26 July 2013

The price of a dam #nlpoli

If crap was electricity,  Nalcor would have the market cornered.

Da byes running the Muskrat falls project are very good at spewing words but very bad at saying things that have meaning.

Case in point: last fall in the controversy over the water management agreement, chief Muskrat Falls guy Gil Bennett was always ready to insist Nalcor was lily white and had no bad intentions. 

The lawyers in the 2041 Group suggested it would be prudent to confirm the Nalcor interpretation with a legal reference.   After all, there was always the possibility Hydro-Quebec had another view and might take action. Bennett the engineer blew off any thoughts of any legal problem with everything but a contemptuous pfft.

The thing is that Bennett kept avoiding the simple question and answering the irrelevant one. The post in which your humble e-scribbler pointed out this problem has been the most popular post here – bar none – since last November.

And now we can see how much the engineer knew about the law.

Not surprisingly, Nalcor deployed Gil again to hold a news conference now that he was proven by events to be so wrong on the water management problem. The company issued a news release that said merely that they would respond to the legal action and that they were confident of victory. The fact that they issued such a penetrating insight into the obvious days after the story broke suggests the company has some internal management issues to sort out.

The Telegram coverage assured us that Gill took “any and all questions”. The questions are not as important as answers in these things and on answers, the Telly was silent save for this attribution:
Bennett said whether the issue is water management, energy pricing, the loan guarantee or the ability to obtain project financing, the result of the court case will not increase the cost of Muskrat Falls for Newfoundland and Labrador.
That’s true.  These issues won’t increase the cost of labour, cement, steel and cables and so forth.  All of that determines the cost of the project.  No one said otherwise.

Water management,  the loan guarantee and the ability to raise money to build the project do affect the prospect of Gil having a project in the first place.  Without water, no one will lend Nalcor a penny to build a project that makes electricity from moving water.


And that’s really the big question here.

Gil just didn’t answer it.

Instead, he spewed out the sort of crap he’s been spewing for some time now.  Unfortunately for Bennett, that crap isn’t worth a damn.