Some things to bear in mind as the provincial government starts its latest information offensive on Muskrat Falls:
- These aren’t “final” numbers. Whether it’s a government phrase or a media invention, the idea that these numbers are “final” is dead wrong. The DG 3 numbers are nothing more than the latest cost estimate, plus or minus 30%. We won’t know the final numbers until a decade or more from now.
- We already know why Nalcor didn’t look at alternatives. As it looks from CBC’s report, the provincial government spent a chunk of cash to repeat what we’ve already heard from Nalcor – they didn’t look at alternatives to Muskrat Falls to generate electricity for use within the province. When Nalcor suddenly changed the Lower Churchill project objective in 2010 (from export to domestic use) they should have gone back to DG1 and started from scratch. That should have included a series of comparisons of alternatives. They didn’t do that. Instead, they sailed through DG 2. Nothing has changed. They still haven’t looked at alternatives.
- Check for how much information they release about the federal loan guarantee. The provincial government’s story has morphed over the past couple of months: at one point the guarantee would be done. Now we are supposedly getting a range of possible options.
Overall, don’t expect to see any new information from the provincial government. Their objective is not to inform or persuade. Their goal is to plough through the next couple of weeks in the hope that they can get the Muskrat off their political backs.
This has been a done deal since 2010.
Claims to the contrary are complete foolishness.