I would like to take this opportunity to thank Roger Rondeau of the Utilities Consumer Group for waking me and a few others up from our summer malaise.
He reminded us with his Aug. 23 letter in the Yukon News that Yukon Energy Corporation is hard at work spending money and making commitments to a project that it has no regulatory nor social licence to move forward.
The proposal to convert two diesel backup generators to natural gas generators has had neither the scrutiny of the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board nor the Yukon Utilities Board, but I see ads in the papers for project managers and engineering design work. At the first general public meeting for this project on July 8, the YEC CEO David Morrison stated that they were going to order the new liquefied natural gas turbines very soon because they need a long lead time.
When questioned about this having no regulatory approvals to spend the millions that this would entail, Mr. Morrison said they would sell them … probably at a loss, if the utilities board didn’t give them an energy operation certificate. This is no way to run a regulated utility.
This is a rush job for no reason other than benefiting the industry that supplies the fuel.
I remember the rush YEC had throughout the Mayo B project regulatory review. YEC ordered the two Mayo B turbines before they had gone to the utilities board and admitted at the oral hearing that they had spent about $12 million before coming before the board. Now we see the results of the rush job that is Mayo B: Mayo has winter flooding issues, salmon habitat has been destroyed, and YEC’s parent company has an $100 million debt with very little electricity to show for it.
I have a reminder for the YEC and its shareholders, the people of the Yukon. Prior to the implementation of any significant energy project by YEC, it is the government’s duty to refer the details of such projects to the YUB for review and recommendation under the provisions of Part 3 of the Public Utilities Act.