nalcor, the dithering on the 8th Floor, or the nonsense on the CBC. Even holidays seem an unwarranted expectation to Uncle Gnarley,
especially when the public debt looms so large.

And he’ll
tell you as much, straight out.

I can just
see the ol’ codger now, looking through squinty eyes, as his chin whiskers are
raised only enough to convey a sense of bemusement at your collective pain, his
feigned concern nothing more than hope that his  sense of empathy is not
misinterpreted… not as commiseration, anyway.

Not even in
his cups would Uncle Gnarley tell you, you deserve a holiday!

he will prod with a wiry finger, as if it was a stick; a reminder that you let
a bunch incompetent fools pull the wool over your eyes  – $12.7 billion worth
probably far more.
Now, all you deserve is the right to work it off!

It’s tough
being at the mercy of the heartless, especially in July month.

Gnarley is like that. Yet, for all his peculiarities, he likes to keep an eye
on things. It’s a safe bet that from some corner of his tackle box, he can
track every IP address at Nalcor!

Now, where
was I? Oh, yes, the forensic audit.

government is deaf to calls for something so sensible. The public, including former premiers, want

Thing is,
do Ministers Cathy Bennett and Al Hawkins?  Do they have a gun to the Premier’s head?

Sure, people
would like to see what Bennett and Hawkins overlooked
or condoned when they
were on the Nalcor Board. Many are inclined to discount the worst possibility.
Hasn’t Uncle Gnarley always said: never chalk up to complicity what can be more
easily explained by stupidity?  
Except, even
Uncle Gnarley thinks the proof is in. Muskrat isn’t about run-of-the-mill foolishness.

having the Anonymous Engineer’s insider view and the SNC Report, too… and the Premier to not turn over a single stone!

And, it’s not as
if Nalcor got in bed with the virtuous, is it? 

What’s Stan’s
problem, anyway? Does he have a gun to his head, too?

Some, like Vardy and
Penney, credit him with having an air of “honesty… without pulling punches”.

Problem is,
it’s mostly air.

Gnarley has long gotten over being impressed with Stan Marshall.

And a oneword vocabulary doesn’t count for much either even if the word is

Marshall is
going to have to add twoword phrases soon. And “Forensic Audit” seems a good
place to begin.

having the nerve to tell Ball that Nalcor is ‘too busy to talk to a Forensic Auditor’ at $5 billion over budget!

And the crowd under suspicion – the ones giving the advice, too.

Why would expect something different from Nalcor, anyway?

Gnarley hasn’t stopped laughing since Stan Marshall was heard to say that, on
Muskrat, he wanted to “finish strong”.   

On occasion, he is heard to imitate the CEO: “Now, I want to finish strong”, he would say over and over. “Yes, I want to finish strong” – trying it in one octave, then another – only to keel over in fits of laughter; that boat having been long left the wharf. 

I wonder if I tried on Gnarley the idea of ‘Chase the Ace’ for rate mitigation.

‘Just as sensible as waiting for the senior executives at Nalcor to get out of town, if we wait three years for a Forensic Audit’, he would likely reply.
Des Sullivan
Des Sullivan
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Uncle Gnarley is hosted by Des Sullivan, of St. John's. He is a businessman engaged over three decades in real estate management and development companies and in retail. He is currently a Director of Dorset Investments Limited and Donovan Holdings Limited. During his early career he served as Executive Assistant to Premier's Frank D. Moores (1975-1979) and Brian Peckford (1979-1985). He also served as a Part-Time Board Member on the Canada-Newfoundland Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Uncle Gnarley appears on the masthead representing serious and unambiguous positions on NL politics and public policy. Uncle Gnarley is a fiscal conservative possessing distinctly liberal values and a non-partisan persusasion. Those values and opinions underlie this writer's views on NL's politics, economy and society. Uncle Gnarley publishes Monday mornings and more often when events warrant.


Bill left public life shortly after the signing of the Atlantic Accord and became a member of the Court of Appeal until his retirement in 2003. During his time on the court he was involved in a number of successful appeals which overturned wrongful convictions, for which he was recognized by Innocence Canada. Bill had a special place in his heart for the underdog.

Churchill Falls Explainer (Coles Notes version)

If CFLCo is required to maximize its profit, then CFLCo should sell its electricity to the highest bidder(s) on the most advantageous terms available.


This is the most important set of negotiations we have engaged in since the Atlantic Accord and Hibernia. Despite being a small jurisdiction we proved to be smart and nimble enough to negotiate good deals on both. They have stood the test of time and have resulted in billions of dollars in royalties and created an industry which represents over a quarter of our economy. Will we prove to be smart and nimble enough to do the same with the Upper Churchill?


  1. I am glad that Stan is being taken to task. He is just as untransparent as his predecessor. What will it take to make Ball act responsibly and call an inquiry?

    With the warning of spur collapse now documented with good science how can the imminent collapse be ignored? Does membership in the feudal political class override concern for the electorate or human life?

    It is time to rise up.

  2. All the so-called "elites" are connected by money or family relations. Consumer advocate Dennis Brown said yesterday any public inquiry should be delayed until the project is completed. His wife is Danny's cousin. The public doesn't have a fair chance when self-interest is the name of the game.

    • This inbred class nepotism is the real cause of the MF tragedy. When adherence to class loyalty trumps political, ethical and moral values it is the feudal rot that needs exposing and purging. When the CA and PUB chair are compromised and refuse to protect the public interest it is time for a broader discussion.

  3. At last we have a journalist who is not afraid to ask the questions that need to be asked, and publish them in the Telegram. Thanks Pam Frampton, thanks for stepping up to the plate. CBC good God – what a waste. So comfortable being a pack of cheap clowns.
    Pam, please take up the cause of the Forensic Audit, ask the tough questions you have been asking. We all know there is not a shred of truth in what Ball, Coady and Stan Marshall is telling us. We don't believe them and worse, they don't believe in themselves.

  4. When Uncle Gnarley wrote a piece called "Bureaucrats Masquerading as Entrepreneurs” I thought it summed up the situation well. I now believe a better tittle would have been “Fraudsters Masquerading as Bureaucrats”. Stupidity doesn’t go as far as the Astaldi contract. Not knowing the difference between fixed cost and cost plus doesn’t add up.
    The Province can at least do a forensic audit on that contract. Who is making all the money. Don’t stop on this side of the Atlantic. Get Interpol involved and find out any money shifts from Astaldi to numbered accounts

  5. Uncle gnarley, I think you should plant a mole on this site that believes or make us think he believes in muskrat, and says that muskrat is our only salvation, and he or she will fight to the death to defend the muskrats. He will espouse the virtue of muskrat left, right and center, maybe a brave silly media person might fit the bill. Then set back and watch the contributors and viewers of this blog go ballistic. It will bring out the worst in us, but more importantly bring out the best in us. You will have a following that will make chase the ace pale in comparison, maybe the cbc etc will post a reporter on this blog permantely, and will start a protest in the streets, yes bigger than the Ace.

  6. As to reliance on Nalcor's North Spur geotechnical and stabilization work:—

    Nalcor recently advised that its geotechnical report was dated November 2013, while its "Technical reviews of the current engineering were performed by the Advisory Board" in April and October 2013, by the Independnt Engineer in September 2013 and by Hatch Consulting in September 2013 — ALL BEFORE the November 2013 date of the geotechnical report.

    That should make everyone feel safe and secure —- knowing that Nalcor's North Spur's 'expert' technical reviews of the North Spur engineering were completed BEFORE the most recent geotechnical report.

  7. It blows my mind that we are more consumed with chase the ace than the billions being overspent on MF. Only when peoples rates increase $200 – $300 extra per month, will there be a public outcry.

    Why is VOCM & CBC not running a MF story every other day. Perhaps our reporters at VOCM & CBC simply don't have the skill set to investigate a story of this magnitude. I hate to think of the other option, that they are so fearful of political repercussions, that better not to investigate on it.

    This is one heck of an investigative story for a reporter looking to create a name for themselves on a National scale.

    • VOCM have their vested interested in propping up MF and they simply don't have the ability on staff for investigations or that scale. CBC never really tackled MF even when David Cochrane was here, one Vice article written by a NLr that works in CBCNL had a response "you use colorful language that hides your complete lack of ability"

      Details aren't found on the main stream media for MF as they have given the project the most superficial and sparse coverage and some were even used by Nalcor to "sell" the project to the public.

      Ironically you can comment more on UG then you can V CBC or VOCM with the restricted comment policy – CBC being a PUBLIC broadcaster shouldn't do sensationalist journalism AND preent people responding to their inept articles.

      VOCM a private media group can disable all comments so they can focus on their entertainment radio personalities but it doesn't give them any more news credibility.

      Telegram has picked up as of late because they have virtually no media competition on MF.

      When Chase the ace is the #1 concern for many in NL it says a lot about our society. File under lazy/easy/sensationalist/yellow journalism.

  8. Chase the Muskrat, or call it Chase the Rat, seems to be a viable way to prosperity, a Heritage Project even.
    Consider this:
    1. Muskrat is likely to go to 15 billion in cost.
    2. With a population of about 525,000, we have about 150,000 families.
    3. Now 15 billion divided by 150,000 families gives the figure 100,000.
    4. That means 15 billion, if spread around,via a loto, could make two thirds of all families millionairs! Even if you are not lucky, nevertheless your neighbour on either side of you would be rich, from Fortune on the south coast, to Nain, way down North. This seems remarkable, but math does not lie.
    5. And seeing that Nflders in general go mad over `run of the mill lotteries`, with really bad odds of winning, (maybe one chance in a million), imagine the hysteria with really good odds of winning: two out of three becoming millionairs!
    6. Now, I haven`t assessed the cost of the tickets for Chase the Rat, but, given the fact that the government has managed to finance the boondoggle, and create maybe only a few hundred multimillionaires, this lottery, whereby most Nflders can become millionaires should not be difficult to finance, and no shortage of takers, (stakeholders we can call them). Indeed , we should limit ticket sales to Nflders and Labradorians only. We deserve our day in the sun.

    And once we have so many millionairs, so many rich people must surely stimulate the economy….lots of money to spent. More tax revenue to help pay off the Muskrat boondoggle even.

    Do I hear a amen for Chase the Rat…….the math is sound , is it not!
    Winston Adams

    • And, what if we marketed T-shirts for Chase the Rat. It would feature the body of a rat, but the face of the culprits of Muskrat. I imagine Danny Williams, Ed Martin, Gil Bennett, Dunderdale, Jerome Kennedy, Tom Marshall, and who knows, once the dust settles, maybe Stan Marshall and Dwight Ball and Cathy Bennett might sell well. And would not these sell well to tourists, who try to understand out unique culture,with the screach and kiss the cod.
      Now maybe this crosses the bounds of good taste, and free expression, and I will readily disavow the whole idea if sued by those fine citizens who say they have served us faithfully and honestly.
      Meanwhile…….what of Tom Johnson……..and did Andy Wells really do enough to save us……….and also those once brave heroes of good governance ……with a watchful eye on public financial waste in the days of Shaheen and John Doyle and Joey Smallwood: John Crosbie and Clyde Wells., elder statesmen types……their mouths now taped shut on this fiasco.
      Of course there are big rats and little rats……some more vicious than others…
      Patty Daley of VOCM put in a plug for UG this morning, saying there is much more interest in Chase the Ace than what is going on with Muskrat Falls. Yet 90 percent of his program was taken up with Chase the Ace callers. One commented on Muskrat, but was confused who to blame;whether Danny Williams, the Labrador Protestors (who Daley defended) for adding to project cost,, or the public who now question the wisdom of full speed ahead and get her done.
      There was much questioning of the possible skullduggry on Chase the Ace, as to ticket numbers , no dates etc, and remarks that a million tickets sold in the last few days……..all to show the potential for Chase the Rat, I thought, as a sound idea, if run right.
      Marketing is key.

  9. You made your case in a nutshell, even to the non-believers or believers if you want to call them that; maybe even the brave silly media, but hw do you get that message out to the 500,000, that's the real challenge. Someone must have a brilliant way to do it.

    • I think the best way to gain traction and make the masses more aware is to create a simple 'Coles Notes' website in SIMPLE bullet point format that speaks to all known facts (whether due to stupidity, incompetence or possible fraudulent actions).

      Each fact could have a link pertaining specifically to each point… directing to a blog article on here for example. The points have to be lean and to the point – with meat to inform but no overwhelm. If people are interested they delve deeper.

      I think the main page graphic should illustrate the jump in a power bill from sanction to the last standing reported project costs. Then market the site via google web ads or any other way to broadcast the websites URL.

      My experience as to why most people avoid this issue is because of its complexity and that most think it will take too much time to absorb with nothing they can do anyway. I don't think you need to be an engineer or finance expert to understand the project went of the rails and that NO ONE in a position of power, media included, are willing to act on it.

      If there are takers who can provide the appropriate content and others who would help finance an ad purchase (pool of many), I'll think about creating, posting and maintaining the site. I am concerned and know that if my bills double, I have big decisions to make… that's sentiment enough for people to get informed. If I am going to have these stresses and life decisions placed on me, I want to know why and how it happened and have someone held accountable.

    • DM, I think your idea is a good one. The idea that power bills may double cause people to take notice and make decisions.
      We need to identify facts and with links to allow to explore these facts.
      I was aware preMF sanction that efficient heating systems could reduce our heating energy by 50 percent or more, as Nalcor promoted the idea that technology change for improvements was approaching saturation.
      I have studied the performance and recently monitored actual performance on the Avalon, and sought to identify best practices.
      So Nfld Power and Ndld Hydro says this technology you can save up to 40 percent on heating energy (which seems impressive), but I say up to 70 percent (60 percent in winter and 75-80 percent in spring and fall, with best practises. This gives an average of almost 70 percent saving , almost double suggested by the power companies.
      The power companies refuse to do the research to prove it,(they like using assumptions, I like evidence), while I have done the research.
      This data, on a site such as you suggest can be very valuable to builders, installers and homeowners to make them aware of best practises.
      Installers may be interested in ads as you suggest, as presently many installers lack good technical information for best practices. (For disclosure, I do not supply or install these units). 5 years ago , in Nova Scotia , this technology was promoted by the power companies as a HEATING REVOLUTION.
      This is but one idea, and one fact………there are many more that would interest readers. As we have no Efficiency NL, your blog could provide valuable information.
      Interesting ……today the govn here has done away with the dept of Innovation and Research, and wraps it into the dept of Tourism and Culture! Says a lot I guess.

      Winston Adams

    • "dm" and Winston Adams… you are both TRULY on to something worthwhile here. It needs to be pursued without delay, (imo).

      I have a decades in business, marketing, graphics, and of late I've been studying online marketing. Chase the Rat, Chase the Ass, Chase the Face (s) … either or all with a series of t-shirts, posters, e-posters for sharing can bring more notoriety to our cause.

      The web site is a tremendous idea!… and dm's approach is bang on accurate. People (generally) are too lazy and spoiled by our world of instant gratification. Nobody likes discomfort and many simply won't read more than 1 or 2 hundred words about anything, let alone something that includes harsh realities and bleak outlooks for our future. I expect both the Uncle Gnarley blog and the realize this at some level too. I've had to step away from articles before completion on several occasions, merely because time didn't allow the luxury. Sometimes it was all just to depressing to deal with at that moment.

      The energy conservation information is brilliant! It gives folks a (personally) worthwhile reason to go to the site and in going there, the bullet point approach will educate them. In order to bypass that info they should have to click through 3 or 4 levels to reach the money saving info. Rewards (education) for efforts? Home imporovement contractors can use the technical assistance, (I am one so I know it will help) and many more contractors will turn to energy conservation because the arse is gone out of construction generally.

      People do and surely will, require ways to reduce costs. Some will actually go without food or heat to a serious degree so the demand is obvious and significant and in the coming few months it will become immediate also. Prime time now for development.

      I've become a frugal and financially astute person out od need, ("join the club" right?). Consequently, last winter I began creating a "Frugality Guide to Survivng the Muskrat Fraud". I think this can be a substantial "draw" for folks to go to such a site. Perhaps a more positive spin on the name may help, but we need controversy to achieve our goals of more publicity too.

      If/when you fine folks want to persue this, I can help. As a proud and dedicated protester/protector I have attended over a dozen (lost count) of the local actions against Muskrat and I'm well connected on FB to get the word out (600+ friends, virtually all who are like minded about this crap). I have experience with politicians corruption that far exceeds that of the vast majority of the public and have lost at least one business as a direct result of same, so I'm plenty F'n motivated too!!

      Find me on Facebook or ask Des for my contact info if you're serious about this, (please).

      Peter Austin
      Parent and concerned citizen

    • Peter, Good to see your interest. As to DM suggestion of bullet point format with links, I just checked an American web site who offers products for heating and plumbing……to the left side I counted 91 names of Manufacutrers, all in alphabetical order….so it is easy to go down and go to that link for that product, and once there you can link to more detailed information.
      In this case, if to cite FACTS alone, as per DM suggestion, as to MF fiasco, one fact could be the issue of wind……as discussed on this site today…….the idea of wind is all over the place, as from 54 MW we have now to the farce of 1200MW proposed by Kennedy, to evade what was practical and cost effective, so people are confused, and it is intentional.
      But I expect, as the driver to such a site is the concern for dealing with cost effective measures to lower our energy bills, such a site would be much more effective than Stan Marshall mitigation pie in the sky.
      A year ago i thought of such a online site, but lack the computer, and marketing skills that other guys like you might have.
      3 of my close friends for the past 5 years were aware of my extremely low energy use with mini-split system. But neither took the step to install a system. One said if power went to 16 cents (as originally projected, he would then install a system.
      This past few months I showed them real times performance data,from constantly monitoring the heat loads, and what happens when you switch from baseboard to heatpump…….
      This past week 2 guys have had quotes from contractors ,and the other considering it.
      Whether my data(a picture is worth a thousand words) or Stan Marshall`s recent 12.7 billion , figure, whatever the cause, they are not waiting for years more to act, but are doing so. And their interest is based on hoping for 40 percent energy saving on heat, when in fact up to 70 percent yearly saving on heat is possible with best practices.
      I expect many contractors and wholesalers will want links to such a site, once up and running.
      It`s about saving money, efficiency, good for the environment, reducing GHG….staying warm and eating too……maybe even municipalities will clue in, and eventually the provincial govn.(a miracle there…….an order to Nalcor and Light and Power to reduce peak demand and energy use, or face stiff fines. If the PUB (if Andy Wells had balls, he could have done…….as Manitoba PUB recently done, and order the power companies to do that….but will they let Andy back at his job… suspended……….

  10. Vision 2041 does an excellent job of pulling all the Muskrat Falls sentiments in one location. I don't know how many people know it even exists. Let's use what we've got to the maximum effectiveness. What we don't have is a leader to head up the "Inquiry, Forensic Audit" movement. The Telegram is beginning to create an awareness by getting the need for accountability out of the computer and into the newspaper so more people will be aware of what is going on.

  11. Unfortunately it is all too little too late. We should have thought about these scenarios when the PC's under Danny Williams were voted in the second time-not that the Liberals were any better. We need a second Commission of Government to set this province straight once and for all.

  12. Talking about incompetent fools… just look at the horrendously over-priced mess the Dept of Transportation has become on Al Hawkins' watch

    Roads in such a state of disrepair they look like they've been carpet-bombed, cooks on a dysfunctional ferry system pulling down 6-figure salaries, the cost of wharf expansions going triple over budget so as to accommodate brand-new defective ferries ill-suited to the task… bloody-well ridiculous.

    And the transportation file is just a microcosm of the general piss-poor governance and delivery of services… such chronic dearth of competent leadership exists right across the board, and is precisely why this little province has deteriorated into such a wretchedly entropic state.

    And unfortunately the Muskrat debacle will only serve to make things worse.

  13. Kirbey Mercer and Beothic Energy is again promoting west coast offshore wind power, saying he has a billion dollars to spend and could create 2000 jobs on the west coast and could become the hub for building wind infrastructure and components.
    And I have got some swamp land in Florida to sell you…a real bargin…….
    This the guy who promoted west coast oil and gas for a decade, had a penny stock that went from 5 cents to 2 dollars, many losing thier shirts when it plummeted to 1 cent and rolled this into Beothic, with links to a Europeian company.
    If we don`t get moving now, other companies in the Atlantic region will seize the opportunity says Mercer.
    1.It offshore wind is much more expensive than on shore…….so why offshore
    2. West coast off shore would need to link to Nfld Hydro onshore transmission, then feed to the Maritime Link, on to NS grid. If intended for the USA market, it would need to feed through non- existant transmission capacity to the USA.
    3. NS will pay zero or 5 cents for Nfld or Lab hydro power, so what would they pay for the expensive offshore Nfld wind.
    4. Emera was looking at a 2 billion transmission into the USA that could take wind generation…….not sure the result of that…..meanwhile NS is adding to its own wind capability. Emera seems to want to profit from transmission fees on the line to the USA, whether from ultra expensive MF power or very expensive Beothic power….that suckers like Nfld ratepayers absorb one way or another.
    5. Beothic wind would compete with Nalcor exports of hydro power, and with MF now costing 60 cents per kwh to ratepayers here to pay off, and declining demand on the Nfld grid, permitting Beothic to use Nfld Hydro infrastructure, puts more of a burden on Nfld ratepayers.
    6. Nfld has one of the highest onshore wind capacity in the world, so why go to more expensive off shore.
    7. The long transmission distances reduces the power delivered to the end user…….(8 percent of MF is lost getting to St Johns, 8percent of 15 billion is more than 1 billion in transmission losses, gone into the atmosphere). Likewise with offshore Nfld wind vs offshore USA or offshore NS……`s the transmission …stupid, besides expensive offshore wind.
    8. Seems another scam without the fundamentals for economics. Maybe .in a decade or so, or if natural gas gets much more expensive in the USA and premiums is paid for wind , it could happened ……..but not now.
    Maybe the Telegram should question the fundamentals of Beothic, least we have yet another boondoggle, with govn money into it, or costs to the ratepayer indirectly by further impairing the outrageous poor economics of Muskrat. Please don`t wait another 5 years to count the false assumption being made.
    And any backdoor dealing with government needs to stop, the public being aware of any proposals being made in real time, not 10 days before sanction.
    Winston Adams

    • Simply put Winston, Wind energy was always, and always will be the preferred economic model for power generation on the Avalon. That is until the Bell Island mine is combined with geothermal options. Tail wagging the dog led the great thinkers on Water Street to go the Muskrat route, and all its long transmission line links to the Boondoggle.

    • Yes, always wondered what those dreamers where doing on the west coast, or maybe scammers was a better term. Know ex have lots of wind, but Nova Scotia and cape Breton is not far behind, and wind blows free doesn't it all the way down to New England. Why in God's name would the Americans want to ship it by expensive transmission lines and underwater cables. They are not that dumb, but think we are, if muskrat is an indication. A few years ago, before muskrat was scantioned the so called experts said we had lots of wind here, but it was not the right kind of wind, go figure. Think St. John's is the third windiest city in the world, all the others are mainly in South America. Yes I understand constant steady wind at elevations above the surface. Think trapassey barrens was considered one of the best wind farm areas, and right on the Avalon where the power is needed.

    • If you recall, Kennedy had Manitoba Hydro INt Consultants do a report that showed wind for Nfld was uneconomic:
      1. It assumed 1200MW, 600 for the east coast and 600 for the west cost, and assuming 43 percent capacity factor, as the wind varies, this gives about 516 MW, equal to Holyrood and equal to the average output of MF.
      2. But as wind is not firm power, and on a cold windless winter night, could produce almost nothing, they costed in battery storage for 1200MW, an enormous cost………all this to destroy the practical benefit of more modest wind additions….., as part of an isolated grid.
      3. The one thing that seemed good was their distribution of wind on several sites on the Avalon…….as while the wind may be light in one area it could be 50 percent higher 70 miles away. Whereas, a single development at Trepassey could have a low capacity at certain times, while its average is good.
      4. Also wind has to be secondary to hydro, for stability purposes, the big hydro turbines and generators holding the grid frequency at 60 cycles. Too much wind is a technical problem. But we could readily add a couple hundred MW of wind on the Avalon, or more.
      5. Practical solutions were not entertained, and Kennedy`s decision to assesss 1200MW was a farce…….and if an inquiry was done, would be exposed as a farce, to deceive the public and push ahead with Muskrat…….and Manitoba Int Consutlants delivered what they were mandated to do…….show that a wacky concept of 1200MW on a 1100MW hydro grid was not economic………any knowledgeable engineer for 500 dollars could state that in writing.

    • Indeed WA… the incessant BS from this Mercer individual and his chronic ravings about building some fabulous wind farm manufacturing centre in the hinterlands is becoming quite tiresome. The inane chatter from this guy has been ongoing for years and his Beothuck outfit is yet to generate a single bloody watt.

      How does this Mercer intend to economically service his wind farms during the winter when the Gulf of St. Lawrence is locked up solid in pack ice? Where does he expect to sell his juice when there's not even any market for electricity generated by that bloody Muskrat debacle? How is he going to chip off the ice build-up on his turbines due to freezing spray off the gulf in winter-time? Maybe get himself hoisted up to blades in a bosun's chair and go at it with an ice-pick?? Right…

      If this Mercer wants to blow his own money on hare-brained schemes like building wind farms in the ice-infested waters of Bay St. George that's his own business, just don't expect my tax dollars to be pissed away on an endeavour fraught with such risk.

    • Yes, that's what makes it so infuriating… infuriating to the degree that upon retirement I plan on re-locating to one of the Maritime provinces.

      Between the incompetent governance, tax gouges, deficit levies, and its hideous climate, NL is barely fit to live in as is. Once the populace is clobbered with the outrageous cost of the Muskrat debacle, the place will become the economic version of a radioactive fall-out zone. NLers will become the modern-day equivalent of the Okies heading west to escape The Dustbowl…

      Thanks Danny & Kathy.. and so long.

    • The problem with wind turbines as is any other option here in Nl is that Muskrat Falls has destroyed any hope of ever getting these industries of the ground. The same can be said of natural gas. Are wind turbines expensive? You bet they are but right now wind is able to compete in the US market at a competitive cost ( around 7 to 8 cents per kWh) with coal and natural gas and I don’t think I need to state the expensive hydro option we are developing.
      The second problem is storage of excess wind capacity but that is easily solved in NL with Pumped Hydro sites which are about 75 to 80 percent efficient and have approximately a 15 second response time. The drawback is they are also expensive. Abandoned mines sites such as Bell Island, Bay Verte and Buchans are ideal for Pumped Hydro. One site in Ontario (Marmor) uses and abandoned open pit iron ore site to reduce the environmental impact. Battery storage could be used for “smoothing” out the grid also.
      The reason the site in Bay St. George was chosen is not because of the amount of wind but rather because it has a more steady wind speed. This is more important than the amount of wind since a steady 25 mile per hour speed is better than an area with constant gusts from 15 to 35 Mile per hour. The steady speed enables a constant flow of energy into the grid rather than sudden bursts of low and high energy associated with NL weather. I think a better option is to install turbines on hydro reservoirs where the environmental damage is already done and the installation would minimize this impact.
      The third problem is connection to the NA grid which is vital since wind developers need to sell directly from their turbines whenever they are producing. The Gulf undersea cable may enable this at certain times when Muskrat Falls power isn’t being transmitted but that is for the marketing experts. I would hope that the undersea cable capacity could be expanded if needed without too much costs.
      The last problem is with the present political situation in the US. We have no idea what agendas the administration of President Trump is going to implement and unless there is a sense of consistency coming from the US we may ever have access to their market on a rational basis and this includes electricity. That is a reality we have to deal

  14. VOCM Question of the day…..should be partner with Quebec on hydro development……
    So far 45 percent says yes, 49 say no………almost like the Confederation debate in the 1940s
    That 49 percent say no, suggest Danny Williams tale of the evil Quebec people stealing our resources and the need to spent 6 billion (headed for 15 billion) to bypass Quebec, still has emotional appeal to too many Nflders
    Heck, not only should we work with Quebec on hydro, we should vote to join Quebec……..and look for 7 cent per kwh hydro rates, and a Quebec style corruption inquiry into the MF fiasco.
    Do I hear a amen for that…………..I mean can our future be any worse than where we are now headed
    And do you think that if HQ was i control of the gates at Muskrat and the flowof the Upper Churchill…….that Mud Lke would have flooded………….bet our bottom dollar this would not have happened
    WInston Adams

    • Amen! Winston. The big bad bogyman (Quebec)is largely a product of the mind of a pathetic little man who loves blowing his own horn and trying to come across as the saviour of NL.–Look where he's gotten us. Aligning with Quebec may not be as absurd as would be portrayed by him.

    • I guess you guys don't recall some years back when HQ spilled water from its James Bay reservoir and killed tens of thousands of caribou from the George River herd which is now an endangered herd along with others. Boogeyman or not HQ is no angel. Careful what you wish for.

  15. The responses to this blog though numerous represent an absence of focus. There are comments on wind power, heat pumps, global warming, Quebec etc. Very, very few are addressing the question at hand – What is preventing the implementation of the "Forensic Audit." As long as attention is dispersed, it achieves no results. This is exactly where Ball and Coady want us to be. Write a lot, but achieve nothing.

    • In due time, Ball and Coady, or their successors, will be instructed by new Leadership to conduct the Forensic Audit. Here in BC. a new Leadership has wrestled "control" from the elites, and the firings and investigations at BC Hydro have begun. Regrettably, NL is not likely to shift its electorate philosophy, so the "question at hand" will go unanswered. Meanwhile, focus tends to blow in the wind, so to speak.

    • I suggest this blog is more than about a Forensic Audit, although that is very important, but what the if the North Spur collapses…….we already know that is a identified risk.
      And if the audit shows that there was corruption, or than the project should be partly or wholly suspended, do we stick with an isolated grid system………if so, how do we cope with winter heating demand going forward……
      Perhaps a forensic audit might get more attention if the anom engineer went public with his name……but that is asking a lot…and we have ENG2 who is in the know….but is anom….
      The Telegram is showing a little more interest, but the CBC……largely a clown show,as who can laugh more on Here and Now, even Debbie does her share now, and fails to keep serious.
      We need Rick Mercer or Mary Walsh the Warrior Princess chasing the Muskrat culprits with her sword……..forcing the culprits to answer questions or run from the camera. Mercer was good at that in his prime, but got a cushie job, and now is just the clown, too.
      Lets face it…….18 protested at Nalcor and thousands follow Chase the Ace. How can this be reversed…….
      Thousands will chase the politicians , if they can find them, when shock power rates hit. Until then, callers to Pattie Daley will want to Chase the Ace…..their way to prosperity, or so they think.
      Forensic audit or chase the ace……..forensic audit or chase the ace……..
      Muskrat and Lotos……..both to fleese the public.
      What is preventing the audit…….
      Those in charge of this fiasco know the mood of the public, and it is not one of great concern of double the power rates…….not yet. They can dismiss the naysayers and this blog, as they have done for 5 years and hope to do for another 3 years.
      This blog is picking up steam…..but unless the concerns go mainstream, with mounting pressure from the Telegram, CBC, VOCM or the Labrador Land protectors………then it is a losing battle for a forensic audit…….it seems.
      But even an audit , with expected results will not reverse the impact of this project on our future.
      If we had followed the approach of Nova Scotia, we would not be in this mess.
      When do we start being prudent (a word Liberty often uses) instead of incompetent. Prudence should apply to all our government spending and programs. Des Sullivian`s profile info reflects this attitude to important issues of today…..heck, even the old economics prof, Uncle Gnarley is puzzled by the public lack of concern……..perhaps he will come with a plan to make us Rant and Roar like true Nflders…..but little of either yet.
      The last time we ranted and roared was maybe 1932, on the eve of bankruptcy of our country, and Squires running for his life. And then before that , maybe 1905 when the swilers went on strike and pretty well shut down St John`s …….from mistreatment from the merchant class.
      With no credit downgrade, all it well in La la Land, as the bond holders know the ratepayers will get stiffed.

  16. The NL Media seem like they go out of their way not to cover important and controversial stories. They commit resources to covering endlessly a Broadway Musical, but a Natural Disaster in the making that is guaranteed to poison or drown people..Meh. Maybe it's because their sponsors or relatives involved in the project or in Government, pay for them to shut up and promote sideshow stories instead of anything with GD substance?

  17. Ches Crosby says send Muskrat to a committee of the House of Assembly, in other words bury it!!! The consumer idvocate, Dennis Brown says an inquiry is necessary but wait til the project is complete. The bottom line is that they all want to bury the truth to protect the guilty. The lower and middle class taxpayer is the chump who has to pay through the nose with no justice to come.

  18. 3 land protectors jailed today, including Jim Learning, an elder.
    A few days ago it was reported that 150 to 300 RCMP were arriving GooseBay, reported needed to protect public safety….others say to assure transfer of transformers from Cartright to MF…….so to protect Nalcor Assets, much like keeping MF at 21.5 M to protect Nalcor assets, and public safety at Mud Lake be dammed.
    The judge, according to CBC says he is losing patience! He asks Justice Minister Parsons for resources (code for RCMP packing heat with mushroon bullets.) Learning says he expected to be jailed and wants no lawyer, just standing up for his rights.
    Expected 300 RCMP would be needed for 3 grandmothers, but by the look of Learning he is a silver aired grandfather, they may need another 100 or so.
    Wonder if Judge Murphy will use `transporting`, now getting popular, and widely used in the 16 th and 17 th century….to separate one from their family support and relatives. I mean , these elders are very savage and dangerous people…….Learning, from the CBC video…..spitting and threatening, and swearing, and used the ultimate weapon: free speech. Go look and see the nature of this man. Solitary confinement essential, no food or water for 10 days, no visitors, block off light to his cell window, and if that does not break him , blast rock music to his cell for 4 days for sleep deprivations…….these are the option being considered by the kind hearted judge. Losing patience, he said. What are the local residents losing…………or likely to lose………

  19. More on Beothic Energy and Kirbey Mercer:
    Before Beothic there was Canadian Imperial Venture on the west coast.
    CIV reached its height on May 11, 2001, trading 5.5 million shares, and reaching $2.00 a share……..that was a big gain from a penny stock. By Aug 8 2003 it was trading at 2.5 cents.
    I heard of one guy who bought in at 10 cents, and was worth a million dollars (on paper) when it reached 2.00, but expected it to go to 5 or 6 dollars. He hung on, to see it slip steadily down, his million dollar profit evaporated.
    By July 2014 CIV had a market cap of just 219,000. , and trading at 14 cents.
    One site shows the return on average assets as minus 3160 percent!
    Yet a site shows Kirby with a salary of 257,000.00 and a bonus of 158,000, and with stock options , total compensation of 3 million.
    CIV stopped trading May 2015.
    Kirby has a Twitter account with 314 followers.
    Beothic Energy promoted 180 MW wind generation offshore of Nfld west coast. But it also promotes 4000MW of wind generation for eastern North America.
    It has an impressive line up of companies and manufactures for his promotion. All he need is a PPA contract.
    PPA…….recall that is what Nalcor got with Nfld Hydro, that bind them to double our power rates, whether we need the power or not….it is a take or pay contract and binding.
    I cannot find any trading figure of shares for Beothic Energy,…..maybe too soon, and waiting for that PPA.
    Meanwhile, every 6 months or so a new promotion takes place, moving this forward. With penny stocks, one needs the media attention, and some underhanded pennystocks are referred to as pump and dump, and recently highlighted on the Fifth Estate.
    Will Kirby get this going for a successful project…….who knows. but if the past is a light to the future…….I won be buying in. Never bought into CIV. One friend did, and was savy enough to see its over rated price, and got out making a little. The other guy , not so lucky. Many must have lost money.
    Did the Telegram business section investigate and report on CIV!
    Bloomberg has next to no financial information on Beothic or Kirby, except for its promotion material. He appears to have a BA education, or was it BS, need to double check that.
    Winston Adams

    • Now, as everyone knows Fortis is a financial successful company, whose ethics, nevertheless, I question. Stan Marshall was the main man for along time, but who now in charge of our MF fiasco, and avoiding a forensic audit.
      Someone last week gave me some info on Brookfield Renewable Partners: thier info shows they have 260 hydro generating stations spread cross 82 rivers, started 20 years ago.
      Their target is 12 to 15 percent annual returns.
      I am not promoting them here…….I intend to compare them to Fortis, and see how they do.
      Of interest,Brookfield for their growth plan says: they adopt a contrarian approach, identifying value opportunities where scarcity of capital reduces competition………no doubt both Fortis, Emera and maybe Brookfield are eyeing Muskrat assets…….Come by Chance went for one dollar, did it not.

    • Sounds like a deal to me. Sell Muskrat, a $12.7 billion asset and climbing, for a dollar and the people of NL continue paying for it after it is finished through rates and taxes for 50 to 100 years afterwards.

    • That letter from Coady must be giving Uncle Gnarley a lot of assurance: Stan was putting Muskrat ON TRACK,and Coady said before the recent 1 billion added to the cost by Stan, that Muskrat was ON TRACK. Now it is merely moving forward……….
      What a load of BS is her letter, same as we got this past 5 years.
      Her letter was in response to Russell……that we will pay, and pay , and pay.
      She sure gives Russell reason to come back swinging……….

  20. Saw Sigh-oh-Ban's letter and it is about self praise. My mother used to say that self praise is no praise at all. She speaks about the dismal knowledge of project management of the former crowd but as I understand it the present government kept the same people with their dismal knowledge with one exception only to replace an a deceitful and incompetent ceo. We are not sure if the present ceo is any improvement.
    They are going to make that 1 terawatt-hour or so of recall power stretch some far byes. For starters we owe it to Nova Scotia once the LIL is completed, possibly next year.
    Rate mitigation, isn't that just taking money out of another pocket of the same pair of pants ie. we the taxpayers purse.
    Then their is the export power revenue, previously known as the gravy, it won't be available until the plant is commissioned is say 2 years or more. In any case the present government ran on using any such revenue/gravy to keep rates lower than they otherwise would have been.
    Then they are focusing on increasing the use of electricity to bring new revenue into the system?? Why not try a little demand side management to help consumers/taxpayers/ratepayers be able to afford the super-expensive most-cost power from the Muskrat?

    • Agreed. NL ratepayers, practicing demand side management can help themselves to available technologies, (Winston's ides and advice), and thereby permit surplus island hydro to meet NS contract demand. Meet the challenge! This storm too will pass.

    • Robert, Demand Side Management (DSM)is a technical term that I suggest 99 percent of our population never heard of or understand, and I wonder if 5 percent of our government MHAs do.
      1. In a nutshell: if instead of 60 cents per kwh for Muskrat Falls power, costing likely 15 billion, we could have spent on average 5 cents per kwh to reduce our electricity load, equal to what MF delivers on average. DSM is very cost effective, and Nova Scotia (through Efficiency NS) and most provinces do this approach,
      2. DSM, accomplished through customer efficiency, is effectively an energy resource, much cheaper than adding new power generation. Many power companies adopt this approach as a first option of LEAST COST. We avoid this in Nfld.
      3. That customers do not understand the term and meaning of DSM is mute if they know, and act on, that efficient products can reduce their energy use for heating up to 70 percent…….as they practice DSM regardless that our power companies and govn discourage DSM. In effect, customers practise DSM, inadvertently, which power companies and govn should be leading the charge on, but don`t.
      4. I estimate 90 percent of Nflder have not heard of or understand heatpumps, thought they have been around since the 1940s, and big time use now in the world. But even non technical residents here are asking about these, hearing from friends and relatives, of their saving on heat bills…….the horse is out of the barn on that, as far an Nfld power keeping that secret. The technical term of DSM or HP is not the issue for the customer………it is does it really save a lot on yearly heating, and the answer is YES,big time savings, and many now realise it.
      5. That they can also save 50 to 65 percent on hot water heating is hardly known by residents yet……but that is coming…….so combined , space heating and hot water savings can reduce yearly bills (for all electricity use) by 50 percent…… we are headed in that direction, and more reduction from code improvements for new housing construction.
      6. This is a catch 22 for MF economics: double power rates , but expect power use for residential use to head toward 50 percent reduction…….this trend will ramp up regardless, as to space heating and hot water.
      7. If our Minister of Natural Resources wants to increase power demand, in support of MF (given the decline we can expect from DSM,(by design or customer actions), then she should announce incentives for electric cars, to offset the declining electricity use.
      Several provinces are doing this , from 6 t 8 thousand dollars per car. And it reduces GHG emissions as well…….and should be a carbon credit issue .
      8. Good information for customers to optimise savings (and assist with DSM) is lacking, intentionally so, (as the foolish economics of MF assumed customers had no affordable alternative to baseboard heat)…….stupid assholes, who promoted MF,….. to be blunt, ……as Nova Scotia were well into this before MF sanction, and the writing was on the wall that customers here would soon be doing the same.
      One of the many FALSE ASSUMPTIONS they made. It suggests incompetence of wilfully blind…….and remain so even now. Laughable, if not so serious as to the impact of their decisions.
      Winston Adams

  21. Dear All Who Read and Care: I propose the following solution to all matters discussed herein this blog. "The Newfoundland and Labrador Energy Party" Primarily built from the leading engineers and entreupueners from around the world, totally free of politics, solely based on harnessing every last joule of the jewel that is Newfoundland and Labrador. Forget about muskrat, but use it….build every wind, water, fire, earth power sources and sell it. Tap every part of the transmission line for every part of NL that can generate energy. Sell it all. Include the concept of calories as energy. Salmon, fish, etc maximize it all. DES…… stop wasting your clearly intelligent brain, and just fix it. This is beyond trying to bring attention, grab the fucking wheel. Engineers, scientists, unite, do Newfoundland and Labrador justice, and harness each and every resource with an intelligence, effiencecy focus. Newfoundland and Labrador is too small to need politics, we just need to harness our potential.