One word describes
Premier Ball. That word is “charlatan”. Other synonyms offered by Wikipedia include
trickster, fraudster and hoaxer. All describe a person who is not forthright. Ball
is selling his “Atlantic Accord” deal as something to be proud of. It is
anything but.

On Monday, April 1st,
the Premier announced in his own
words “an agreement that ensures Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are the
principal beneficiaries of their offshore resources, strengthens how those
resources are developed through joint management, and will also achieve
electricity rate mitigation.”

How “rate mitigation” for the Muskrat Falls project found its way into a
deal about the Atlantic Accord, as former Premier Brian Peckford noted in his
commentary, is baffling

Worrisome, too, is that Ball equates the “revenue stream” associated
with Canada’s ownership stake in Hibernia as fulfilling the “principal
beneficiary” principle, which he touts as a great victory.

He offered that context in the press briefing, and again on Wednesday
evening in his “Here and Now” interview. He seems unaware that the Accord Acts include
management, royalties, local benefits and other rights. The full context is ‘as
if the resources are on land’. “Principal beneficiary” has a wide meaning and long-term
implications; none were a priority for Ball. The subject is pushed off to be
negotiated over the next two years — not by March 31st of this

Only the exigencies of electoral politics are front and centre in this
deal. Ball has proven that Ottawa can play the boonies like a fiddle. He has
been bought for a song.

Not surprisingly, Peckford described the revenue payments as “meagre”. $2.5
billion over 37 years — to 2056 — equates to $67 million a year, fixed. Truly,
that is chump change given the amount of revenue Ottawa receives from multiple
sources engaged in the NL offshore oil business. Consider, too, that NL is
ineligible for Equalization Payments. Brian Tobin, for god’s sake, did a better
deal selling “Term 29” back to Ottawa. It was forgotten the next day!

There are plenty of ironies here, especially for those of us with long
memories.  The Liberals are now doing in
Government what they did in the 1980s in Opposition — which was to undermine
the very idea of an Accord that puts jurisdictional rights and roles for NL
above tinkering by Ottawa.   

A more recent irony is that the Tories used a “back-end loaded” scheme to
make power rates cheaper (relatively) in the early years to make the project
“saleable”.  Ball’s Accord has the
revenue stream “front-end loaded” to sell the deal, too. If the Treasury doesn’t
break earlier, after 2030 ratepayers will surely wonder if we are all charlatans
for having bought it in the first place.

Of course, Ball’s and Ottawa’s money deal is not a serious program of
national wealth redistribution. It is only a “scheme” to delude today’s public.
If it gets the Government(s) through an election, dishonesty will have won

Admittedly, the Ball Government may have been warned about the growing
debt level and the risk of credit downgrade. The Bond Rating Agencies will be
pleased with any reduction in the Net Debt, which – through creative accounting
– will reflect Ball’s paltry deal. On that account, it will be more than
interesting to see what the Federal Finance Minister says about rate mitigation
this Friday.

That said, the response of a wise Premier to Ottawa’s fiscal games
should have been an order to his Finance Minister to bring down a Budget based
on fiscal prudence. Instead Ball caved to Ottawa – again. The local spending
problem is as intractable as it ever was, too.

While former Premier Peckford’s analysis was spot-on, an even greater
deficiency than the meagre monetary sum or any attempt to strengthen the Accord’s
original design is the complete absence of transparent effort by Ball to deal
with the Federal Government’s new environmental assessment approval process for
large natural resource projects. The process captures offshore oil exploration.
In a very serious way, it threatens the entire future of the province’s
offshore industry.

Former NOIA president Bob Cadigan has spoken publicly on this issue and
conducted a very insightful interview on the CBC Morning Show on Wednesday
morning. (The CBC should make sure that Cadigan’s remarks are easily found.)

Cadigan warns that the proposed new environmental legislation could
delay exploration and development licences and, in the case of exploration, this
is already happening. Cadigan is not only right he may be understating the
enormity of the problem.

Already, exclusion zones have been designated for oil and gas
exploration, including in the Laurentian Basin. That, I suggest, is merely the
thin edge of the wedge. Once this legislation is enacted into law, every
interest group in the country will be enfranchised to oppose an exploration or
development permit. If you think Alberta is the solo target, the NL public had
better get ready for their own battle royal.  

Think it alarmist, if you will. But the self-appointed environmentalists
are coming to shut down the NL offshore. It will happen sooner than you think,
and it will seem just as absurd as Paul Watson, or that other Paul’s protest of
the seal fishery. And you probably remember how successful WE were then.

To one of Cadigan’s points, some of those people, myopic and
uncompromising, are already helping shape federal environmental policy. They constitute
some of the bureaucrats influencing the legislation.

We have seen what little progress the Federal Government has made for
Alberta pipelines. Between the Courts and the hundreds of interest groups,
there will be no rescue for a weak provincial government — perhaps any
government — when new national legislation gives them grip.

The Premier is oblivious to all those realities.

Ball’s Accord is the deal of a charlatan. The public should tell him
exactly that.

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.


If a Big Mac costs McDonalds $10 to produce and it is sold for $1.50, McDonalds will go out of business. They would not declare a profit!


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.


  1. What could Newfoundland get paid for ending offshore production and exploration in return for keeping the carbon in the ground?

    Charlatan is a kind adjective. Various terms from the Manual of Mental Disorders come to mind, as well as the colloquial equivalents that I avoid to keep your blog clean.

  2. anyone with a rudimentary appreciation of co2 output world wide, and accummulation in the atmosphere as measured in the Keeling Curve, should know that it is likely, and desirable, that most of the oil offshore stays under the seabed. No one discusses it, until now, in which case Des you act as if continuing offshore oil exploration and production is ethical, likely to occur, etcetera. The important point is that after 2030 our revenue stream from oil can be expected to decline, at the same time the payments decline.

  3. u and i have not seen eye to eye on a lot of things, and that is great fodder for healthy discussion but this time u called the spade a spade and u did it more politely than i would have done…… lets not let the emperor fool us any more and lets let him know we see him for what he really is….. that we know the naked truth…….

  4. Just another sad day for NL. This is a sellout by a premier that does not understand the true woes of this province abd therefore has no idea where to start. How dare he negotiate such long term inadequacies.

  5. See latest today, Saudis running out of oil earlier than expected. Forty years of hiding the truth and now they have reduced output from 5 million barrels a day to 3.8

    Just in time to not take advantage of increased prices, thanks Dwight.

    Expect quid pro quo from Bill Morneau on Friday!
    What a mess!

    • If the planet was running out of oil and fossil fuel, prices will increase significantly and alternatives would be developed quickly and the climate change problem solved.
      Unfortunately, proven reserves of oil, gas and coal is about 4-5 times more than the planet can handle without runaway climate change.
      It is just arithmetic that is being ignored.
      Winston Adams

    • This just in…"we are going to be under water in ten years." The "Chicken Little" argument is getting old Winston. I thought we were already supposed to be under water…at least that was the original forecast but hey why let the facts get in the way of a good apocalyptic prediction.

    • Some places are already going under water, and insurances companies now acknowledge climate change as risk factors for costs,so many living near the ocean can't afford insurance. Major banks now assess climate change impacts as to loans they advance. The Pentagon sees climate change as a major risk as to security for the USA. Guess they all fear Chicken Little.
      Not prudent to avoid risk factors, as we see from Nalcor and the Inquiry.
      If you are on the waterfront, going under water in storm surges is happening more……
      As to facts ……about 97 % of science is in agreement as to the facts. ……..what is your authority as to facts? Predictions by science for the future as to impacts are 95 % certainity….so P95 say, not bad, and finding that they are so conservative to be most always underpredicting the severity of the impacts.
      For me …..500 feet above sea level, looking good compared to Florida , where all is no more than 25 ft above sea level.
      But even here……the cod and capelin are not so concerned about the water height, but temperature and food supply.
      There are the facts, from science, and then opinions such as yours. I'll take the science any day.
      So far our ocean here is only risen about 8 inches the past 50 years, but now heading for another 3 ft rise by the end of this century. Whether this is wrong or serious? Maybe we can mitigate it, like mitigating the power rates? Maybe a giant vacuum cleaner to suck out the CO2…….Hoover is working on that.
      Also, You got it wrong on going under water in ten years. Ten years is the time frame beyond no scientific or engineering solutions. Tipping points and feedback loops take over. That is the science, whereas Chicken Little is a fable……you confuse science and fables.
      Winston Adams

    • Go on with your bullshit… what places are "already going under water"?

      Don't be so bloody daft.

      Canadians are suckered into accepting a carbon tax when they only contribute a "whopping" 1.6 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

      "Carbon" tax… what a bloody scam.

      Politicians don't fear climate change.

      They fear an educated, informed electorate.

    • Let me help you understand, Anon 20:08

      This is a global hydrological cycle problem. Canada has signed on to the UN University to educate and inform regarding our collective responsibilities in helping low lying peoples around the globe. Lots and lots of scientific analysis awaits your inquiring mind.

    • And anon @20:28
      Shit, whether from bulls or cows is a very large source of GHG, methane I think, being 10 times or more damaging than CO2. The USA alone has around 100 million of those critters. ,,,,,so this enough to make me consider going vegie, and too, less of cancer risk than red meat.But I am fond of some red meat. Trump says windmills cause cancer, and we all know Trump is very smart.
      Dinasour farts causes global warming said Ralph Kline of Alberta, so he was close to the mark, as to cow shit.
      Get back to me once you research Robert's sources given you.

    • I "understand" that you and other soft-headed Canadians are being suckered into accepting a tax-grab under the pretext of mitigating the impacts of climate change.

      If you really believe a "carbon" tax on Canadians will do anything at all to significantly reduce global GHG emissions and thereby mitigate the impacts of climate change, then you're just the kind of sucker the Trudeau liberals are counting on.

    • With a flood of oil on the market, both Saudi Arabia and Russia are reducing production to help increase prices. This seems prudent, Saudi wit over 200 Billion barrels can increase future value with less production. They flooded the market and drove prices down to 30 dollars, now prices are slowing rising. They are not stun, seeing they could not knock the USA producers out, via low prices.
      Those that are desperate for revenue, through mismanagement, like Nfld,want to do the opposite. If all reduced supply, prices rise even more, and royalities increase, and less GHG produced.
      Is that not both economic and environmental sense, or we engage in a race to the bottom?

    • Anon @ 21:o4:
      Guess you never researched the science Robert recommended, and sling insults. If soft headed or hard headed, which is better? Personally, I think Trudeau is too soft on climate change mitigation. Too soft on addressing First Nation poverty. Too afraid of strong women, especially First Nation ones….but he is only human, and a very good actor. What is the alternative?

    • Rest assured, I've educated myself as to the implications of anthropogenically-induced climate change, so please don't condescend as you're unwittingly embarrassing yourself.

      Indeed, if you actually believe a "carbon" tax on Canadians will make one iota of a difference, it only reveals your own abysmal lack of knowledge as to the scale of the problem, a lack of knowledge of which your politicians are taking full advantage of.

    • So you acknowledge that the climate change problem from fossil fuel burning is on a very large scale, but that the carbon tax is the wrong approach?
      To assure me and other UG readers of your in-depth knowledge, it would help not to hide as anon.
      As to my lack of knowledge of the scale of the problem, I think it is so huge as not likely to be solved, so do I underestimate the scale?
      If you acknowledge the large scale, what is your solutions that you propose is good to work, other than the carbon tax, given the time limits?
      How am I too judge your expertise by your anonymous prior remarks of Chicken Little and bullshit talk? Hardly seems wanting debate of facts or risks…….so try again, or perhaps just your name would make it clear….I could then goggle you whether an expert or whatever?

    • John Lennon song has a line "Life is what you do while making other plans"
      So, I often have make other plans, ( write a book on climate change, publish a book written by my father WW1 and WW2 war adventures, write some formal pieces and submit to Uncle Gnarley, on CDM and Efficiency, take a holiday in winter, attend the Inquiry in support of the 4 regulars, write a will, donate 10 million (if I have it, or can get it) to a good cause, do needed upgrades to my house, comment less often of UG, avoid responding to trolls, avoid annoying Bruno about battery and solar technology,test and monitor minisplit water heating,attend the upcoming Fortis AGM, and invite PENG2, and …….., so, so many plans, that I need 2 or 3 lives. Describe your plans?

  6. VOCM reported that the province will make annual payments to the federal government of $100-million to begin in 2045. I have not seen much about these elsewhere. If this is correct then this really makes this deal a stinker. We are essentially just getting a long term loan.

    Danny is certainly disliked for the Muskrat Falls project but he did manage to bring back 2 billion in cash immediately from when he negotiated the Accord in 2003. A much much better performance than Ball.

    • Even Ben Franklin knew the benefit, during the war of independence, of inflation and paying back money in the future as money is worth less. The value goes down with time. You get an imaginary raise if you get 10 % raise in pay and inflation drives all prices up 10%.
      If inflation is high the pay back will be less, …….I assume this part of the plan. So too with high debt now that could impact borrowing costs, up front reduction may help keep borrowing costs in check.
      But still, given our debt load,the dollars are not great, and Ball's pretence that this is a big deal is a sham.
      Peckford's figure of 67 million a year is about the same as our expected export revenue of power sales from MFs, which in itself is only half needed to pay MFs basic operating and maintenance costs of 107 million a year……without other mitigation, is not enough to justify the plant to operate.
      So ….razzle dazzle , or almost a nothing burger… wait for the budget and the Fed aid for MFs mitigation, and if nothing worthwhile…….Ball must go. Deflate the ball, like a pancake.
      Ball's apparent fear to testify at the Inquiry before an election is like Trump never wanted to testify. What's Ball afraid of? He will be exposed as was DW, KD and TM…….incompetent for running this province.

  7. There is much concern by Leblanc and Learmonth and Smmons as to change orders and extra costs on the dam construction.
    Contractors love a situation where there is poor engineering design, as it is prime situation for extras. Indeed some contractors say they would big a job to break even, no profit, if a good potential for many change orders. Once a contractor is on the job, it is not easy to terminate, so change orders are flogged for the maximum, even allowing that they will not get all they ask for.
    Commercial sensivity they call it, but if public it can expose the degree of greed or fair play, and also the degree of incompetence by the engineer, to have asituation where many change orders occur, or significant change orders. Large companies have good legal counsel and this is considered routine business for them.
    That KD's lawyer seeks information on numbers make then all very uneasy.

    Then too, more on geotechnical issues……as to the condition of the river bed , needing 3 times the concrete etc as expected as defined by Nalcor estimates, a guess, and no allowance for being wrong.
    Lets see: transmission line foundations: no investigations as to site conditions , so costing tens or hundreds of millions more.
    River bed ; no investigation, and 300% too low
    North Spur: little investigation, design as you go after sanction, and likely unsafe now.
    That is only geotechnical, one aspect of this project.
    And PENG2 thinks engineering failure is not significant?
    When you go from 2 billion to 12.7 or more…….how much is engineering at fault? Would PENG2 put a number or percentage on it?

    • There normally are 3 categories of contract changes;

      Site Conditions
      Scope Changes
      Design, omissions and errors

      I would expect that Grant Thornton have already reported for each Base Contract on this.

    • Appreciate you experience and continued comments on contract issues Robert.
      Of course GT has not assessed the implication of Nalcor not considering combinations of CDM, reasonable wind additions, other island hydro,and transmission restraint, as design, omissions and errors…….so the Inquiry jumps from 2 billion to 6.2 as a starting point, then up to 12.7

  8. Today witness is not painting a good picture of Nalcor engineering :20 million dollars to store and refurbish turbines etc , sitting at the site for very long periods: 20 million , if I recall correctly, built Clarenville Hospital in about 1985!And this here for scheduling and storage issues at MF just this package. Then 58 million more for delays and costs for installing other components…….but Nalcor trying to blame it all on the contractor!. This heavy legal threat approach, even threatening that the contractor would default. Easy to see why we need 20 fat cat lawyers at this Inquiry tying to defend all the guilty parties.
    Good that Leblanc allowed a bit of explanation on this, as Nalcors lawyer Simonds tried to stop any comment under commercial sensivity reasons.
    What are your thoughts on this PENG2?
    Winston Adams

  9. Closing remarks by Leblanc: he noted the tone of correspondence from Nalcor to the contractor is not in accordance with verbal assurances being given the contractor during meetings; that initially these being accepted as reasonable extra expenses, but then formally by Nalcor in writing to shift the blame and threaten default upon the contractor within 10 days. And then after pretending to be nice guys, saying the default threat is now lifted.
    This represents a CULTURE : using high priced lawyers to cover the ass of engineering errors , mistakes, schedule changes etc.
    Recall Liberty commenting on the culture of Nfld Hydro as to lax maintentance of equipment etc, and of using rotating outages, only used in third world countries.

    Nalcor's lawyer here at the Inquiry scored no point against this witness, while suggesting it was just formality and worked out in the end. Seems a pattern of mistreatment as to against SNC engineers, of bullying approach.
    Indeed, a sets up a reputation for work in Nfld, where contractors have to bid high to cover incompetence expected to be encountered here.
    Winston Adams

  10. Can we call it The Seven YearWar!!! Nalcor at war with all its contractors. There are always disputes in construction, and guess the bigger the construction, the more disputes, but there are ways and means to minimize or migitate them. It appears that muskrat had more than its share of disputes. Disputes with all the major contractors, Andritz, Astaldi, Valard, SNC, Benard-pennycon and a few others, that also involve subcontractors. Some will be settled out of court, some inside the courts. Despite the disputes, many good hard working, professional companies and people did some commendable performances work and are a credit to themselves, the industry and construction in general. And if you compare it to any war, both past and present, there are a lot of similarities with wars. There are always casualties in any war and very few winners. Wars are usually driven by little emperors and rullers and by little men and weomen who want to do their bidding. Who knows the causes, winners and losers of these wars. Do a deep dive into history and you can come up with something. But ultimately it is the people that looses most in these wars. Their lives, especially years ago, but also their livelihoods and families. It is no difference with the the muskrat boondoggle wars. The people, the rate payers, the tax payers pay for it all in the end. As in most wars, no one knows the reasons. In muskrat it was all about, "THE POWER" we didn't need and it being the "CHEAPEST POWER". Who said that ask Joe blow. Muskrat was all in vane, or vanity.

  11. Yesterdays witnesses:as to the dams.
    Were these designed by Nalcor to be concrete dams, but after tender, redesigned as a machine rolled structure, using a little cement, and fly ash. Is this a risk as to being inferior in strength, if subject to a minor or moderate earth quake or other disturbance?
    Did this come about because the tender price came in at double the Nalcor estimate, and so a proposal by the other contractor as a cost saving measure?
    Was that part of the reason Mark Turpin wrote to Nalcor saying this award should be investigated, and then his job was terminated, without cause?
    I missed a bit of the testimony and try to interpret the goings on here.
    Little detail due to Nalcor claiming commercial sensitivity issues.
    I expect PENG2 has insight in this?
    Also this is a stepped arrangement, not a sloped design as used for concrete. Stepped design and the low strength ingredients suggests inferior, but could be offset by other design features, the overall dimensions etc.
    But we know the concern and risk posed by the North Spur issue and quick clay. Does this put more risk as to these other dams, because Nalcor underestimated by 50% the cost of concrete dams?
    Just asking, and likely PENG2 has insight and will comment.
    Churchill Falls had most all earth filled dykes, as the elevations and pressures were low, but some were very large in size, but still needed careful construction methods.
    Yesterday whenever Learmonth asked about issues of strength, the witnesses would say that is engineering issue, and so no answers, which was curious no one addressed that, but seemed the contractor provided information to Nalcor and Nalcor made the final decision and accepts responsibility? Is risks here being hidden under the cloak of commercial sensitivity?
    Winston Adams

    • WA @ 12:58:

      A stepped face isn't unusual in dam construction or spillways – a few in NL of that type. RCC is just a weak concrete – about 5MPa give or take. The combination doesn't see much use in NL but fairly common elsewhere.

      I don't think much of poor execution – much less when poor planning is the cause. The political decision to go with MF vs CDM and other measures wasn't based in either Engineering or economics – purely ego. While the engineering wasn't perfect, I still say most of the problem is attributable to the wrong people in the wrong positions that didn't even know enough to realize just how little they actually knew.


    • The old "didn't know that they didn't know" Earth Dams for reservoirs such as Smallwood, properly maintained, can survive decades, as long as incidental spillage does not affect built infrastructure and peopled areas. But earth dams in river run such as Site C and Lower Churchill seem prone to catastrophic failure.

  12. Yes, a weak concrete….but not the original intent?
    Equal in safety in your opinion, or unable to say?

    Yes, Poor execution often follows from poor planning, project planning and schedules mostly or much from engineering is it not, but a political component to some extent.
    CDM and other measures excluded; evidence shows Straton and other engineers dismissed it as to its value….so engineering even if poor engineering.
    Engineering reports edited and tailored to rule out reasonable wind component,and no end-use method for forecasting, despite best practise, and many other engineering things to coral the MFs as least cost…….this by engineering studies, which looking back one asks how could this have passed scrutiny? This is not political ego, but enablers by means of engineering reports. How many times have KD or TM or others cite the engineering reports for their assurance.
    Initial engineering reports was to get past :do we need the power and least cost question.Having done that, Then in planning and executions…… mostly
    The evidence against engineering continues to accumulate. I say 60-70% at fault for the 12.7 billion figure…….you suggest what, 10-20%?
    Politicians……as Kathy said: "I don't have a clue about the details". But they sought out engineers and firms that made reports to suit the purpose. Wrong people in wrong positions, is a scapegoat response if Leblanc conclusion is that simple. Or to say bias is too simple an explanation. Deceit for sure, some say fraud, but some information was false clear and simple. The degree of incompetence was like a finely tuned orchstra, between Nalcor, Nfld Hydro,most consultants, government officials and MHAs up to the Premier. Not just a few bad apples. And generally reflects how all or most government depts operate. So part of our culture which needs to change.
    How many in government write notes or record meetings as you wisely do? As I said, they operate mafia style where they can, so no smoking gun. Don't remember, can recall their default position.
    Leblanc I notice is constantly writing notes…….maybe he writes "wish I never got involved" He seems to multitask….listen and write at the same time.

  13. I see that RCC dams has been around since the 1980s. The first one had leakage between each compacted layer, reduced by grouting between the layers, but designs improved since then and now this used up to 600 feet high.
    Savings about 35 % compared to regular concrete dams.
    So I assume this contractor proposed this as an alternative. If this was a good approach, why did not Nalcor intend a RCC, or did they? Did Nalcor get expected savings? Commercially sensitive.

  14. No matter it is with the Atlantic Accord, the Upper Churchill or anything else, Newfoundland must pay for its own decisions, actions and responsibility. So the question here is not if paying with the Atlantic Accord is right or wrong or if it is paying a lot or not. The question is by paying this way, will NF pay more than the 13 billions it wasted on MF. If No, then jump on the deal.

  15. As to Rate Mitigation: Nfld Power, has an ad, a full page, paid from our power bills, in the latest "Home and Cabin" gives ways to save energy. It includes:
    Open your curtains in the day and close them at night.
    Wash clothes in cold water
    Take shorter showers
    Use a clothesline by hanging 1/2 of you laundry.
    Nfld power is owned by Fortis. The CEO makes about 8 million a year.It is said he has tested these tips, and guaranteed to work for "material" savings? Nfld Power actually pay engineers (paid for from our power bills) to develop these tips, because they "care about their customers", who suffer from the impact of Muskrat, and the need for mitigation.
    How short the shower should be is not stated, but is being researched further. These tips are developed also with assistance from the new Emera Innovation Centre, the latest power company in Nfld.
    A suggestion has been made that something other than laundry could be considered to be hung, but only half hung?

    • Most of the energy saving suggestions are really silly – like separating towels and clothing into separate dryer loads. The energy required to evaporate the water is the same. The savings for most of their "challenges" amount to pennies.

      The TakeCharge program is for optics only. It also serves as damage control for their revenue stream – e.g. promote insignificant things like light bulbs with rebates, but not big ticket items like heat pumps or more efficient oil burners or wood stoves. Low cost financing for heat pumps (at Muskrat Falls loan rates) could have been considered.

      Government is looking to replace oil boilers in buildings with electrical upgrades and baseboard heating. This is to increase demand, which ironically, on the Avalon, might require diesel fuel and turbines to generate.


      Find coldspots in home or cabin and stick up or chinch in neoprene anywhere you feel cold flowing in. Sticks to any surface, is semi-reusable in other locations if you don't want it there in the summer for appearances sake perhaps, but note it also keeps the hot summer air out. Neoprene is wetsuit material and one of its properties is that you stay warm even when wet. Awesome material, irreplaceable, life saving for many. I've worn it inside rubber boots and can honestly say it's gotten myself home from the woods and the water in one piece and one late friend might have been gone long ago without a neoprene jacket coming back from the country one time. Anyway, a couple of dollars and a couple of minutes putting it up straight around windows, doors, electrical outlets etc. will save more than that quicker than you can do the math. I've been doing that math for years by the way.


      Plant and/or transplant a mix of short and tall shade trees for summer on the east and west (but leave the south open for maximum winter heat) and top priority, grow short and tall, conifer and deciduous on the north side to block ground level and above wind from the north. Also consider prevailing winds, i.e. trees to block wind off any barrens or body of water, fresh or salt. Use every type from Ash, Beech, Cedar… pine… you name it. Slow growers last longer, grow taller, are stronger in the wind. Keep most conifers away from any source of salt: from roads, driveway, including runoff, salt in the soil near the ocean or salt marshes, just assume the roots will eventually get into it.

      (3) BLACK IS THE COLOUR of my true love's hair -or- paint it, black
      get better, Mick

      Use a darker colour when repainting your home and/or cabin. Don't think this works, just put your hand near a dark car in the sun, you can feel the ambient temperature around it is higher than around lighter coloured vehicles. Warmth like that radiates in all directions. That's just how thermodynamics works. You may even try this on a dark coloured building with light trim, put your hand near the different parts long enough to feel the differences. The white will be cool enough to touch while black metal around windows or in steel buildings may burn to the touch. I can think of many dozens of buildings that are examples of that. Note the temperature difference between asphalt paving and concrete, even reddish brown concrete. You won't see concrete heat up and get sticky.

    • The last couple of ideas are from the world of physics. They have been kicking around in scientific and government literature since before I was born. They are immutable laws of physics. Please don't bother trying to sit back with your beer buzz and cannabis in your arm chair and try to refute them. I understand how long it takes to grow trees and how you don't want to darken the colour of your slanty shanties, but peace nonetheless.

      BTW, reverse all recommendations if you want to reverse climate change, but be sure we aren't back to the 1960's and 1970's diesel electric generation in your area, it's just as well to cut down the trees around you that are blocking the cold winds and fuel your home with firewood if you are back to burning diesel which is transported several times, once as crude to be refined, once in a ship, truck or train to a tank farm, then once in smaller ship or smaller truck, (or in barrels also by same or by pipeline every single stage of transport with their own inherent risks of accidents, spills, explosions and disasters). There are various fuels burned at every stage, bunker 'C' or diesel in ships to explore and drill for oil, etc. Even offloading petroleum products at St. John's harbour from smaller tankers (i.e. the 3rd tanker likely involved in the process which may again be loaded into smaller again tankers to go to small towns around the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador) releases benzyene into the air so thick you can see it. It's so hard to breath when a tanker is offloading that it's near impossible to do any cardiovascular exercise, like biking, rollerblading or running on the Southside. Pulling your clothes up over your nose and mouth doesn't even block it. Every stage of hydroCARBON use puts chemicals and particulate into our habitat, but especially the refinery stage belches all kinds of foul particulate and chemicals into the air we all breath.

      Chemicals that descend onto the land, on our berries, farm produce, eaten by big and small game and farm animals and milk we drink, into the fresh water we cannot live without, into the fresh water fish and seafood we eat. Even if you think, I don't eat any animals that have been exposed to such and such pollution, you may be wrong because they certainly have eaten something that has been exposed somewhere in the food chain whether it drifted down the St. Lawrence River or fell as acid rain. Note predator species like mackerel for concentration of toxins from consuming smaller prey for how chemicals are introduced into the planet's food chain of which we eat, drink and breath implicitly, inexorably be you freegan, vegan, herbivore, omnivore, vegetarian, pescetarian, no matter what you eat, chemicals both drift downstream and descend upon the earth from thousands of miles away. We cannot extract ourselves until we go live on mars. But let's clean up our act here first.

      I don't think the people in Seal Cove/Holyrood will settle for any diesel turbines after being promised an end to layer upon layer of filth that has for decades descended upon their cars, homes, gardens, berry picking grounds, hunting and fishing grounds.

  16. I see that once again you intend to make NL isolated globally with comments like "self-appointed environmentalists are coming to shut down the NL offshore". Will you once again isolate yourselves with reactionary politics that will not only fail ultimately but make NL the butt of endless bad jokes.

    Environmentalist are not your enemy, they are your muse if only you are bright enough to keep an open mind. When you reduce enviros to a caricature of animal rights activists, you do yourself a disservice. We are wide range of the political spectrum from the far right the "Paul Watsons" if you will, to the centrist WWF to Greenpeace bearing witness to environmental crimes.

    I take personal offence after fighting unsuccessfully from the outports to the United Nations as a delegate, trying to get Canada to heed scientific advice (and sage Newfoundlanders like Leslie Harris) and stop overfishing the Grand Banks with destructive technologies, before the stocks crash. It was a native son in the person of Fisheries Minister John Crosbie that ignored the advice and the draggers continued the destructive orgy until nothing was left. Twenty five years on and 2J 3KL remain a marine desert. It gives me no joy to say I told you so.

    How many hurricanes must you endure with 150 to 200 Km winds before the reality strikes home??? The planet has a fever from the fossil fuels you are hellbent to exploit, no matter the spills that cannot be controlled, regardless the nascent attempts at global treaties to curb emissions. NL is apart from global attempts to leave a habitable planet for our grandchildren, is it?? If you can be intellectually dishonest (or stupid) take your pick and reduce global imperatives to leave the damned stuff in the ground to stupid stereotypes that Paul Watson will descend and and plug your pipelines you will again destroy an ecosystem, this time a global one.

    Please don't insult those of us that have been trying to save you from yourselves for decades. With the help of native sons in Ottawa you have collapsed the most productive ecosystem on the planet. Will you set the sky afire now before you join the rest of the planet, conduct creditable environmental assessment before you exploit resources and learn to distinguish environmental friends from foes?

    Damn it, most of us are on your side!

  17. Such diverse topics, opinions, commentary etc. On this set of comments and post, it's difficult to get ones head around it. First UG tells us how bad the AA will be for us after balls tinkering with it, and then seems to tow our Brian's current philosophy as Brian might call the ultra right of today's thinking. We are deep, deep in with muskrat, will the AA tinkering sink us deeper or help us to pull our selves up with our own boot straps as former Brian use to say. All difficult to decipher. Winston and others are telling us a lot of things, and then Bruno, as Brian might call him from the ultra left wants to save us all from ourselves. Average Joe is a bit confused, being a bit of the middle of the road guy will have to figure it all out for myself, as everyone else has to.

  18. Interesting comments on UG this morning, while I was snooping the recent Reliability Report by Nfld Hydro, link from PlanetNL
    As many are now, thanks to the Inquiry, familiar with risk factor P1, P50, P 75 etc, as to MFs, it is time to recall the DarkNL of 2014, where forecasting was for weather events using P50. So when a cold snap and high winds occurred, we lacked capacity and so rotating outages. The PUB ordered to use P90 following that, which resulted in the new(used) 100MW gas turbine added.
    So, who would believe that, given the expose' of the boondoggle with Nalcor using low risk factors, resulting in billions of added expense, that Nfld Hydro are now recommending that the island "go back" from P90 to P50 for weather forecasting?
    Why? It is best interests of customers they say. Why is that so? Because P90 requires more backup power than P50, and means more additional generation supply needed…..likely thermal power.
    So, after 12.7 billion, for more reliable power we were promised, we should go back to pre DARKNL planning for adverse weather events. Liberty says the CULTURE of the power companies here have not much improved.
    This study was from Nov 2018, before much of the expose of P50 issues, and even Kathy Dunderdale did not understand if P50 was something fit to eat… Now anyone following knows what P50 is. And it is not good as to reliability and assurance.
    Can you believe here on the Avalon especially,we should go back to P50 for winter weather events? More of Stratton's handy work? Endorsed by Stan Marshall? Endorsed by Nfld Power I wonder? No outcry from Dennis Browne? Does the public,on the Avalon, want more DARKNL events?
    Winston Adams

    • I presume that some on here have already bought some of those super (Bruno) batteries, as backup when the power goes down, as expected. That's fine for the fat cats. Who will provide DARKNL respite for the Seniors, shut-ins, low income earners?
      Social Democrats show up and vote. There should be a much higher vote count for Dissenters come election day. Has the Concerned Citizens found some Independents to endorse yet? Time is running down.

    • Given batteries have charge for very short time frames, I pointed this out to Bruno recently as to a recent typical event on out grid. Bruno did not reply, and I assumed he agreed with my point of view.
      So I am very surprised now to see Hydro considering a 100 MW battery option as a possible consideration. This may excite Bruno to say "I told you so", but I suggest Bruno be careful of endorsing anything Nalcor or Hydro proposes, given their record. I will explain later the battery rationale, as I see it, as inconsistent with least cost and reliability.

    • Sorry Winston you don't get the primary function of batteries; they balance load in real time. Open your mind to the future of supply and demand and stop the reactionary backward vision you have.

    • And you start learning about your stupid batteries : They are loaded of highly toxic chemicals, needs replacement every 3 to 5 years (or even faster) and if you make yourself dependent of them as you would like to do, you need some redundancy. So go ahead and inject tons and tons of toxic chemicals in your environment. Maybe that will poison you soon enough and we may get rid of your stupidity!

    • Bruno, your comment @ 23:48 Apr 5: it had some facts, feelings and passion. A bit more content and it would have been good to submit as a piece, to get more response.I liked it, what took you so long?
      So why not use the same intellect to consider your battery position. You make statements that don't hold up, are one sided, the benefit without the negative aspects. You never addressed the time limit of charge and electricity available, in the example of our recent grid GT operation, I mentioned, so I try again:
      Say 100O MW of hydro grid, hydro fed by reservoir water, 100 MW of GT for backup, from large tank for several weeks of operation.
      Wind say 200MW @ 50% capacity so 100MW, so total 1100 MW renewable.
      Say the system operating at full capacity on renewables, 1100 MW of load supplied by 1100MW of renewables power,and Event required shutting down 100MW renewable in 2hrs time for 2 days duration for repair, so option: to use GT or battery to supply the shortfall.
      Battery is a Tesla 100MWh capacity, fully charged waiting to do its job.

      In 2 hrs, when needed to shut down the for the repair, Elon's battery turns on immediate then, real time as you say, th elights don't blink even. So no outage or load reduction for …….how long?
      The battery is 100MW capacity but is rated 100MWh, meaning ONE HOUR @ 100MW. Orit can go 50MW for 2 hrs, but would need to dump 50 MW of load.
      So, the downside for battery is that letter "h" , meaning hour, which is a measurement of time, that is real time too.
      The hydro generator or GT is not so rated, but is limited by its fuel supply.
      1. Do you agree that MHh issue limits its usefulness……unless you have many , many batteries, if for 2 days, 48 such 100MWh systems (that is arithmetic) costing such that is not cost effective at present, and maybe not for for decades yet, but has some limited application. Do you agree? The toxic chemical comment is not from me, but there is an environmental cost even for batteries.

    • Yes Winston I had lot more to say but I wanted to get to the point so I did not bore readers.

      I think Musk for one is committed to recycling batteries. He uses a unique manufacturing approach with raw materials at one end and final product out the other. No shipping components across the globe. This minimizes environmental footprint in manufacture and minimizes waste with ore fed into the start.

    • Robert, Yes home battery packs are beyond the reach of most homeowners but they can keep a household operating for days, a Dark NL like event. The more homes with independent backup, the less stress on the system when central supply fails. In NL a Musk Powerwall is a very good idea. The cost keeps declining for batteries so they will become more and more affordable. They are also backup for the system when Nalcor fails. If they were smart they would subsidize Powerwall installation.

      Independent industrial sized batteries, the size of a shipping container can be installed back to back to get large systems backed up like in South Australia, despite what Winston suggests.

    • Bruno, whether large battery systems for the grid, or smaller Tesla Powerwall for homes: for backup power it is a question of how much power and for how long it is needed. For houses you say they can keep operating a house for days…….yes if the heat and hot water if from fossil fuel and you just power the pumps/motor etc for that. Do the arithmetic for a house, electric heated house with baseboard, and see if it is worth while to subsidise?
      You ignored the arithmetic in my posting @ 22:44 for grid application and the time factor. Why?
      For South Australia, yes, some applications need backup or balancing for short durations where batteries can be economic.Nfld with a lengthy outage in a cold snap, with most of our load electric heat, is not such an application.
      Cost effective options much depends on the climate and other factors, so not a one option fits all. Climate here was why Peckfords Pickle Palace failed, with standard greenhouses. Remember Clyde Wells words: you can grow cucumbers at the North Pole but is it economic? Wonder why Clyde Wells had no words of wisdom this past decade on the MFs boondoggle?
      So Bruno… there even one thing Nalcor has done in the past you support? Now you align with Nalcor on battery application! Is Nalcor now prudent or you not prudent?
      Surely others out in UG land has views on cost effectiveness of batteries,as to other options, for our grid……PENG2 , PENG3, others…..?
      Options: CDM (demand reduction from customer efficiency and conservation, I call type 1 CDM), time shifting customer demand management, I call type 2 (now called CDM,an invented name by Dennis Browne it seems and adapted by the power companies to confuse customers as to real potent CDM, type 1),added wind, more island hydro, island hydro capacity increase to existing sites,pumped hydro storage , eliminate transmission restraints, GT backup, solar, batteries….. I suggest batteries and solar for Nfld is not least cost but least cost effective.

      Note, despite Leblanc statement that "least cost" is different than "lowest cost" (and noted by MA) as required under the power act, least cost phrase was used by Nalcor as some options were not considered, yet still in the 620 page new Hydro report they again use the term "least cost" going forward. So the same strategy……not to consider some lowest cost options?
      Winston Adams

    • You are bizzare Winston. Seeing batteries as a tacit approval of Nalcor is nuts. Give yourself a shake.

      WIND plus batteries supported by solar (domestic and commercial) are ideal for the place with the best wind regime on the PLANET!

      Time of day pricing works well to shift the load therefore shave the peak. Charge less for use post midnight. Why not in NL??

    • Winston you seem to have a problem understanding the concept of the consumer/producer of power. It makes the grid self healing if done effectively. All those powerwalls can supply the grid power (at an attractive price) but we are talking about a utility that knows what they are doing, not Nalcor. Killing Nalcor is the first step in solving NL's power issues (electrical and political).

    • Bruno, to be fair, if Nalcor does one thing right and 99 wrong, and you support the one that is right, it does not imply you give tacit approval of Nalcor. But…….
      To suggest that wind and batteries(via wall packs, or larger batteries) and solar for Nfld is a great cost effective idea for most or all our grid needs, is almost as silly, or more silly, as the Dome idea for MFs site.
      ARITHMETIC, BRUNO…….show the figures, power generated, power stored, relibility and costs. You say an attractive price, trust you. Too many trusted Nalcor. You are "world class" on this idea, without figures, cost , reliability, risks………who is bizzare?
      Who need be to be shaken? Who is nutty?
      ARITHMETIC! Fundamentals first……show the numbers. Even approximate numbers. Trust but verify, the Russian proverb……but on this you don't even warrant being trusted.
      I don't ask for trust. I suggest distrust until I state the numbers, then dispute the numbers if you can. Vardy too is a man with numbers……
      Nalcor said trust. Then they fudged the numbers from what could be 2 billion to 12.7. Wind and batteries, Nalcor said , I think 17 billion cost……so prices are now downsince 2102,…….what is your numbers now, and also reliability for 2.8 hrs per year down time.
      Past time on the subject of batteries and solar you put up or shut up, on arithmetic, on that subject, as it takes away from other insights you have. Synapse said nothing on the value of batteries and solar for Nfld,……is that why you ignored Synapse?
      Winston Adams

    • Yes, I still have my slide rule, but not needed for simple arithmetic.Only silly people would use slide rules for simple calculations.
      Arithmetic is beyond your ability? You state your claim that your idea is cost effective, and now ask me to do the arithmetic to show you are right? On it's face the idea on a very large scale as you suggest is actually worse than the MFs boondoggle. Of course I could do it to show you are wrong.
      I could be like Danny Williams who said, at the Inquiry, MFs may be worth somewhere below 100 billion.
      For a quick number: solar on the roof + batteries for houses, contractors here are pricing at 50,000.00 per house. This for 200,000 houses is 10 billion cost. That is noted to be inadequate for electric heat or electric hot water needs. Nor does this cover commercial buildings or institutional buildings.
      Nalcor has estimated 17 billion , I think for wind/battery to offset Holyrood , being just about 1/3 of our peak load , suggesting 51 billion if to replace our entire grid generation. Now MFs at say 14 billion for 824 MW peak, about 46 % of our peak load, suggests about 3O billion Nalcor would need to supply 1800 MW.
      Now, I am sure with cost reductions and novel approaches, you can do better than 17 for partial or 51 billion for total replacement, and you don't like my tally as such just stated.
      Nalcor considering 100MW of battery, not much of 1800 Peak load, so what MWh capacity would you go with ?
      How do you go down to just hundreds of millions , below 1 billion in cost? Your arithmetic, please!. UG audience is waiting.

    • Bruno, when you are unable or unwilling to do 5th grade arithmetic, how can you claim to understand or do calculus?
      It is obvious I ridicule Danny Williams arithmetic, and the assumptions and arithmetic of Nalcor, as I do of yours.
      But whether of strange arithmetic or calculus, the onus is on you to support your assertion of the cost effectiveness.
      Show your arithmetic of calculus, please. Or you numbers come from the thin air? The 50,OOO dollars per house is real, on a local blog ad.
      Tesla wall pac batteries are online at 15,OOO installed, not including wind or solar source to charge it. The capacity of the batteries is small, if you care to check.
      So you say "Here is my solution. It is very cost effective and reliable". End of story. No data, No arithmetic.
      Nalcor produces tens of thousand of pages of distorted data.
      You produce no data, no arithmetic. A child in school would do more.
      Rather than I work for Nalcor, better than Nalcor worked for me. I would have instructed how to delivere stable electricity costs for not exceeding 2 billion, without yearly costs increasing. Nfld Power could have done similar, if so inclined and not greedy. And not a single high cost Tesla battery nor solar panel needed.
      As my advise was not sought , I gave it freely and published it pre-sanction. Not aware of your analysis.
      Synapse is much aligned with my calculating methods also, and aligned with Nova Scotia for CDM and wind etc.
      Arithmetic, Bruno…….perhaps you are more artistic than analytic? I admire artistic ability but I do not excel in that.
      So, too, given the boondoggle, you think Nfld would be better outside Confederation, or the deal was bad? Rural Nfld wanted Confederation…….I am puzzled by your stance.

    • Looks like I touched a nerve.

      The vote of Canadian confederation was a fraud. This is your history, have you read Malones book? It tells a tale of corruption and collusion that would make Trump blush!

      Have you applied to Nalcor as an estimator of the alternatives to MF with your "arithmetic"?

  19. As for the idea of planting vegetation on the North to block wind, it is minor from an energy perspective but definitely worthwhile if it allows you to enjoy the deck/yard.

    My experience with local construction is this: virtually all homes are wood sheathing with gaps, nailed, house wrapped with staples and the windows are put in wrong. The interior vapor barrier is poorly done. They are built either with ignorance, or total lack of pride. They air leak so much that the heat recovery ventilator is not even needed. You can verify that with a CO2 meter – you'e expect a house full of people with the windows closed to be stuffy, but in a windy day, it is fresh inside.

    When you lose vinyl siding in a storm or have rotten trim, use that as an excuse to take it off the north side. Take off the house wrap too. Use a high quality (3M/Dupont etc.) tape to seal the plywood joints. Use stick on flashing membrane between the vinyl windows and the wall. If windows were leaking, remove and reinstall using standard practices (as in standard for the mainland or from a good manufacturer). Use a foam gun to fill any holes. Scaffolding is cheap to rent. Youtube and the comments section are your friends.

    If your attic has very little insulation, remove it and seal all the holes with a foam gun. I've seen fancy homes with pot lights and you can see light everywhere. The attic leaks like a sieve. Alternately, a light layer of closed cell spray foam could seal everything. Then max out the insulation – I added loose insulation to make R90 in the attic.

    This a great job for friendly neighbours – it isn't difficult to do yourself, but having some free help with scaffolding and awkward jobs (like blowing insulation) is great. Once side of the house for an amateur, working evenings and weekends will take a summer month. Maybe we need to organize neighbourhood home improvement social groups / barn raising style.

    • I have read decades of several countries and the E.U. government energy saving techniques and tips, this is all pure physics, purely scientific, purely logical. The basic laws of physics and properties of matter remain are the same. Just the literally closest example from a 1974 book:

      "Differences of +/- 8 degrees have been measured on the outer surfaces of shaded and unshaded buildings. Contrasts WITHIN are even greater, with differences up to 20 degrees recorded.

      A SINGLE TREE on the [south] side, compared to an unshaded building, can reduce the interior temperature 10 degrees or more, reduce exterior wall and roof temperature by as much as 20 to 40 degrees. This helps eliminate the well-known 'attic furnace' effect."

      I live on a hill where the wind shakes and twists the house, a mix of low/mid/tall bushes and trees make a difference saving real money year after year, since the majority of winds for the majority of the year here in NL are cooling in nature no matter the prevailing direction unless the wind is off the land in the summer the wind is going to cool all surfaces the majority of the year and whatever the temperature of the outer wall makes a difference inside, like I said above. These are laws of thermodynamics and basic physics inherent properties of matter.

      I want to re-iterate that the slow growing trees are stronger and grow taller and last longer. Think centuries, not decades that I am trying to improve. Beech, Cedar and Pine are some outstanding strong, long lasting trees. Cedar is not just a bush: 20 feet plus is doable here quickened by fertilization and watering to dislodge pests. Cedar trees are quite common in N.B. forests, Northern Ontario and of course there are even taller ones in B.C. and Alberta. Most conifers/evergreens do better away from road and sea salt. Pine are the high part of the wind break. White Pine is great. Lodge Pole Pine foliage is way up. Mix logically. People in future centuries will thank you.

      I also am writing again because my big post before left out the obvious beauty and added property value of trees and bushes, some municipalities offer reduced taxes and I also forgot to mention the inherent logic of natural solutions such as deciduous trees on the south side whose foliage, many branches and leaves shade the home and roof/attic in summer then lose leaves in time to allow the sun to heat through windows and heat the walls and roof in winter. There are all kinds of other laws of physics to all this that one might not immediately think about that can warm or cool ambient air by tens of degrees, such as light hued ground surfaces reflecting radiant solar heat into windows and against structure wall increasing temperature. Vines grown on trellises or on masonry walls act as insulating blankets protecting against both hot summer sun and blocking cold winter winds. Vines planted against wooden walls can cause deterioration from moisture and make painting and other maintenance difficult. Use trellis to avoid direct contact with wooden walls. Well, I could have planted several trees in the time it took me to write this. Phew.

    • More about how trees and paving and landscaping choices AFFECT ambient air temperature or EFFECT micro-climates:

      Besides blocking cold wind that would otherwise drop the temperature of your house, trees help block noise and dust (i.e. more high speed use of dirt roads) ever-increasing problems always penetrating farther into cabin country. One study found trees and shrubs blocked 75% of dust.

      At night, asphalt pavement is still radiating heat out in all directions making the air and surroundings warmer while trees transpire. Like we perspire. The trees' moisture rises, cooling the air all around them and affecting their surroundings.

      Note concrete is more sustainable and environmentally friendly if you use a long lasting type, it doesn't crumble like asphalt and leech out hydrocarbons, it absorbs less heat in summer, yet reflects radiated solar heat towards your house in winter. Some of this goes directly through windows as reflected radiant solar heat. Walls radiate absorbed solar heat in all directions including inwards. Roof overhangs conserve outgoing/rising radiated heat on frostwy nights. These are significant effects, a large enough surface area creates a micro-climatic control.

      The surrounding air and structures near a large amount of concrete are cooler all day and night than the those near asphalt. More heat is reflected by concrete. By nature, grass is cooler again than concrete and less reflective. Grass can be frost stricken while adjacent soil is unaffected having retained absorbed radiant solar heat.

  20. Breaking news from Bishop's Cove:
    My source says: There's a meeting at the Lodge this afternoon, 2 government people are going to be there. There going to give $25,000.00 to put a new roof on, but "it's not about the elections" the source said.
    Readers may recall Bishop's Cove is my home town, where I now have a cottage, population now about 200, mostly senior citizens. The Lodge is owned by the LOL (Loyal Orange Lodge), which has had no activity in the town for more than a decade, but used by a "over 50 group" for social events.
    Historically, from the 1800s to 1960, almost everyone were members of the LOL. I recall the Xmas time parade, with King Billy on horseback leading the parade, the excitement of the big bass drum and the kettle drums, and the regalia. It was said the house was given rum to make him more frisky. And the men breaking off, darting into houses, for a nip of rum, then running trying to catch up. Occasionally a half drunk man, standing by a power pole pissing.
    That King Billy was actually a Dutchman I doubt anyone knew, or why it was called Orangemen.
    It helped to be an Orangeman if running for politics. Haig Young was our member for years, headed up Public Works. John Crosbie was a buddy of Haig. Haig's assistant was John Crane, who then succeeded him as the MHA. The local paper, the Compass summed up his philosophy : I believes in equality for everyone, but I'm pro- Protestant" He stayed to get a good pension, so the locals say, but never delivered much on jobs for locals.
    So, I ask my source "This 25,000.00 got nothing to do with the election? Not as to timing"?. "Cant't say for sure, was the response, but Pam, the local member is going to be there."
    It used to be a mile or two of road paving, or a few bottle of rum to key people.
    Locals now can't get a family doctor, and there is reduced services at Carbonear Hospital. A game of cards at the Lodge is main event.
    We were cautioned this week "Don't come out, they're dropping like flies out here". Indeed, two seniors, neighbours, died just this week alone. Of my wife's 4 walking buddies a year ago, only one is now active.
    A new roof likely mean new shingles. Just in time; The way Forward.
    The population is half of that when I was young. Hardly a child to be seen. Of 18 small boats there bobbing in the ocean in the 1970s, I alone have a small boat out in summer. Capelin, once seen yearly in a dozen beaches along the shore, is seldom ever seen since 1990. Yet the scenic view remains, with occasional icebergs and increased whale sightings.
    The style of politics remains unchanged. The Way Forward is the same as the Way Backward.
    Perhaps the most memorable political event by a local, on the national scene, was when John Lundrigan goaded Pierre Trudeau to mouth "Fuddle Duddle", said to actaully mean Fuck Off. Coffee Mugs were made, marked Fuddle Duddle. Maybe Trudeau Jr mouthed similar to Jody, I wonder?
    In consideration of climate change, the shingles for the LOL should be black, for solar gain to reduce heat loss in winter. Minister Graham Letto should take full advantage of the event, as Environment Minister. I expect roofers will be busy soon in many rural areas.
    Winston Adams

  21. The Atlantic Accord was maybe probably the best we could get. I say this from the review of the largest field out there Hibernia which is already pass the halfway mark and due to be depleted in about 10 to 15 years. We haven't found that much oil since the three original major fields were discovered and the other two(Terra Nova and White Rose) will also soon be peaked and start a downward slope to their end of life production. The other elephant in the room is Venezuela (and of course Iran and Russia) all of which could easily flood the oil market with cheap crude if the Americans get their way with these governments. Another factor that is now coming into play and coming fast is the sale of EV's. It is projected that Tesla will sell over 400 000 of its EV's next year in Europe and this along with wind and solar prices falling every month will almost certainly soon give oil a run for its money.
    We may have to consider selling the Muskrat Falls fiasco and here is how it can be done. We sell it along with the development of Gull Island or on contingent that it be developed within a certain period of time and guarantee transmission rights to the mainland market. In return Nalcor's $13 Billion debt be wiped off, a two billion dollar payment for Gull Island up front and the province is free of its obligations to purchase Muskrat Falls power. We can then develop wind power coupled with battery and pumped hydro storage on a tender basis. This to me would be the best option.

    • Few problems here… Who is interested to get an extra 3 000 MW of power today at a cost of 13 billions + cost to develop GI ? NL ? Qc ? NS ? NB ? Answer is : Nobody…

      How can you provide transmission for all of that power when your assets can not even transmit 100% of MF alone ? Answer is : you can't

      How these 3 000 MW can be wheeled over Qc when the cost to increase transmission capacity was evaluate to 3 billions years ago ? Answer is : it's not possible

      Sorry but No, you can not sell that piece of crap ; Gull Island does not worth the 13 billions you need to pay back MF and nobody around needs that much power.

    • Yes, you must be a nalcor guy an:20:00 for such a weird scheme, same kind of thinking as got us in this mess . Dreaming in techincolor. As pointed out you couldn't give muskrat boondoggle away much less sell it, and Gull scheme is no better. No business case to be made. Now what's your plan 2. I note you omitted Hebron oil field, that just got under way. I know a few years yet before we get any money rolling in from that one, but eventually I guess there wil be some return at some point. And guess we will get a hell of a lot more from Hebron than from muskrat, unless the bottom goes right out of oil prices from your EVs, but won't have much effect on us here for a while and our power demands for EVs. Nope better to stick to the old plan even if it is balls says Joe blow.

    • At today's prices it will be about ten years before there is any royalties accrued from Hebron AND the vast majority of jobs in the Hebron GBS were like the Hibernia GBS in that they were finished once the vessel sailed for the Grand Banks. The capital costs, financial costs, maintenance costs and operating costs all have to be recovered before any royalties are paid out. We could be waiting even longer if the price of oil falls like it did in the 1990’s-remember the $18 per barrel price? The GBS’s were conceived to create construction jobs more than anything else and in return considerable royalties were given up. A floating system would have brought us royalties from Hebron within 2 to 3 years like Terra Nova and White Rose did. The sad part is that all the royalties from all the fields must now be ponied up to shore up Muskrat Falls so we may never receive any net benefit from the oil fields going forward. This is called robbing Peter to pay Paul as an old saying goes. This rant doesn’t even factor the jobs within NL lost in FIFO from the downturn in Alberta’s oil industry.
      With regards to your comment about EV’s, the price of batteries fell by 35% last year alone and the amount of R&D that is taking place in that field alone is beyond comprehension. Duke Energy which heavily invested in oil mostly in the oil industry in Texas is now investing $37 Million in a state wide EV charging system in North Carolina alone. There was more EV’s sold in Norway last year than conventional ICE’s-a country that is pretty much 99% dependant on oil. Europe is expecting EV sales to climb to a staggering 450 000 vehicles next year and China now has over two million EV’s on the road.
      As for the Boondoggle, selling it is not a bad option from our point of view given the state of finances of this province today. If it were sold tomorrow we would only have the capital costs of around 7.2 Billion as the sale price since the financial, interest, operating and maintenance costs haven’t been accrued yet. Those would be the problem of the new operator. If we put conditions of the province maintaining access to the straits undersea cable and throw in the development of Gull Island for a $2.5 Billion paid in a provincial thrust fund so any benefits would go to further servicing our debt. Right now in last year’s budget, a staggering $723,900,000 was given to NALCOR to shore it up because of Muskrat Falls. And remember this is a cost that will have to be paid every year either through rate hikes, taxes or offshore royalties. The total royalties from the offshore were only $974,477, 000 so it is not hard to see where we are headed if the price of oil drops. Selling Muskrat falls with Gull Island is a scheme that needs to be considered seriously. We just need to set a price that benefits the province and not Nalcor

    • "The capital costs, financial costs, maintenance costs and operating costs all have to be recovered before any royalties are paid out". These costs are tallied by the oil company, without review, so only big oil decide when the costs are paid. It is easy to see this is a recipe to cheat NL.

    • We have to realize that the attempt to finance an unsustainable lifestyle and Society, from royalties, gained from offshore revenues, is a bit of a mug's game. NL is still rich with natural resources, capable of sustaining population growth to a million or so souls. Intelligent leaders can and should be setting reachable goals within the Global scope, supported by our very capable workers. Compromises need be made. The Muskrat gamble, and potential stranded asset, will be rationalized within the Atlantic grid system. Priorities need to be set with regard to permitted uses for electricity. Space heating needs be treated as a non-essential use. Some kind of Green New Deal must take hold. I am somewhat of an optimist with regards the younger generation. Help where you can.

    • Not saying you are wrong Bruno…but we do hold a 5 percent equity share in Hebron, so that should get us half a seat at the table, to get a glimpse at what might be happening with the big players says Joe blow.

    • Well for our 4.9 percent we put into Hebron, which was a billion or so that is a better than nothing in terms of being at the table. But personally I would be against putting anything in, and try and increase our royalties, but since we put it in we should be more in the know than if we were just depending on royalties. Of course if their is an oil spill etc. We are in for a 4.9 percent clean up or what ever. Think Murphy oil was in Hibernia organically for 5 percent or so, so are you saying they would not be in the know. So I don't follow your logic, but can't debate it in detail as I am just an average Joe like a lot of other joes and janes. But maybe Bruno you can inform us of some of the details rather than just blanket a statements. Tks. Average Joe.

  22. Just a few thoughts (questions)..Is my levy actually going towards debt reduction? Will it be renamed "temporary interest payment levy" to start new in 2020 (conceived in budget 2020 and retroactive)? How much are we borrowing/day? Will borrowing increase after next weeks budget to keep the lights on and help with the electioneering promises? What a gloomy state of affairs.

    • The whole problem with the debt is that it has been accumulating since about 70 years and the repayments have been put of to another generation. That generation is now coming into the workforce and they don't nearly have the money to repay it so the only answer is commision of government to prevent this fiasco from happening again.

  23. I recommend reading Ed Holletts piece "Gaslighting a society", UG has a link, Sir Robert Bond Papers. I consider it a wonderful essay to explain our situation on the boondoggle, and to the silence of most in our society that let this happen. Recall that Dave Vardy was puzzled by the silence and apparent fear of knowledgeable people to voice their opinions. Holletts shows how some at the Telegram ridiculed critics of MFs. How most at MUN stayed silent. How the power brokers and elite game the system, a continuation of control prior to 1934.
    And so , even now, on this blog, nothing has changed…..comments by half a dozen that give their name, some don't for good reason, but most what to stay in the shadows ……..for fear, which is real, as even Steve Bruneau stated, to speak up can have negative consequences.
    Such is our democracy! Hollett suggests there is no happy way to resolve this.
    I wonder… things go down hill such as in 1932? Why, even at this Inquiry, essentially no public attendance yet such shameful disregard for good governance, and a few scallywags given free reign to put us into poverty for the next 50 years.
    Has anyone explained it better than Hollett?
    Winston Adams?

    • It is ironic, and amazing that someone that works for an outfit planning on union with Trump and the US ofA (AIMS) is gaslighting us with lies that "a certain comedian" who has published an impeccably researched history of the facts leading to Confederation and the fraud perpetrated about the vote. Malone performed a crucial function of publishing the documented facts before the principals and the truth passed into history.

      Malone is a true hero and has done research both in the UK and in Canada to come to disturbing truths. He is to be celebrated and villains working to secede and join America are to be condemned for their traitorous gaslighting and distortion of the reality!

      Hollett has his knickers in a twist because he did not bother to do the original research and publish the story of the fraud perpetrated by the Canadian and British Government leading to Canadian Confederation.

    • Ah Bruno the court-jester fool is at it again.
      Malone is a comedian, his work is a joke.
      Mr. Malone made a career savaging the Catholic church for its pedophile priests and intimidating discipline, especially as it related to young students. The main group that was anti-confederation were the self-same priests and church hierarchy, who were loath to loosen their grip on their "flock". The irony is that the villains in Mr. Malone's fairy tales about Confederation are actually the ones that helped to break the priest-ridden serfdom to which his people were relegated.

    • Malone produced a well researched, scholarly analysis with persons that had first hand knowledge and he did original research in both the UK and Canada. You have not refuted the facts, only engaged in ad hominum attacks.

      He is a damned good court jester, you are the fool!

    • By the way the notion that the UK and Ottawa freed the NL serfdom from the grips of the church and not just the times (see PQ, and most of the globe in the last 50 years) is just silly.

    • That is an incoherent response. Like most of the world the sixties liberated the faithful (diddling priests did not help) from the grips of the church.

      Sadly some of us are still afraid to show our faces and liberate our minds!

    • really
      Mt Cashel wasn't exposed until, oh-my-goodness, the 1990's
      parochial schools here till late 1990's
      you're still a tool though Bruno. I don't think you have a mind to liberate, but if you do, it would be a micro-liberation

    • Still afraid to unmask I see! Exposed after decades of reports, denials and years for the institutions to finally collapse. It took a while since the cops would return the abused to the abusers! With the cops in league with the bastards it took wayyyyyyy too long.

  24. So this is supposed to be funny?

    Anyone who can find a modicum of "humour" in what these profligating degenerates have visited upon the province of NL must have rocks in their head.

    These goddamed rotten skeets and the colossal dupes that enabled them… the entire starring cast and leading actors of that bloody MRF Inquiry… these goddmaed mother-effers should be LOCKED UP for the stress and worry they've imposed upon NLers with their reckless incompetence, greed and hubris.

    Each and every one of those conniving bastards at that goddammed Nalcor senior management and executive should be investigated for perpetrating a fraud and charged if there's enough evidence to support criminal convictions… and that bloody outfit Nalcor itself dismantled, and a class action lawsuit brought by ratepayers against the NL government and the Nalcor liquidators.

    "Muskrat balls"… Christ Almighty wtf is wrong with people? They think this situation is some kind of joke?


  25. Yes, read the piece by Hollett especially about gas lighting and those who still say confederation was the sickes joke ever bestowed on NL. I am usually in agreement with UG, but not so sure on this one UG has posted. Is UG engaging in gas lighting??? He calls Ball a charlatan, trickster, fraudster, and a hoaxer, and not being forthright in his latest AA talks and the Feds 8.5 percent steak in Hibernia. The only other two that I heard condemning the talks was BP and CC. Brian said we may have left money on the table, when the price of oil goes up. Think Ches called it bizarre. But ches's plan CHEAP I think he called it seems buzzare too. The main thing I got from his plan was nalcor would pay their fair share, and Quebec would pay the rest in taxes. He must have taken a page from trumpie' s book, build the wall and Mexico will pay fir it. Think Mexico' past president said the check is in the mail. I will ask chess the same, is the check in the mail, yet?? We build muskrat and Quebec will pay for it, or we will sell it to them. Is this all about gas lighting. To brainwash the people who might want to think for themselves. Remember Chess roots are St. John's business elite, similar to the only other premier we have had from the St. John's elite, that gave us muskrat and still trying to push it down our throats. The same kind of garbage, and as Hollett points out happening today, as happened back in 1948 about confederation with Canada. Maybe UG after consulting with Our Brian will clearify if he is gas lighting or I am reading him incorrectly says average Joe.

  26. Obviously a Newfoundland trait; see the black side of everything first; winge; cry foul; do nothing more! Any idea can be pooh poohed, but every idea should be aired and discussed.
    There is a dearth of ideas; so when one pops up to the surface let’s discuss it before deprecating it!
    Where are our thinkers, philosophers, gadflies, revolutionaries, alternate thinkers?

  27. A most interesting essay is a link on Holletts piece as "Long disproven". This takes you to important information of the Confederation issue, the essay titled Confederation Conspiracy written by Raymond B. Blake, in 2014, from NL studies, as to Malone's book.
    It mentions P.E. Outerbridge a water street merchant saw rural Nflders as "ignorant and avaricious outporters"
    And too, that 32 lawyers form the Law Society, the "cream of the crop" signed a petition to the British govn wanting Confederation option not to be put to the people. Joey countered with a petition of 50,000 Nflders who wanted that option included. Malone omitted such details in his book.
    And just see now ,the cream of the crop lawyers at this Inquiry , most all with not a question to ask, most there to protect the guilty scallywags, the disaster they have inflicted on our province.
    In 1948 it was options of Confederation that they wanted not an opportunity to be given, in 2012, no options for proper alternatives for the Isolated options to be given, Now this year , certain options of mitigation to be denied. The MFCCC denies a seat at the table at the PUB. The peoples input via the online questionaire, mostly a few seniors, that
    is the people input, laughable if not so serious.
    Winston Adams

    • Winston
      Don't forget Malone's guiding light and muse, James Halley.
      Scion of Circular Road, they say he had a "good war", happily studying at Dalhousie. While he was studying torts, his countrymen were slogging through Europe defeating fascism. But when they returned, he and the other Circular Road denizens wanted to return to the good ole days when they had an economic stranglehold on the rural people of NL. They wished to deny the returning heroes their right to vote, as they who had dirtied not a hand decided that they knew more of the world then those that had fought for freedom. Lucky for Mr. Halley and his country club cousins, there was no white feather campaign during WWII; self-entitled cowards.

    • Condemned by class membership! That is pretty rich from the perch of today with your "intelligentia" having just run your treasury over the cliff with the MF decision and the feeding frenzy currently underway gobbling the cash by the self same class of self entitled upper middle class twits.

      You are best to admit you are impotent to even engage in the destruction of your culture now underway from the rape of your treasury!

      And you have the nerve to condemn Halley for unburdening himself with the ugly truth that he witnessed! Cowards dissing hero's is a nauseating site to witness!

    • Bruno, Bruno, Bruno
      Now you have really left the thread. I believe you started as rabid environmentalist ranting and raving on radio. Then you morphed into an antiestablishment/anticapitalist, all-be-it clueless, gadfly on this forum. And now your true form appears, an apologist for the 1%. I imagine they all feel condemned by their class membership, they'd like to be the 0.01%. Which side are you on poor misguided Bruno, which side are you on!

    • I don't have to justify my stance. Unlike you it is upfront and unafraid to state where the facts lead.

      Your ad hominum attacks are a boring reminder of what cowardice produces. I told the obvious truth on the radio, verified by the unfolding story. I don't cringe in darkness and snipe athose who show some courage. I hear no factual condemnation of Halley, or myself.

      I remain on the side that the facts compel me to. I would rather one hundred Halleys, wanting to set the record straight before their passing, than one coward like you sniping from the shadows with nothing substantive to say!

      You are a real hero to your class!

    • I think I finally understand. Bruno is actually one of Greg Malone's impressions. His open-line radio shtick, classic CodCo. A self-proclaimed environmental warrior from Nova Scotia, named Bruno Marcocchio, obsessed with Newfoundland politics, straight out of This Hour's central casting. Congratulations Mr. Malone, sorry Mr. Bruno (wink, wink), you sure had us fooled. This was way better than Mr. Budgell.

  28. In the 620 page report referenced by Planet NL there are key info , sometimes in a foot note, that can be easily missed.
    Hydro is assessing what additions power resources are needed for the next 10 years, and 2026 chosen as the reference year when all planned resources are expected to have occurred and delivery of the supplemental energy is complete. This seems to exclude long term CDM if complete by 2026.
    Recall that we were to need only 40 % of MFs power,be able to shut down Holyrood thermal, and plenty to sell excess to NS,
    Page 24, note 50 (page 54 of the overall report) the note reads: supplemental energy is additional firm energy committment to supply energy to Nova Scotia during the first 5 years at Muskrat Falls Generating Station as part of the Ammended and Restated Energy and Capacity Agreement.
    So, instead of having excess power from the 12.7 billion boondoggle, this confirms that Hydro is to add additional capacity in part to meet the Nova Scotia contracts. Does this suggest fossil fuels supply on the island, not only for our back up, but for NS? Or Bruno's magic battery option?

    • A lot depends on whether Come by Chance, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper and Long Harbour stay open. Long Harbour may well be there for the next 50 years but Come by Chance and Corner Brook Pulp and paper I doubt will be open in ten years. These two alone account for a third of NL Hydro's consumption.

  29. UG readers may know that MA on his blog Vision 2041 often stated that we had considerable surplus generating capacity in 2012: that if we have a peak winter load of say 1800 MW, and capacity of about 2100, why add 824 MW at MFs. And that Holyrood's useful life was only 50 % used up, so good for decades yet.
    Against this is the rationale of reserve needed, and not only the reserve , but the reliability of that reserve. DarkNL and Liberty shattered the illusion of our reserve being reliable, and all the worse for neglect by Nfld Hydro of our island infrastructure and generating assets.
    MA would do well to assess the power reserve question, and update his blog.
    We now find that because of MFs, and despite the loads dropping, and may drop further, the reserve margins actually increases! Why? In part to satisfy standards of connecting to the mainland grid. This connection which we were told was supposed to improve our situation, now forces us to spend additional money for larger reserve margin capacity than we needed for the Isolated grid. As MA might say: Just peachy.
    Winston Adams


    At least 27 MW of wind turbines on South Side Hills + Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage [A-CAES] in the tunnels below.


    A-CAES turns renewable electrical energy into potential mechanical energy during times of excess (overnight wind). Compresses air and stores heat. When demand peaks, air and heat are recombined into a specialized generator around 6-9 AM and 4-7 PM when wind may have died down. Lots of oil tanks on the South Side Hill, maybe even a disused one for heated water storage when unsafe for oil.

    Wind power is extremely cheap now. Vestas and GE fall all over themselves to finance projects, so much so, investment analysts fret over competitive burgeoning ever larger more efficient & economical investment, more MWh per dollar and per square foot. Wind turbines are lasting longer, fewer moving parts, less hydrocarbons for lubrication, less maintenance and any inevitable bird kills can be many times over balanced out/mitigated by a government wide policy to use windows in buildings that keep building bird strikes down (using windows they can see).

    Canadian company installs A-CAES systems.
    Has lowest installed cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) for large-scale, long duration energy storage, up to 50 year system life with unlimited cycling (energy storage & discharge) No replacement required.

    No toxic materials like batteries that have to be dismantled or decommisioned after 15-20 years (generous estimate). No thermal impacts on environment. Ideal for high-value grid applications near load (near demand) low noise, small footprint. ZERO EMISSIONS.

    They can use salt water for hydrostatic pressure to force the compressed air back to the surface. No impact on city water supply or pristine Southside Hills ponds or streams, though if it came down to it in the unlikely event that salt water couldn't be used at the site, there are many waterfalls on South Side Road but I would still feel better about using the salt water even if the fresh waterfalls just spilled into the harbour.

    Hydrostor has numerous projects in development: U.S., Australia, Canada, & Chile. Up to 500 MW / 5 GigaWattHour. Video and PDF @

    The 80-year old tunnels in the hill would have to be sealed. Easy. Sheer volume may be enough that they not need to be one large round/square/rectangular "cavern." Weird people who are annoyed and confused by new things might object. Windmills are no less attractive than oil tanks with corporate advertising. Some of the wind turbines would be out of sight in the distance over the brow anyway. The sight of renewable energy is a beautiful thing to many and I have never understood wind turbines termed "eyesore" by few in the past. They are something to be proud of, a badge of modernity and maturity, a beacon on a hill, a shining example of something for smelly places with filthy air to aspire to and say, "if that tiny little city can do it, why can't we?" It may be a generational thing (no pun intended), but there is always some weirdo faction who objects. The reason why they should be up there is proximity to existing excavated underground spaces for cost and efficiency reasons and the simple fact that higher elevation equals more energy per square foot and per dollar and more potential energy in all with more constant wind. I am guessing various increased efficiencies can be realized in storage system the greater the depth from surface structure to sealed compressed air chamber/tunnels.
    The physical properties of a tunnel system could produce increased air velocity if passing through progressively narrower passages in discharge.

  31. At the Nalcor AGM Stan Marshall gets my vote for the biggest pile of steaming bullshit with this statement,

    "Marshall said a potential change in contractors was "contemplated" when he gave his last cost and schedule update in mid-2017.

    "The transition has gone smoothly," said Marshall."

  32. Winston see what Con Edison is doing testing battery storage. See the future!

    New York utility Con Edison is testing a commercial business model where it calls the shots and the customer simply hosts the battery.

    This model simplifies the commercial energy storage sales process by pitching a lease for space in areas where the utility needs help, rather than the typical bill management use case, where batteries lower the power bill by predicting and neutralizing a customer's demand spikes.