Keith Halliday, a former chief of staff to Liberal Premier Pat Duncan, recently made a vigorous defence of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, as a necessary part of Yukon’s energy future. Keith wants you to peel the “Frack-Free Yukon” sticker off your car because he says that if you currently participate in the carbon economy, you’re being a hypocrite. Apparently Yukoners need to live a Puritan lifestyle in order to have the right to engage in planning for our community’s healthy and prosperous future. This is the clearest statement to date from any Yukon Liberals about their views on fracking.
Yukon Liberal leader Sandy Silver has refused to close the door on fracking in Yukon. He has only gone so far as to promise a temporary moratorium on fracking, which means that senior Liberals like Halliday may still have their way and see Yukon opened to fracking. Meanwhile, the federal Liberal Party is declaring war on First Nations by approving an LNG (the refined product of fracking) pipeline through Northern British Columbia.
Let’s be clear: fracking is a risky and short-sighted approach to energy security. It will endanger Yukon’s land, water, and air, as it has in so many other parts of the world. Fracking is also a distraction from the real conversation we need to be having about long-term renewable energy projects that will power Yukon for generations, not just for the next few decades until the oil runs out.
So, while I’m glad that a senior Yukon Liberal has finally spoken out about the role of fracking in Yukon, I am now convinced that a Liberal fracking moratorium is just a smokescreen, to avoid having to tell Yukoners whether they would allow fracking down the road if they’re elected.
Why are Sandy Silver and Keith Halliday only pressing pause on fracking when, by signing a petition against fracking, over 8,000 of our citizens have indicated that they want fracking banned altogether?