05 July 2011

Skinner makes false statement in letter to Telegram editor

Natural resources minister Shawn Skinner is writing more letters to the editor of the Telegram these days that the former Open Line hydro queen sends tweets.

The government must have polling showing that the Muskrat Falls project isn’t going over well among the great unwashed.

In his latest epistle to the unclean, Skinner writes:

Hydro must comply with legislation and regulations that require it to ensure sufficient electricity is available at all times. If supply is required to meet demand, then the Electrical Power Control Act states that this new generation must come from the least-cost source.

That would be great.

It would be peachy, if it only it were true.

But it isn’t true.

Now there’s no way of knowing if Skinner didn’t realise the letter had at least one false statement in it or the person who drafted the letter didn’t keep current with current events so this is not a lie.

But there is absolutely no doubt that what Shawn wrote to the Telegram’s editor is not true.

It is false.

It is incorrect.

Newfoundland and Labrador Regulation 92/00 exempts the Lower Churchill project from the Electrical Power Control Act, 1994:

Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro is exempt from the Electrical Power Control Act, 1994 and the Public Utilities Act for all aspects of its activities pertaining to the Labrador Hydro Project as defined in section 2 [of the regulation].

Section 2 describes the entire project, including Muskrat Falls and the power line to Soldier’s Pond.

The whole issue got huge discussion during a recent sitting of the legislature.  It’s been in Shawn’s briefing notes for months. Your humble e-scribbler discussed it at length in the following posts:

Muskrat Falls power does not have to be the cheapest power.  In fact, the entire project financing only works because consumers will be forced by law to pay for the whole thing plus a profit while export customers will get it for gigantic discounts.

So if Shawn is so obviously, blatantly, totally wrong about such a fundamental issue as this, how many other things is he wrong about?

Or to be more accurate…

If this sort of blatantly false statement can wind up in public with the minister’s name on it, how much other stuff from Nalcor and the provincial government on Muskrat is also false?


- srbp -