In the face of facts

In the face of facts Re: Rush to natural gas could cost us (the News, August 28): There are a number of serious errors in Sally Wright's recent letter that Yukon Energy feels must be corrected. At no time did Yukon Energy president David Morrison or anyo

Re: Rush to natural gas could cost us (the News, August 28):

There are a number of serious errors in Sally Wright’s recent letter that Yukon Energy feels must be corrected.

At no time did Yukon Energy president David Morrison or anyone else at Yukon Energy say that if the diesel/natural gas conversion project does not go ahead we would sell the generators we’ve ordered at a loss. While it is true that the long lead time needed to secure the units means we have had to order them ahead of securing all approvals and permits, there are cancellation clauses in our contract. If we do find ourselves in a position where we need to sell them, these units are in high demand and we have every reason to believe we would recover the full price we paid for them.

It is true that over the last several years there have been periods of winter flooding in Mayo. The worst flooding took place even before Mayo B was constructed and before we did any work in the water. For Ms. Wright to conclude that Mayo B is the cause of this flooding flies in the face of the facts. Since Mayo B has been completed, Yukon Energy has been very diligent about monitoring our flows to ensure we don’t exacerbate winter flooding.

Ms. Wright says Mayo B has destroyed salmon habitat. Just the opposite is true. Salmon habitat has been increased as a result of a new salmon-rearing channel that was built as part of the Mayo B project to provide optimal habitat for juvenile salmon. Other fisheries enhancements include increased minimum flows designed for ideal salmon spawning and rearing, as well as the construction of additional spawning habitat in the main part of the river. The results of an intensive monitoring program, going on for six years now, indicate that the salmon population in the Mayo River is healthy.

Most importantly, the Mayo River continues to demonstrate a stable chinook run with a relatively high density of spawning fish, as compared to other Yukon River tributaries. We would be happy to provide Ms. Wright with a tour of the rearing channels and other enhancements so she can see for herself how successful these initiatives have been.

Ms. Wright’s statement that there is very little electricity to show for the building of Mayo B is also incorrect. Mayo B continues to perform as expected, producing almost twice as much energy per cubic metre of water used, compared to the original Mayo A hydro facility.

Ms. Wright is, of course, entitled to her opinion about Yukon Energy’s operations and decisions. However, we feel it’s irresponsible of her to make statements that are not fact-based.

Janet Patterson

Manager, Communications

Yukon Energy Corporation