Critics of the Muskrat Falls project say it’s a failed project, and that there’s no way users of electricity will be able to cover the costs. Dennis Browne, the consumer advocate, says we don’t know when Muskrat Falls will be finished, nor do we know what the rates for electricity are going to be when it comes on stream. He says Muskrat Falls was never needed, nor was it affordable.
Browne says the most expensive part of the project has yet to be done and because of the enormous expense, it will have to be paid for by all taxpayers as opposed to just those who have a power bill.
Nalcor plans to shut down the Holyrood generating station, which is oil fired, but Browne says that would be a mistake. He’s concerned about having lines and poles in the Long Range Mountains.
He says if one of those poles comes down, it could take 30 days to replace and the only “plan” is to replace it with power from Nova Scotia.
Economist and former Chair of the Public Utilities Board, David Vardy says the Muskrat Falls project is a major threat to our sovereignty as a people.
Vardy was responding to the latest development whereby Nova Scotia Utility Company Emera now owns a 59 to 63 percent share of the return on equity of the Labrador Interconnected Link.
Vardy says Muskrat Falls is not the sole driver of the province’s financial dilemma, but there are real questions surrounding whether we’ll be able to meet our financial obligations.
He calls the notion of being able to recover the investments in Muskrat Falls from the ratepayers “an absolute delusion”.
He says when prices go up, consumption goes down, and people will find alternatives to expensive electrical heat, driving down consumption. Vardy says as a result, he believes the province will default on its financial obligations to the project.