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Did anyone notice?

Certainly not the newscasts that focused on the drama and ignored the substance.

The Dunderdale government just passed legislation to give Nalcor the right to recover billions of dollars in costs of Muskrat Falls from Newfoundland electricity users — also known as “us.”

Out of your pocket

The law now says that whatever costs are associated with building Muskrat Falls are to be passed on directly to ratepayers — no Public Utilities Board review, no recourse.

And for good measure, industries are banned from generating their own electricity.

Provincial monopoly

Nalcor is now the only entity in the province that can legally generate electricity for sale in the province.

The provincial government has unilaterally decided to spend $9 billion, the equivalent of our total, current, over-sized provincial debt.

Despite the propaganda from this government, the project has never been subject to review either by a regulator or by the government meeting the standards of a regulator.

Again, Newfoundlanders can only live in hope.  

Hope that maybe the law of unintended consequences will mean that even the most obtuse decision will result in some ultimate benefits.

Maybe, if our power rates go up enough, this may spawn a renewable energy and conservation industry in this province.


Harold Chislett

St. John’s

Organizations: Public Utilities Board

Geographic location: Muskrat Falls, Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • Jerome
    January 04, 2013 - 08:52

    It appears to me (I could be wrong) that if I, and the majority of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians decide to reduce our consumption of electricity by, say 20% in the future, Nalcor will just hike the rates so as to ensure the cash flow is available to pay for this project. Am I missing something?

    • a business man
      January 04, 2013 - 17:13

      I am not sure to the official answer to your questions, but as a taxpayer and voter, I would be okay with NALCOR simply hiking the rates to ensure cash flow in the even of decreased energy consumption. I support MF no matter the cost.

  • CorporatePsycho
    January 03, 2013 - 17:55

    We have been taken advantage of by our own. Why isn't there reporting on all the untendered contracts.

    • a business man
      January 04, 2013 - 17:15

      Good question. If I were against MF, I would certainly be asking the question. But since I am 100% pro-MF, I am not asking. There is no benefit to me digging into decisions that support my interests. Besides, there are more important things like the NFL playoffs.

  • RJ
    January 03, 2013 - 15:34

    Would you like some cheese with ur "Whine"?! Everyone knows demockracy is our past and our present and future.

  • Cold Future
    January 03, 2013 - 10:39

    The magnitude of the stupidity of this project will take some time to seep out and become cold reality to the majority of Newfoundlanders.That is the nature of a project which is the equivalent of 1000 Sprung Greenhouses. But hey, its will only cost an average of an additional electricity bill of $2000 per year per ratepayer and we will have saved an average of $40 per year per ratepayer because of the federal loan guarantee and we will have the great satisfaction of knowing that we went around Quebec. What a deal, what a legacy!

  • Anna
    January 03, 2013 - 09:08

    Don't worry, John Smith will soon log in and tell us not to worry and how this is such a wonderful project.

    • charlie
      January 03, 2013 - 12:55

      John Smith is an alias name. He is hiding behind his true idenity. I suspect he is a lifetime partner of a cabinet minister. But he is hiding just like Bill 29 Secrecy

  • saelcove
    January 03, 2013 - 08:55

    Time to get of the rock while i can still afford it

  • Maurice E. Adams
    January 03, 2013 - 07:26

    And Nalcor's "take or pay" contract requires that if we use less power because of that conservation, then your rates GO UP -- because Nalcor MUST HAVE, by law, the same revenue to pay the debt. .... And that renewable energy industry? No one other than Nalcor is now permitted by new legislation to develop, supply and distribute power, even cheaper power ---- industries cannot even do so for their own use.

    • cosseboom
      January 03, 2013 - 12:29

      I still have to wonder is it even legal for the Gov't to pass such a law that bars anyone else from producing electricity in this province . Would like to hear from the legal side about this .