PLAYING CHES: REFERENDUM IDEA HIS BEST MOVE?

Ches Crosbie wants the Government to call a referendum on
equalization. He believes it will call attention to the program’s unfair
construction and garner support for reform of the system, giving this province
some much-needed additional revenue. 

Other than the Schroder Policy Institute’s Upper Churchill proposal —
which has been articulated by local artist and entrepreneur Bob Hallett — no
ideas have been brought forward to deal with the Province’s full-blown, and
largely unacknowledged, fiscal crisis.


This Blog has never assessed Mr. Hallett’s proposal, but it is
gratifying that a talented, fresh face has entered the fiscal crisis debate —
even though “debate” may be too strong a word.

As to Crosbie’s referendum proposal, we might ask: how sound
is the idea? Does it stand on its own merits, needing no other supporting cast
of initiatives? Does he have any other ideas?

Is Ches finally ready with a grand reveal?

A personal assessment is that, on the scale of NL’s debt problem, can it be anything more than a single
mindless distraction? It is hard to think of it any other way. 

Even if we humour Crosbie and agree that it
is a useful tactic among a grocery list, what is the next move? Why isn’t he more transparent about his Ches(s)
Game?

Mr. Crosbie has so far failed to enunciate any strategy; the
suggestion of referendum is dumped on the public mind essentially without explanation.

Why now, anyway?

We have just come through Federal and Provincial General
Elections. In neither case was our fiscal nightmare even a subtext, let alone
the main issue. Why didn’t Crosbie do something, anything, to make sure that it
was the top issue on everyone’s agenda — including those of the Federal Tory
Candidates?

In the Federal Election, six Liberals went back to Ottawa not
even slightly red-faced by their Federal Finance Minister’s empty hand. Crosbie
employed about the same amount of energy as did Premier Ball to prevent that
from happening.

In fact, Crosbie has hardly been heard from since last May.

Two weeks ago, the Alberta Government took the none-too-popular
step of curbing its spending problem. No one doubts that it will achieve Budget
surplus by 2023, in contrast to this Government’s admission that it has given
up even the pretense of trying. Finance Minister Tom Osborne thinks debt is a
Ferrari and he should test the limits of the tank’s remaining fumes.

What Alberta is doing is called ‘self-help’.

Might ‘self-help’ be a necessary precursor to a
bailout here, too, or even to winning support from other Canadians on equalization?  Is that part of the strategy one that Ches is still
hiding?

Or, does Ches have no Plan, having found only a bogeyman?

We can complain — and we should — that Quebec will lift $13.1
billion from the Equalization Fund next year, even as it openly advertises its
opposition to cross-border economic development in the Country, including
pipelines and transmission lines. But carping at Quebec has as much effect as
waking a dopey Premier; it’s has no utility in this Confederation, it’s
tiresome, too, and it doesn’t solve OUR existential problem.

Starting this week, the House of Assembly is open for Question
Period. Will Ches use the first five minutes on his “tactic” and be seated — or
does he have something more persuasive in mind?  Is “referendum” the best and only idea on offer?

If it is, has Mr. Crosbie considered the opportunities afforded
by minority Government? Has he talked with the Premier about NL’s debt crisis? Any new idea is surely one that Ball lacks. Has he spoken with the Leader of the NDP about a referendum? Has he enlisted their  legislative support to kick off his crusade?

Crosbie doesn’t need to do a lot to shine. As one wit recently suggested: ‘it isn’t as if the
Government is getting by on Ball’s charisma. So, what better
opportunity will he ever have to provide
interesting, alternative leadership proposals than right now, in this Legislature?

But first, he will need to overcome his
personal limitations and exhibit a leadership style like he has never done. He
has to use the intellect to which he has been credited, and offer solid,
supportable ideas. Otherwise, he risks being written-off as a hopeless
seat-warmer. It’s as simple as that.

We need a referendum to prove we don’t like the
equalization formula about as much as we need proof we dislike our
weather.  But if Ches
can prove
otherwise, he will soon have plenty of opportunity over the next few days.
We have a public pining
for Crosbie’s grand vision and they shouldn’t be denied.


Give him time, Mr. Speaker.

Keep that Speech From the Throne brief, Your Honor!  

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.

OPINION POLL OVER-RATES INEFFECTIVE TORY OPPOSITION

Having survived in spite of themselves, in Opposition the Tories have been lazy and uninspiring.  The fact that it is summer, and the House of Assembly is closed, admittedly makes their job tougher, except that the Party’s manifest weakness is not a seasonal problem.

REMEMBERING CABOT MARTIN (1944-2022)

He was an exceptional person. A gifted intellect for sure; irascible and argumentative, too. What endeared him to many was not just that he was analytical and insightful, but that he was honest and forthright. He was a public policy wonk; resource policy interested him most. He loved to travel and read; people, with something to say, were always important.

GNL RUSHING INTO ANOTHER “SCHEME”: CABOT MARTIN

I must say that after the Muskrat Falls fiasco, I thought our government had finally learnt its lesson and would not to rush into another such scheme where calling it “green” was enough to suspend all critical analysis.

44 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, I think we should include in the referendum apple pie and motherhood too, so that we can have a 300 per cent result in the vote rather than just a 100 per cent in favor of more equalization. But I digress….and ask what was the primirary purpose of the maratime link from a layman's point of view? So Stan says we are importing power from Niva Scotia, because it is cheaper than Holyrood and to build up our water levels. Wow…I can stand on my head. Why? Because I can Stan on my head. That why, and just to show that I can do it. Even though it may not be good for my health. Of all the talk on this blog and elsewhere, protest in the streets here and world wide, on earth day, we still want to import dirty coal power from NS because it is cheaper than bunker C at Holyrood. Oh, yes and to build up our water levels, so that when, and if ever we export power to NS we will be able to do it in vast quantities for free, or maybe some at even 5 cents. Now I haven't done the mini math on that but but am sure it would boggle any ones mind if they tried…even Stans. So why do we do it…because we can, and maybe for love. Yes, when we add it all up, the total cost of our love for NS hydro and Emera is …NO CHARGE. Where did I hear that before. Oh yes, in the Hump and Kimmy love affair. No cost right now, but down the road you pay the price. We keep our nukes says kimmy, but we give away our power for free. The real purpose of the maratime link says Joe blow.

  2. It is clear Chess is a seat warmer and has none of the "charm" his "pass the tequila Sheila" dad. At least John made as much noise as an empty barrel while in Ottawa. Never mind his dad passed a death sentence on the northern cod complex with his personal geed for one more election victory.

    All three oil producing provinces are short changed with the equalization formula given the oil revenues directly leave their jurisdiction and have virtually no spinoff. They need to work together to DEMAND a new formula that reflects the reality.

    It is rich though shitting on PQ for looking after their interests re pipelines crossing their jurisdiction. Do you think they are taking the 'leave the carbon in the ground" imperative seriously? Why is NL still stinking up the joint with their our oil is better and needs to be maximally exploited.

    The unrestricted greed and poor fiscal management will make NL a pariah soon with the unrestricted march into climate oblivion.

    NL has political energy issues that run much deeper than Ches' impotence!

  3. 12. 7 billion and counting. THEIR GRAND PLAN: MFs to have surplus power so we could continue to promote wasteful baseboard heat and make our winter peak worse ( Stratton confirmed that at the Inquiry), also shut down Holyrood bunker C (they call it #6 fuel) thermal units and shut down gas turbines and achieve 98 % green energy. On top of that, plenty of excess power for 160MW of free power to NS and another 160MW to NS for 5 cents rates.
    The grand plan, was also to import 300 MW from NS in case Nfld Needed it, in an emergency.
    What is our status, 7 years after sanction?
    1.The Maritime Link long ago energized waiting for our power but no power to send to them.
    2. The DC LIL energized with fanfare over a year ago, but we learn later only 1 of 2 poles operational. Average power from that last year was 45 MW, and a brief max of about 140MW, so on average 5% of the 900 MW . And that was CFs power not MFs, as the generators are not in service yet.Further the software to operate it is crap, 17 versions so far and about 20 trips last year on that one pole. A new version for 2 pole may get a trial in 2020, but so uncertain that the PUB is assuming no power from Labrador this winter. Looks like STAN is going out STRONG. He says perhaps 3 years to work out the bugs, as they are hornets.
    3. The DC line will be so unreliable that we will continue to need 500 MW Holyrood on standby or equivalent power…. indefinately, at added cost.

    4. Present status: SOS: No Labrador infeed, no 300MW import contract, poor reliability for Holyrood units which are old and more risky, despite upgrades, and now the climate change effect: low water in our reservoirs. How low? About 20 % lower than necessary this time of year when heating loads are increasing. If we use too much of our already low level water power now, and the level drops further, we will be undercapacity this winter on both hydro AND thermal! The solution: on AUG 24, still then our summer season, we started importing dirty coal power from NS, and doing it ever since, to help our hydro shortage, and is cheaper to generate than Holyrood power. We have opted for the dirtiet power available. MFs was to help NS reduce dirty coal, now dirty coal is helping us heat our houses here, because it is cheaper. And it proves we can do it, but not guaranteed with contracts as to the amount, and certainly not 300MW, it is running 50-100 MW, and besides, this of little help for the Avalon in peak load situations, because we have a shortage of AC 230kv links to the Avalon East (Peter Alteen saw the light just a few months ago)
    5. Low water could have been addressed with 400 MW of wind and aggressive CDM, and the 3rd 230KV line extended to Avalon East…..but all shelved for the GRAND BOONDOGGLE SCHEME.

    Who could imagine in 2012 that dirty coal would be used for our SOS situation, to help avoid another DarkkNL. Now 2 years in a row we have had low water conditions in the fall. Such is our energy warehouse for helping reduce NS GHG emissions. Instead NS coal warming our back sides.
    Where is Greta? Only Andy Wells and Young Alpie(aka the Digger), Nalcor, and Stan could approve of this dirty coal import. Even Bruno would be thumps down, I'm sure.

    Oh what webs we weave, when we plan to deceive.
    Winston Adams

  4. The idea of a provincial referendum on federal equalization is preposterous. If it was up for intelligent debate and all of Canada wanted to chime in on the concept, then maybe. However, it is risky. What if the majority of Canadians want to get rid of it and let poor regions be poor. Like Maryland vs Alabama. We might get more than we bargained for.

    Here is a little something to get Winston all bent out of shape: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8455KEDitpU It is a short presentation about data manipulation, and an important one now that climate emergency is being to force all sorts of things upon us.

    Finally, isn't it pathetic that we have Chess and Dwight as leaders? We have dysfunctional government and agencies (Nalcor, MUN etc.) where all positions of importance are filled by well paid cronies and incompetence and malfeasance is rewarded. We have empty choices at the ballot box where the true winner would be "none of the above" if it was printed on the ballot. There is an idea – change my name legally to "None of the, Above" and run.

    Trump was partially a protest vote against the status quo. The Ukraine voted in a comedian for president. People worldwide are unhappy with government and there are violent protests in France (yellow vests), Spain (Catalonia), Hong Kong (Chinese rule), Chile etc. I'd like to bypass the protest phase and find a way to put in someone decent like Des or Dave or Ron with the mandate to stabilize the unsustainable mess.

    • Don't need a you tube to say how data can be manipulated. See if reports citing data are peer reviewed or show by bias. We saw plenty of manipulation by Nalcor and too see it daily by Nfld Power via Take Charge ( LED lights are promoted as saving 75 % for light energy, which is technically true, but in fact for electric heated houses 60 to 85 % of that energy is NOT actually saved, as most of the energy thought to be saved is needed as extra energy for space heating with baseboard heaters. So it is about 75 % trickery. Same for fridges and TVs, so false savings and deception.
      Maybe we need a youtube showing that, and how scallywags manipulate data?

      Winston Adams

    • I was going to take you seriously until I watched your "climate alarmist" video. So climate science is all a hoax to redistribute wealth is it?????

      It is all a communist plot misleading the poor innocent kids of the world!!! California is burning up yearly, the glaciers did not get the message the commies are coming and are wasting away needlessly I guess.

      The droning monotony of the climate change deniers voice belies the fact free presentation, carefully cherry picked like his colleagues that claim there has been no warming since 1992.

      Someone decent like Des or Dave or Ron won't do. They take the game as though it were not a fraud perpetrated by the emperor who rules by way of intimidation. The game is fixed and one needs a rebel that sees though the bullshit and punches the emperor in the face.

      Until then sniveling anon climate change deniers have nothing useful to say. Rise up, Rise up. You have nothing to lose but your intellectual shackles!

    • Here is some data:
      Nalcor boasts an ability to get 105 MW emergency hydro from the the Deer Lake plant in an emergency, for the mill to delay production, and they compensate the paper mill owners.
      They are working on an agreement, not yet signed for 7.5 MW if Vale at Long Hr curtails productions. 7.5 MW is chicken feed, less than 1/2 of 1 % of our peak load.

      Now this data:
      1. 37,000 heat pumps now installed
      2. For a 3700 sq ft R2000, HPs can reduce a heating load from about 18kw at morning warm up, with programmable thermostats to just 4 kw, a 14 kw reduction. These figures from detail monitoring, COP of 2.7.
      3. A typical cold climate minisplit for partial coverage reduces from about 4kw of baseboard to 1.5 kw, so a reduction of 2.5 kw with a COP of about 2.7.
      4. Some use cheaper models and may not achieve a 2.5kw reduction.
      5. We have a range; some reducing by 14kw, most 2.5, some less than 2.5kw
      6 Assume the average reduction is 2.5 KW
      7. 2.5 kw X 37,000 is 92.5 MW reduction.
      8. Allow that some are used in sheds, not always operating, or some poorly sized, so deduct 20 %, which gives 74 MW reduction. This 74 MW is 10 times more than what Vale can provide, and they charge a large fee.
      9. Alteen now says HPs are a good thing! How good at reducing the winter hump due to space heating during peak load?
      In NS and NB they encourage residents to help reduce the winter peak with HPs and use incentives, starting in 2008. Here they pay industry to do this , but not residents.
      This 74 MW is free to the power companies, because residents want to save money, and the peak load reduction is a side benefit not even acknowledged by the power companies. Residents are actually more expert at power management than the power companies, if only by accident.
      At the present rate of 12,000 per year, this is 24 MW reduction per year, and a big benefit to conserve water in a dry season, and to reduce GHG at Holyrood…….yet ignored.
      Are these figures reasonable anon?
      Are the power companies actually acting as scallywags?
      Winston Adams

    • The TakeCharge program is quite the farce. The website isn't local, but a product from Tendril, Inc. The calculations that compare houses to others are all wrong and make no sense.

      The insulation rebates were ok, but the rebates on LED bulbs were unnecessary and insignificant. The heat pump rebates are finally here, but limited and unnecessary because the heat pump adoption rate is fine.

      The savings challenges are embarrassingly silly — unplugging alarm clocks etc.

      The expert advice section is also almost useless. The responses from "energy expert" indicated that this person is just figuring it out on the job and the advice is far too generic. They should have had real articles showing how to save. E.g. A before and after analysis, the products purchased, the rebates available complete with project photos.

      A good TakeCharge project would have been to look at heat exhanger operation in typical homes in Newfoundland. Can they be run just a few hours a day, or perhaps not at all? Variables to consider are high winds and drafts providing enough air exchanges per hour although radon sub-slab depressurization might be required in the basement. While the units draw about 120 watts, they waste a lot of heat if the extra air exchange is not needed.

      I don't know if this is systemic government incompetence, or if it is intentionally designed to look good yet thwart demand reduction. The latter is just evil. I feel bad for some of the desperate people who write in and state they tried everything and their bills didn't change. There is so much that could have been done had anyone with power in government cared.

      There are people on this comment section that could write how-to articles on hot water reduction (cold wash, low flow showers, drain water heat recovery, better how water tanks, solar heating) showing the contribution of each component, before and after results, costs, and how-to construction details and advice on the most economical approach.

      Same for heat recover ventilation, on-demand CO2 based ventilation, automated vent dampers, ductless heat pump layout (multiple heads) etc. Not sure where it should get published, but it would have been a wonderful public service. I can also guarantee you that the possibility of getting things like published on the GNL website are zero.

    • Anon: 14:13, agree "the heat pumps rebate are finally here". agree, "it is just evil". The rebates are on a first come first serve basis, what ever that means, for those earning up to 150 grand a year. The only 3 I know that might be excluded in that category, are DW, EM and SM. Why not a limit on annual income of less than 30 thousand or so to help the less fortunate. Nay by, treat all hands alike, and the scallywags Devils take the hindmost says Joe blow.

    • Anon @ 14:13 has excellent comments, especially on "how to articles" to aid others, and I regret not being able to do more in that direction.
      Nov 13 seems maybe a big date for Take Charge, no more 2 dollar rebates, maybe some items of real value, instead of of fake measures, since the scallywags being exposed by Synapse report phase 1.
      Most disturbing to me was the video ad of engineer Peter Upshall looking up to the heavens, (like Trump when he said he was the chosen one), but Peter was inferring that the Take Charge savings from the junk measures, was like from the Old Testament,a divine blessing, manna falling from the sky to ratepayers. That one should be saved for the archives, a classic piece of acting, and too for the PENG association of the art of acting. Not many engineers could pull that off, or would want too. It outdid any acting by Nalcor's world class engineers at the Inquiry. Even outdid Alteens surprise that the Avalon will not have reliable backup from MFs, that was good acting too.
      Winston

    • Yes, Bruno getting chopped big time, not that AJ needs protection, but likely to delete nitpicking by Dr Bruno, as to how to spell, space by pressing Enter etc.
      For me, I read all, Bruno's, and AJs and everyone else.
      I am too wordy,guilty, I should be shorter, I need an editor.
      Now I miss Bruno's, and lucky to read it before being deleted. "Rise up , Rise up" and reminds me of the hymn, "Stand up, stand up, for Jesus" We know that even Peter did not stand up, and all disciples hid when in the hour of need. Except maybe Mary Magalene.
      Bruno already said he is too old to lead the rebellion of those that might rise up, but he will cheer from afar.
      So the blog administrator acts as he has power to do, and to me too when needed, but we miss the bit of humour of our buddy from the highlands of Cape Breton. UG permits humour, but it much be sufficient quantity, and not repetitive.
      What is new that we have a feudal system here? Any student of history know that. Did not Andy Wells spell it out at the Rate Mitigation hearing? Why did Bruno not add his 2 cents worth there?
      Perhaps Bruno can comment on my comments on Rate Mitigation:
      1. Technical points, valid or not?
      2. Comments, too harsh or too soft?
      3. Other important areas that I missed.

      Winston Adams

    • Ignore this nalcor inane shit buddy Winston, as I am sure you will. You and and the Uncle virtually keep this blog going. Without any posters or commentaries this blog is virtually dead, and the buddy will have achieved his objective.

    • I intended to have some fun with the anon comment,(since removed) that was vulgar and full of double negatives. They equate to a positive, and generally regarded in praise of my comments.
      Like in math where -2 x-2 is +4
      Some of this @ 19:51 too, likely by the same person: Nobody reads it anymore anyway, because… should simply read :Nobody reads it because……
      As written it can mean: Nobody reads it any less……

      Then too he had written, F… off buddy, except he spelled it out, so it was vulgar. The word buddy means a friend, a pal etc. Again, it seems very poor English, as no one says that to a friend, because it proves yourself not a friend.

      However, I make no claim on expertise on grammar, and not like Etienne, a linguist, nor clever with one liners like Bruno, (not suggesting either to be the anon) so this analysis may be BS on my part.
      I prefer that my analysis on power systems be right than worry about my English and writing flaws.
      However I did see about 4 flaws in the very excellent written proposal by the atomic energy engineer from Quebec;
      1. St. John's was written as St. John, as in Saint John , NB
      2. As to the Maritime Link, it said across Cabot Detroit, instead of Cabot Strait.
      3. As to the CFs deal of the 1960s, that has angered Nflders, it uses the word steel profits instead of steal, steel meaning made from iron, as in steel pipe, and steal as in to rob.
      4. I can't remember what it was.
      Now this was a item of almost 60 pages, and I would easily make 4 errors in one paragraph in English. If I had to write in French , I would get a grade of X, far below an F.
      I am closer to AJ, and I dig his meaning with ease, but I lack his good humour and style. If to anon I write " hot steaming pies of inane bullshit" so be it. Likely too old to change, and little to learn from anon, who constantly uses the word inane, when a simpler word would do.

      Time for Ches to show his plan? Yes, if he has a plan?
      Winston

    • About this document Winston, here are more errors for you :
      He talks about putting escalators in the deal. Such escalators would be impossible now for the same reason they were impossible in 1969. Both CFLCo in 1969 and NL in 2019 need a guaranteed revenue, no matter the fluctuation of energy prices. If energy prices drop too low, a contract with escalators would not provide the required help NL needs and HQ would loose it all.
      Another one: from this plan, the higher benefit for NL would come by operating the LiL using CF power while waiting for MF. Considering MF will be ready to produce power before LiL being able to carry it, the biggest gain is missed.
      You need more ? Sure! Considering how NF proved itself not trustworthy about honouring its own words, such a contract would be required to be governed by Qc law's, just like the 1969 contract. I highly doubt NL would be ready for that.
      In the same bucket, NL would have to drop every legal procedure and renounce to any other procedure against the 1969 contract before HQ signs anything. Are you ready for that?
      Should you need more points on how this document is non-sense, there are enough that you should be able to find a few more by yourself…

    • WA, ever heard about CDM ? What if Qc / HQ choses to go that way instead of building / buying more power ?

      And why should HQ enter in a contract for electricity at what the document calls market price instead of having its own wind / solar energy at that same market price ?

      Just like in 1969, HQ will not go for CF power if it is the at the same price or higher than their own electricity. They will go for it only if it is cheaper. Considering their own electricity is about 3 cents per Kwh, they will never pay more than that, so there will never be big profit for NL from CF.

      The value of something is defined by how much another one is willing to pay for it. There is no one in NL to buy as much power as CF can produce. There is no one beyond Qc to buy that much and no one to receive that much because there are no connection with the required capacity. As such, the value of CF power is only what Qc / HQ will be ready to pay for it and that price will be below their own cost.

      The situation is as simple as that!

  5. This blog has literally millions of page reads. Given that you can post anonymously, all it takes is a few minutes plus the time to solve one of those irritating puzzles.

    It reminds me sometimes of the news site zerohedge.com. Millions of viewers but only a few regular posters. Most regular posters are smart, albeit unhinged at times and you can learn a great deal from the comments.

    Would readers please consider leaving a note under this comment with a short comment like: expat, Florida, morbid curiosity or NL resident, exasperated, looking for hope …

    Here is mine: professional engineer, Newfoundland resident, have to stay anon to prevent getting fired, support this site because it is one of the very few places left for real journalism and it allows comments.

    “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed; everything else is public relations.”

    • You are exactly the problem. Middle classed, professional and useless to yourself self worth and your ailing culture that needs YOU to overcome the grip of corrupt megalomaniacal overlords.

      My work is done here. You are on your own to whimper in fear.

    • On the contrary, many anons work behind the scenes to spread public awareness, expose lies and destabilize evil as best they can. When they retire they can often afford visibility – of course it depends on what they exposed — look at Julian Assange's torture and imprisonment for exposing the deep state and war crimes.

      Think of being anon as a variation on “He who fights and runs away May live to fight another day; But he who is battle slain Can never rise to fight again”. Our society is not yet able nor willing to protect dissenters and whistle blowers.

      Did you know that if you work for the Federal Government, you are expected to sign a voluntary gag order? It goes along the lines of: "When you become a public servant, you take an Oath or make a Solemn Affirmation that you will not disclose information on any matter that you become aware of as a result of your job, unless legally authorized. You are permitted only to access the information that is necessary for your work."

      This has nothing to do with protecting or serving the public – and has everything to do with protecting the powers that be.

  6. Anyone see this https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/justin-brake-charter-application-1.5276407 ?

    It is somewhat confusing because I thought the charges were dismissed by a Judge earlier this year. The Newfoundland government seems determined to send the message that journalists that bother them will be hunted indefinitely. This is a scary precedent for independent journalists, who can seldom afford supreme court challenges.

  7. PEAK LOAD REDUCTION:
    My prior comment: that 37,000 HPs would reduce our grid peak load about 74 MW. One must look at what is happening to other loads to put this in context;
    Vision 2041 has a chart showing our system energy sales and peak load. It shows a small increase in the ratio, that is peak loads are increasing, not decreasing, despite HPs. Good if this chart was updated as it is a couple of years out of date.
    We can see from daily winter peak loads, setback thermostats reduce the heating load at night, then ramp up on the morning. This ramp up is huge, about 400MW! Most is electric heat.
    If HPs running steady state, most with only individual load of 4 kw reducing to 1.5 kw, this is but 18% of our houses, and perhaps only 12 % of the residential heating loads.
    While these are helping reduce peak loads, most houses are going the other direction: about 15 kw of heat, operating on setback thermostats, (aggressively promoted by Take Charge), that actually increase the grid peak load. These increases still exceeds the good counter contribution of HPs, resulting in an increasing system peak overall. This is gross incompetence as to flattening our winter peak, needing huge thermal fossil fuel use, and counter what Synapse says is good management.

    Yesterday St John's passed a climate change emergency statement, and proposes a plan.
    That plan should mandate cold climate HPs for full house coverage of space heating, that can meet the load without supplement baseboard or duct heaters. All municapalities should do that for new construction, as well as envelope construction exceeding present codes.
    Reducing the HUMP, the winter peak load is an incremental process, with many benefits, including help avoiding another DarkNL.
    Winston Adams

    • Perhaps the rebate on programmable thermostats is part of an dirty plan. While saving energy (which set back does), it almost guarantees a very sharp spike in the morning. Perhaps their fear is that if we reduced demand significantly with heat pumps and could live with Holyrood running at reduced capacity, that it would reflect negatively on Muskrat Falls. Pushing programmable thermostats (which generally means baseboard heat) with zero guidance seems a way to produce stress on the grid.

      Winston, looking at the grid load in the cold winter mornings, would a scenario like this work?

      1) All even number houses can program the startup in morning at 6bam while odd houses start at 6:30 am?

      2) If you don't need early heat, then pick any time after 7 am. Perhaps other times are needed, or the homes need to be split into more than just two groups?

      3) Having the heat turn off for 30 minutes during the evening peak might also work, and these too could be staggered.

      What would be the optimum start times and optimum number of groups?

      You can get a five pack of high quality Honeywell thermostats at Costco for $150, which is $20 each after the $50 rebate. As part of the rebate, we could have had a social media campaign to coordinate programming efforts.

    • Staggering will not work;
      1. They promote a set back of 5C, and the more the set back the more the saving. The down side is that long set backs require long recovery times, I suggest 3-4 hrs typical, perhaps 1-2 hrs at heaters fully on and then gradually reducing.
      If more heating capacity, it can recover quicker but the load is greater.
      Another down side not mentioned: setbacks overnight when very cold increases condensation around windows, not just the window surface, but hidden in the walls, contribution to mildew and rot, discovered years later.
      Thermostats manufacturers intentionally direct testing agencies to ignore this result, (the effects and internal temperatures in walls have been measures)and just to measure the power savings, so damage to the building is not discussed and not known by owners. If so, owners would likely opt for very little set back, if at all.
      HPs actually are much more efficient if ZERO set back is used, but ok for 1 degree set back. Owners need to be educated on that, as it is opposite to what is done for baseboard heaters.
      Absolutely setback thermostats puts stress on the grid with baseboard heaters, and so the need for greater thermal generation capacity and fuel used. That adds cost large costs to the ratepayer, more I suggest than the savings via setback thermostats, so it is false economics, and higher risk of rotating outages.
      About 20% of our costs, Prior to MFs, is due to thermal generation assets for winter heating loads.
      I have setback thermostats at my main residence, not yet having installed minisplits, though I have them.
      I setback the thermostats only 2 or 3 F, warm up time is shorter, and reducing hidden condensation around windows.
      For my minislit, at the cottage, I operate at 23 C, day, and 22 C at bedtime, and leave bedroom door ajar 6 inches for a little cooler for sleeping.
      When monitoring for a full year, resulted posted on UG, I left it at 22C even when unoccupied, and was 313.00 for a full year, HST extra.
      This year I will leave it at 19C unoccupied, as a bit wasteful at 22 C, and adding to Holyrood fuel, and can still warm up on occupancy in about 30 minutes.
      I could go as low as 50F , 10C unoccupied, but no actually saving if setback is for just 5 or 6 days. It then takes full 24 hrs to warm up furniture etc to confort levels, and the HPs is working in inefficient mode. I tried these long setbacks and was surprised at that. If setback is for weeks, there would be savings.
      But when only about 300.oo per year for heat, for 1000 Sq ft, not much need to save more vs comfort.
      Yes fear of HPs by the power companies is loss of revenue,but those saving are exactly what home owners want, and they contribute to reduced stress on the grid and reduced fuel burn etc. To not embrace HPs risks rotating outages, large standby power assets, and fuel expense, and GHGs……so the problem for the PUB of how to go forward.
      HPs incentives, and best practices: To be or not to be?
      A decade late certainly, but never too late, and is unstoppable, even without incentives.
      Winston

  8. SOMETHING TO CHEW ON:
    modern dc lines operates about 97-98 % of the time, so off 2-3 % of the time, which may not seem bad?

    A year has 8760 hrs.
    2% off is 175 hrs
    3 % off is 262 hrs
    5% off is 438 hrs ( this I think is suggested by the Quebec atomic energy engineer in his presention, and seems reasonable.

    Our present standard of power grid down time is 2.8 hrs per year.
    So the DC LIL will likely be out 100 fold or more than our present island grid performance (so much for improved reliability) Hence the need for RELIABLE substantial thermal or other backup to the boondoggle power, or peak load reductions, or combination of both. Stan is gently breaking that news to the public, a bit at a time.
    Winston

  9. I am still reading but am skipping anything by Winston, Winston Adams or Bruno. Today I found the Anonymous4 November 2019 at 21:12 and want to say good on you buddy. Any comments I have made have been lost in the clutter of heat pumps and personality disorders, not that they were earth shattering in any way, but they are not tiresome, I think, I hope.

    All I have ever asked is for some plan, some action, that can begin a process to save us from Muskrat Falls. It is interesting that a bunch of youngsters can be motivated to do a Greta on something as ephemeral as climate change but not for something as real and troubling as the financial destruction of their province.

    Meanwhile Ches, Allison and Dwight fiddle and pose without effect.
    Stan blabbers on while counting his investments. and the perpetrators of the mighty mess have slipped into near oblivion. Not good enough.

    I continue to await some cogent comments, but expect none. More's the fool me!

    • Highly politicized issues like climate emergency appeal to young people who are finding their voices. The 'culprit' is their parents and boomers and joining a righteous cause gives them moral superiority like belonging to a club, tribe or religious sect. It is also safe – nobody is going to get in trouble for marching, and you might even get the time off from school. Calling it a protest, given that it is official sanctioned, is even a stretch. Politicians fall over themselves to show who is most green.

      In contrast, things like local poverty is too raw for popular protest – it is emotionally easier to donate to the Red Cross for a disaster on the other side of the world, then to support the local soup kitchen. You can donate to local charities, but that leads you to reflect on whether you should be also preparing and serving the food.

      Muskrat Falls is also highly political, but the protests against it go against the political tide. Supporters were rewarded, those against, were punished. Journalist Justin Brake is still mired in court battles for daring to cover protests on the ground. The solutions, like those for poverty, are raw. Nobody wants cuts in services, higher taxes, levies or loss of sovereignty. The easy way out for a politician is to kick the can down the road while gushing support for something like climate emergency.

      I have talked to politicians about solutions – and I have yet to find one that personally believes that there is a solution that isn't terrible and wouldn't cost them an election.

      Here is what I would do:

      – Prepare a detailed budget listing every government function. E.g.K-12, higher education, family doctors, hospital services, road plowing, road maintenance, ferries etc. I would then use my judgement to pare it down to bare necessities and maximize value. That means some services would increase while others would be eliminated.

      – Prepare a detailed income estimate with realistic, statistically based numbers. If this number is not larger than the budget, then taxes have to go up or something needs to be cut.

      One possibility is that the required increases in taxes/fees to balance the budget are not possible. If this is the case, then you play hard ball with Ottawa and see what can be negotiated.

      Even a spoiled kid has leverage — scream mommy I want candy in the store with people watching or I want to default on billions in loans, threaten the credit rating of provinces in general by setting a bad precedent and invite the child president south of the boarder to build a military base to protect the oil (Syrian reference). I don't think we'd have to go that far though.

      Possibilities include: Sale of public assets to private entities (this could be a bad idea), renegotiation of oil revenues, modification of transfer payments, outright default on bonds, increase in taxes and fees to some breaking point (hard to calculate this – sort if like power demand reduction).

      No politician wants to make hard choices. Most just want to get re-elected and use their insider position for financial gain.

      Finally, we need a way to stop this from happening again. What is to stop the criminals and sociopaths that brought is Muskrat Falls from bring us Gull Island ad nauseum?

  10. 2 things on the salmon die off…. Or maybe I missed it. But my understanding was those cages were supposed to be 60 feet deep, but after the die off they were just 20 feet deep. Did someone give false information, or the 60 feet was just wishful thinking, could a license be issued for 60 feet and they were just 20 feet. That was a blatant mistake to make, not a scientific one, or am I out to lunch. Maybe someone can inform me. The second point, when they stated the pump out and cleaning of the cages, I heard some salmon went to Burgeo for fish meal, I guess. But the rest was all pumped into the local sea area. May take months to disperse. Should that not have been pumped into barges and take out into the cold waters of the Labrador current, maybe 50 miles east of Cape Race, where it would have dispersed much easier and without confined to the Coast of Bays. Sure Abruan Kean claimed to have brought in ( I mean his crew) over a million seals, or their pelts, where did the million carcasses go, south in the Labrador current. In 1912 when the Titanic went down in ice, some claimed days later they saw red bottom paint on some ice, more likely blood on the ice from the seal hunt. Millions of seal carcass and other fish have been discarded in the ocean as part of the eco system, to be consumed by sea lice and other crawley creatures says Joe blow.

    • Maybe someone with inside knowledge can comment on the true conditions where the salmon die off occured. Were the pens over crowded? What is the temperature difference between 20 feet and 60 feet? Warmer waters will have less oxygen.

      I suspect that climate changes have nothing to do with the die off. I remember hearing recently that 19,000 local chickens died when fans failed to operate. When you pack together animals at extreme density, the lack of oxygen can quickly become a problem of the fans or water currents stop. Lack of oxygen stresses or kills animals.

      Add to that diseases like ISA, parasites, toxins from algae, the lack of genetic diversity in these mutant fish and you can guarantee the ocasional mass die off.

      I'd rather see aquaculture on land in a controlled environment. No escapees, better control over the water flows and less marine pollution. Perhaps not salmon, but some other species. Ideally, a fish that can live on vegetable matter. It seems wasteful to catch small fish to grind up and to feed to carnivorous salmon.

      Open pen salmon farming seems like the equivalent of importing foreign trash. It is a messy business that only an economically impoverished population would welcome. A quick google search for "salmon farm rejected" brings up lots of stories.

    • A person with fisheries tells me: If you see a good looking full farmed salmon at a supermarket, only one in ten is like that. (nine out of ten has their nose rubbed off, or parts of their tail missing,(from being caged) and if you saw it at the processing plant, you would never buy or eat it.
      Also infected fish is a risk to the entire lot, so in Europe it requires destruction of all of them to prevent the spread. Even processing runs the risk of spreading the disease.
      I think a combination of disease and prolonged high sea temperature, instead of either one alone was the cause. Sea lice, I read, do not carry the disease, but they spread it to other salmon.

      The fisheries guy said, Why do you think they came here, if not because of poor regulation and cheaper and more profitable for that industry here.
      Winston Adams

  11. Pray tell, Tor, what comments have you made, can you summarize?
    UG is for "politics that bite".
    Greta ….youngsters motivated on something that is EPHEMERAL as climate change! That issue is not as real and troubling as the financial destruction of this province!
    Perhaps most readers of UG are as fluent with the language as you, and need not look up EPHEMERAL, as I did. It means: transitory, fleeting, short-lived, brief, (lasting one day, like a flower is an example)
    So, Tor joins Andy Wells, Young Alfie, Ball, Ches, and Grimes, and Trump as deniers.
    What of the adults motivated by Greta, and the many scientists,and world leaders motivated by her stand, they are in the millions and growing.
    Nfld financial destruction more serious that destruction of the planet Earth you say? And you suggest to pump more oil?
    The clutter of heat pumps: 37,000 now installed and either part solution to Muskrat Falls(with 300% efficiency for space heating) or a threat to a death spiral for Nfld Power, and Nfld Hydro?
    Greta…..a personality disorder? If so, then more of that type are needed, as she laser focuses on the most serious issue facing mankind.
    If only Bruno and I had a disorder of that quality.
    Stan may count his investments, but notes the thousands of inputs from our power grid needed to feed the GE software to find a solution. Ask why that was not undertaken prior to MFs sanction.
    All you ever ask for is a plan, some action to save us from MFs, you say. Is your comments to the Rate Mitigation hidden by the initials TF, or you had no comments? What is your plan?
    I read your comments, and would like more, but nothing memorable comes to mind. But now I can think of you as a denier to climate change science.
    Good you came out of the shadows Tor.
    Cognative dissonance is the term for those that are able to put aside uncomfortable truths not in tune with what they prefer to believe. Is that a personality disorder, or just a character trait? Man made climate change form fossil fuel burning, an EPHEMERAL issue, indeed. Ephemeral Tor, his fleeting appearance on the UG blog, will skip this post,….. he must, or is a big fibber.
    Winston Adams

  12. Returning to the post UG post:

    Is Ches going to stick around for another run in 4 years time so he can possibly be Premier for at least another 4 years? Does Ches have a minimum 8 year plan in NL politics? Nope, that doesn't seem realistic at all. He had his shot and most likely he resigns as leader in the next couple of years.

    So a seat warmer he must be and a seat warmer isn't allowed to express a policy vision. Absent a real leader, the PC party will wallow and enable Dwight and his dull gang to waffle through the term and possibly contend to return a Liberal majority in the next election. The Libs have a best friend in Ches, the longer he sticks around.

    • I don't think either the oligarchy cares one way or the other. Ches and Ball are just two faces of a double faced string puppet.

      They have been pre-selected by powerful interests and neither is a threat to the status quo. There is a good chance they are compromised.

      All the politicians we elect have to follow the party leader or they will become back benchers. The last transition between the liberal and conservatives made zero difference to Muskrat Falls or anything else.

      It is all a game.