In haste to waste

Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski and Scott Kent, minister responsible for Yukon Energy Corporation: The Utilities Consumers' Group writes you with great urgency regarding the proliferation of spending by Yukon Energy...

Open letter to Premier Darrell Pasloski and Scott Kent, minister responsible for Yukon Energy Corporation:

The Utilities Consumers’ Group writes you with great urgency regarding the proliferation of spending by Yukon Energy for their proposed diesel-natural gas conversion project. This is costing thousands of dollars before this project has been sanctified by its regulators, the Yukon Utilities Board, and to our understanding, the Yukon Environment and Socio-economic Assessment process.

The economics of this proposal is very questionable to most stakeholders in the energy community, regardless of the position taken by the Yukon Energy board of directors to grant authority to all this preliminary spending. It is spending without merit!

The Public Utilities Act, Chapter 186, Section 36 states: “‘Energy operation certificate’ means a certificate issued under this part authorizing the holder of the certificate to operate a regulated project. Further, ‘energy project’ means a facility for the generation of electricity from the motion of wind or water, or the combustion of natural gas, oil, petroleum project, coal or plant products or geothermal energy.”

The act continues with Section 37: “No person shall construct a regulated project except in accordance with an energy project certificate.” Section 39: “An application for an energy project certificate or energy operation certificate shall be made to the minister and shall contain the prescribed information.” Section 40: “On receipt of an application, the minister shall refer the application to the board for a review.”

It is obvious that the diesel-natural gas conversion project meets all these criteria under of the act. Not only is this an entirely new type of energy source to be utilized, but the estimated preliminary cost of $34.5 million needs to be scrutinized by the public and the Yukon Utilities Board before the project ever commences.

Need we remind the minister responsible for this corporation about the prior Liberal regime’s failure to bring the Mayo-Dawson transmission line for this direction under the act? Just read the auditor general’s report about the mega cost overruns for this project along with poor construction techniques, poor engineering, poor management, poor financial scrutiny, court-enforced contractor pay-outs and on and on.

Accordingly, the Utilities Consumers’ Group requests the minister responsible for Yukon Energy and the premier be compliant to the Public Utilities Act and immediately require Yukon Energy Corporation to submit an application for a energy project certificate to be reviewed. In the meantime, it would be wise to put a moratorium on any further spending for this project.

Roger Rondeau

Utilities Consumers’ Group