Selling a bill of goods
Danny Williams and Ed Martin are not above over-stating the factual realities of the proposed so-called “Lower Churchill” project. Now, it appears, the Ministry of Truth (Federal) has caught the same affliction. The lede from a CBC story that moved this afternoon:
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro announced an agreement Monday to sell electricity from the Lower Churchill megaproject to consumers in the Maritimes and the northeastern U.S.They did no such thing! This assertion is flat-out contradicted by the very next paragraph:
The Crown corporation said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Nova Scotia Power and Emera Inc. “to explore the possibility of bringing energy” to the Maritimes and New England markets.Exploring a possibility of bringing energy is not the same thing as actually selling it.
Not by a long shot.
That’s what Williams and Martin want you to believe. The Potemkin village must be propped up at all costs. And, at least for one Ceeb journo, they succeeded.
Newfoundland and Labrador's provincially owned electricity utility - stymied by what the province regards as an unfair deal with Quebec - is looking at the possibility of exporting electricity from the Lower Churchill project to the United States by way of the Maritimes.And cf. the impressively hard-to-directly-link-to-for-such-an-accountable-government Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro press release. Note the conditional and tentative language throughout, from all parties involved in the study; conditionality and tentativeness which was, perhaps, a little subtle for the CBC newsroom:
Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and Emera Inc. (TSX:EMA) announced Monday that they have signed a memorandum of understanding “to explore the possibility of bringing energy from the Lower Churchill project to the Maritimes and New England markets.”
Newfoundland Hydro, Emera and Emera subsidiary Nova Scotia Power Inc. “will work collaboratively to study in detail the technical, economic, financial and regulatory aspects,” a joint statement said.
Possible routing options would include a Maritimes sub-sea cable if an acceptable deal cannot be reached with Hydro-Quebec.
January 14, 2008 – Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro (Hydro), Emera Inc. and Nova Scotia Power Inc. (NSPI) announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the possibility of bringing energy from the Lower Churchill Project to the Maritimes and New England markets.
“This MOU complements our initiatives currently underway in other jurisdictions and is another step in ensuring we have the right portfolio of markets for the Lower Churchill Project that will generate the best value for the province,” said Ed Martin, President and CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro and the province’s energy corporation. “We are looking forward to working with both Emera and Nova Scotia Power in an effort to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for this renewable, predictably priced, clean energy.”
As a result of this agreement, Hydro, Emera and NSPI will work collaboratively to study in detail the technical, economic, financial and regulatory aspects related to exporting power from the Lower Churchill Project to these markets. At the conclusion of this preliminary assessment, the parties will decide if there is merit in advancing potential joint initiatives.
“This is a potential opportunity for Emera and for energy customers in both the Maritimes and New England,” said Chris Huskilson, President and CEO of Emera Inc. “We are hopeful that the outcome of these studies will result in sustainable energy flow to the Maritimes and New England markets.”
A portfolio of market destinations and market access options for power from the Lower Churchill Project remain under consideration. Potential routing options being explored by Hydro include the Maritimes submarine route and transmission through Hydro-Quebec’s transmission system. All options are still under investigation.
“Fully assessing this opportunity is another element of Nova Scotia Power's strategy to provide our customers more electricity from renewable sources, as well as an important example of co-operation among the Atlantic Provinces,” said Ralph Tedesco, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power.