Slow down on natural gas development

Slow down on natural gas development Open letter to the Yukon government: I want the Yukon public to have more time for reviewing any natural gas development in the Yukon, including gas processing plant regulations. Most people are simply not aware of th

Open letter to the Yukon government:

I want the Yukon public to have more time for reviewing any natural gas development in the Yukon, including gas processing plant regulations. Most people are simply not aware of the implications of these decisions – they are not light matters to regard with a quick nod or shrugging of shoulders.

The proposed natural gas development will fundamentally change the Yukon landscape into the next century. Furthermore, this development would continue to exacerbate climate change, which is already greatly affecting the Yukon (just ask hunters and trappers out on the land).

Your summary document for the draft gas processing plant regulations states: “Yukon government has discussed various potential projects which will provide Yukon markets with liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel source for mining operations and the generation of electricity. These discussions indicate that the project sponsors are intent on beginning development in the next year or two.”

Two points:

1. With whom has the Yukon government discussed “various potential projects”? Who are “the project sponsors”? Where is the public consultation in this process?

2. I do not believe it is the “project sponsors” who have free choice to decide that development can begin in the next year or two. Oil and gas companies do not have free reign over Yukon land… do they?

Given the Peel planning commission engaged in seven years of public consultation in order to complete their excellent final plan, surely you do not believe that natural gas development, on the scale you are suggesting, can begin in “the next year or two”?

Extracting natural gas in the Yukon means fracking. Type in the search word “fracking” on YouTube and you can access hundreds of videos on the impacts of fracking on other parts of the world. The videos are disturbing.

Fracking means contaminating approximately 25 million litres of fresh water per gas well, every single time that it is fracked. We simply cannot afford to treat our fresh water in this fashion. Fresh water is infinitely more precious than any fossil fuel. Fresh water is a requirement for life and for human health.

Green alternative energy options are successfully being used in other jurisdictions (25 per cent of Germany’s energy is now from green sources). I am confident we can do better.

Please. I am asking that you slow down this process, provide the Yukon public with all of the facts. Collectively, all Yukon people must have a voice in how we treat the land.

Jennifer Line

Valleyview