Yukoners are atwitter after a video surfaced on social media with Premier Darrell Pasloski saying that the territory is “heavily involved in LNG.”
“Right now we’ve put in place the legislation and the regulation to be able to have an LNG industry within Yukon,” Pasloski goes on to say.
He made the remarks last month during an interview at the Denver Gold Forum, the world’s largest gathering of precious metal companies and representatives.
Yukon’s NDP Opposition has pounced on the remark, saying that the premier is pre-empting the work of the select committee on the risks and benefits of hydraulic fracturing.
In fact, the NDP news release goes as far as to suggest that liquefied natural gas and fracking are literally the same thing.
“The premier’s statements, which he tweeted October 1, will come as a surprise to the thousands of Yukon citizens and Yukon First Nation governments who thought it was up to the Yukon Legislative Assembly, through the work of the select committee, to make recommendations on fracking (LNG) in Yukon,” according to the release.
“That is absolutely nothing short of deliberately misleading Yukoners,” said Pasloski in an interview Thursday.
As he correctly points out, there is a big difference between supporting the burning of LNG as a power source and supporting hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas in the territory.
Yukon has been a natural gas producer, without fracking, since the late 1970s, although at the moment all the taps are shut off.
And it’s no surprise that the Yukon Party government wants to burn liquefied natural gas as a fuel source.
That was announced loud and clear in the 2011 election campaign, along with the promise of working towards major hydro development down the road.
“We have invested heavily” in LNG, said Pasloski. “We’ve invested just under $40 million in the creation of the infrastructure that Yukon Energy is currently doing.”
By doing so, the government has cleared the way for mining companies to follow suit, by ensuring that regulations, supply chains and infrastructure are already in place.
Casino Mining Corp., for example, plans to power its $2.5 billion copper-gold mine with an LNG plant that would more than double the Yukon’s current electricity generation capacity.
But making things easier for mining companies wasn’t part of the reason to develop LNG as a power source in the Yukon, said Pasloski.
“The use of LNG was for us a logical one,” he said.
For backup power, “it’s diesel or it’s LNG. And LNG is much less expensive to purchase and it’s cleaner burning.”
Contact Jacqueline Ronson at