Alexco should pay its way

Alexco should pay its way Open Letter to Yukon Energy CEO David Morrison, Premier Darrell Pasloski and Alexco Resources President Clynt Nauman: As an advocate for residential and small business consumers of electricity in the Yukon, I have been watching

Open Letter to Yukon Energy CEO David Morrison, Premier Darrell Pasloski and Alexco Resources President Clynt Nauman:

As an advocate for residential and small business consumers of electricity in the Yukon, I have been watching with great interest what is taking place in Keno with Alexco Resources. It appears that this mine is going to close its shutters on us yet again.

Alexco and Yukon Energy always crow that they are top-notch corporate citizens, willing to hear and oblige the Yukoners they rely on to make the profits for their shareholders.

This is hard to swallow given the record. Please clarify if we are incorrect.

Unlike Minto mine, which has positively contributed to our electrical infrastructure, our general prosperity and our community spirit, Alexco has always given us the appearance of being a drag on our resource sector, our economy and our communities. Are they getting a free ride from you two? Please clarify!

Now we cannot deny a shutdown of any mine due to severe metal price collapse, but we can deny this company the luxury of hooking back up to our electrical grid, if they do not continue to contribute through their shutdown their share of the costs for such a privilege; i.e. the average monthly amount of consumption from hook-up, not just a simple stand-by account. Do they have a “take or pay” purchase power agreement? If not, why not?

If we build energy infrastructure to accommodate industry, then Yukoners expect these companies to contribute not only in their consumption of power, but also the high costs of constructing programs like Mayo B, the grid tie-in and all their add-on costs that you conveniently placed on our rate base. Why has Alexco not paid into this and when will they pay their share? Or will they ransom us yet again? Cheap power or we don’t mine?

Mr. Morrison, at the so-called open house consultation on bi-fuels (i.e. liquefied natural gas) you publicly stated that Yukon Energy has an agreement with industrial customers to pay a consumption fee regardless of whether they are using this power or not.

OK, Mr. Morrison, Premier Pasloski and Mr. Nauman, will Alexco continue to contribute to our electrical infrastructure during shut down? If not, why not? Where will Yukoners see the benefits of this in decreased rates and bills? How are you protecting your firm consumers of electricity, the real Yukoners?

Or, when the time comes, will you deny energy hook-up to what appears to be a multinational taker but never a giver?

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group