29 June 2012

And he is still wrong #nlpoli

The guy who helped create the monster called Nalcor thinks Muskrat Falls is a great idea.

But Lieutenant Governor John Crosbie backs it for a completely wrong reason.

Crosbie told CBC:

"It's the only way I can see [in which] we are going to escape from the trap that we're in now with respect to Quebec and the failure of federal governments to exercise their powers under the BNA act to force provinces to accept transmission of hydroelectricity, or electricity generally, across the provinces, just as they have done that for oil and gas," Crosbie said.

Someone forgot to explain to the former federal finance minister that American electricity regulations broke that stranglehold in the 1990s.

Since 2009, Newfoundland and Labrador’s state-owned energy corporation has been wheeling electricity through Quebec into the United States.

And they’ve lost money at it every year because electricity prices in the States are so frigging low.

Okay.  John was wrong for two reasons.

There is no obstacle to electricity transmission across provincial lines. And there are no markets for that hyper-expensive power from Muskrat Falls either in Canada or in the United States.

Incidentally, Crosbie’s old boss Frank Moores told The Independent in 2004 that the worst idea he had during his term as Premier was nationalising the company that built Churchill Falls.  According to Crosbie, Moores waffled at different times in the negotiations before the take-over.  Crosbie worked hard to stiffen Moores’ spine, as Crosbie put it.

The people of Newfoundland and Labrador may have a lot to thank John Crosbie for but Labrador hydro-electricity wouldn’t appear to be one of them, then or now.