Open letter to the select committee regarding the risks and benefits of hydraulic fracturing:
Let’s look at the science of energy extraction and production. Undeniably, science is a major tool currently driving the extraction of shale gas, a non-renewable energy.
As the world runs out of easily extracted sources of oil and gas the industry uses increasingly complex technology to get to resources that are hard to extract. To extract shale gas is hard, extremely complex and the fracking technologies used come with considerable risks and a huge cost to the environment.
As we run out of oil and gas, science is used to produce environmentally sustainable energy in increasingly large quantities. The sciences to tap into sustainable energy sources have greatly matured over the past 20 years and are still progressing at a fast pace. Several of these technologies are used commercially in many parts of the world to convert these renewable resources into energy.
In other words, while it gets harder, less economical and environmentally riskier to extract oil and gas it gets easier, more economically and environmentally safer to harness renewable resources to produce energy.
While the Yukon potentially has large quantities of shale gas it certainly has large quantities of renewable resources. I see no place for hydraulic fracturing in the energy vision for the Yukon. What I see is a great opportunity to invest in technology that produces environmentally sustainable energy.
Leave the gas in the ground, let’s invest in using sustainable energy sources to cover our energy needs. The 2009 Energy Strategy for Yukon identifies the increased use and supply of renewable energy as a priority for the Yukon government, so let’s make it happen.
When the select committee deliberates whether hydraulic fracturing should be allowed in Yukon I urge the members of this committee to remember that, for key areas like energy resources, decisions cannot be based only on political expediency. It can’t be based on the prospect of potential short-term economic benefits and transitory job creation hydraulic fracturing promises.
Rather, what is needed is a vision of the world we want to live in that looks generations ahead. It is our social, political, and cultural values that dictate decisions and recommendations on what technology we use, what risks we accept, which benefits we seek, and what opportunities we pursue.
I ask the committee to listen to Yukon residents, use careful deliberation, a long-term vision, and recommend the ban of hydraulic fracturing in the Yukon. It not only affects our environment and us now, it will affect many generations to come.
Southern Lakes, Yukon