Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Tunnel That Never Was

Looks like the Dunnel may never get completed after all. It also looks like the NALCO-Gros Morne transmission line controversy and the Romaine non-story story were likely secret black-ops designed to give Quebec the false sense that something was up and to keep the media off the scent.

Oh well, I hope they use humane methods to kill off the bioengineered giant crabs imported from the US:

The celebration hyperbole will likely be historic. Health Canada is recommending that those in the blast zone wear protective ear plugs. Lost in the frenzy will be the other side of the negotiations. If it's a historic victory for DW, is it a historic loss for Quebec? It is interesting, for example, to note that the Globe's headline is "Quebec signs historic power deal:"

Here's an extract from the Globe's story:
"Quebec's Minister of Natural Resources, Claude Béchard, explained that Newfoundland and Labrador have finally come to the realization that it cannot seek federal funding to build a costly transmission line to bypass Quebec.
Quebec argued that if Newfoundland and Labrador wants to develop the Lower Churchill project they will need to play by the rules and use Quebec's transmission lines. But he said that once Quebec's 1,550-megawatt La Romaine project – to be built at a cost of $6-billion – is completed, there may not be room for Newfoundland and Labrador to export power on Hydro-Quebec's transmission lines.
Building another transmission line would be necessary and also very costly, ranging in the billions of dollars. But Mr. Béchard said nothing was excluded.
'Everything is possible as long as everyone plays by the rules of the game. Quebec is well positioned to become the next Alberta and respond to U.S. President Barack Obama's call for greener energy from the North. We don't want to stop others to get into the market. … As for other projects, our door is always open,' Mr. Béchard said."

As for MOU's, proposed deals, ongoing negotiations, binding agreements, and legal contracts, there is going to be so much information and disinformation sloshing around for the next week that it will take quite a while before we know what really happened today.

As for the details of the story, I'll leave it to the experts to parse the fine print. As for the political spectacle, I'll borrow a quote from DW's speech last September: you ain't seen nothing yet.

For the Romaine non-story story, see:

Geoff Meeker Update:

I forgot to re-check the Globe story. As Geoff Meeker notes in his incisive analysis of the press coverage, the story's headline has been changed to "Newfoundland touts historic hydro deal with Quebec." Here's the link:

He's right about the Tely doing a better job than CBC on this story (though I still think CBC's coverage of health issues is better than anyone else's); but the Tely's excited Power to the People headline was a poor match for the actual story, despite the alliteration.

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