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LETTERS: ‘Keno City is not amused’ and a response to Keith Halliday

‘Keno City is not amused or impressed’

‘Keno City is not amused or impressed’

I would like to make a few comments on the controversy in Keno regarding Yukon government services and applications. In 1980, Keno had a fire truck with a heated garage, an excellent well on Lightning Creed with a water-pump and a water delivery truck and a functional landfill. The costs of these services were minimal and amounted to a few thousand dollars. I don’t recall any complaints from the residents at the time.

Despite the excellent water from the Lightning Creek watershed and no problems with our fire truck, Yukon government elected to build a big expensive firehall with a drinking water well beside it, 325 feet deep, and a water system and a new very expensive fire truck. Immediately the quality of our water suffered and little benefit to the town accrued. Since then and to this day a long parade of Yukon government people and contractors have burned thousands of gallons of hydrocarbons and spent well over millions of dollars in just servicing this system. The system totally failed shortly after the Keno drinking water well became contaminated after a rash of holes were drilled all over Keno, paid for by government, supported by Alexco.

The Yukon government’s solution? Truck the water from Mayo, a very bumpy 40 miles away, three times a week. It takes only a few years of this to wear out an expensive water truck and costs a fortune when all expenses are factored in. The irony is in Keno we are surrounded by clean, excellent water that other countries would die for. The hydrocarbon footprint is enormous. So much for any real concern for global warming.

So now the Yukon government has shut down our landfill which used to cost a couple thousand dollars to operate and posed no problems. They have spent a fortune on the transfer station, as well as the cost of transporting the garbage down the road to Whitehorse, a 600-mile round trip. We are now advised to personally carry our garbage down the same 40-mile dirt road, where thousands more will be spent on the garbage. Big carbon footprint. It used to be so simple and inexpensive.

Three different political parties since 1980 have all contributed to this ecological and financial fiasco. They have all failed to operate in an intelligent and responsible way. The waste and damage continues as the Yukon government seems determined to spend as much as possible while burning maximum hydrocarbons. This puts more pressure on our strained world, to manufacture all the vehicles and infrastructure they deem necessary.

Keno City is not amused or impressed. Before complaining about the complainers in Keno, consider whether or not we may have a point. A solution is not that difficult: 1. Restore our landfill as the best ecological plan; 2. Restore our well on Lighting Creek, giving our planet a break; 3. Bring back our fire truck; 4. Stop using Keno to spend millions of taxpayers dollars while trashing our town.

The excuses the government will give for doing none of the above are self-serving and ecologically ignorant.

Richard Brost

Keno City

In response to Keith Halliday’s Oct. 10 column, ‘Canola to your furnace’s rescue?’

Hi Keith,

Your article about canola being a potential furnace fuel raised some interesting possibilities. Some of which have already materialized.

Canola has for years been known to some folks, including some Yukoners, as a substitute fuel for engines. Since I live off the grid and on a north-facing treed slope, my energy production options are limited. After doing some research, I found a way to use canola oil, used canola oil, as a fuel. I’ve been using it for a couple decades to fuel my vehicle and the generator that charges my battery bank. I know of other locals that also use canola as a fuel, some as furnace fuel.

By using used canola from restaurants as a fuel, it does not go into the landfill. While canola fuel does lead to CO2 emissions, when dumped in the landfill it produces methane - a substantially more troublesome GHG.

By my calculations, restaurants may be tagged with the carbon price of processing canola into cooking oil and the carbon-price of bringing it to the Yukon. When I use the restaurants’ used canola as fuel, it displaces the diesel (with its production & transportation carbon-price) I’d otherwise use in my vehicle and my generator. That gives me carbon credits. Further to that, by my preventing the used canola going into the landfill, I also give myself carbon credits for preventing the production of methane. When my vehicle and generator carbon emissions are placed against the emissions I’m displacing, I come up with a negative carbon footprint.

It’s not clear what characteristics Covenant Energy produced fuel will have. Currently, biodiesel requires dilution with diesel to be used in our winters, coupled with requiring methanol and lye for its processing from canola oil to biodiesel. That’s why I use straight canola via a parallel fuel system (tank, filter, fuel lines) in my vehicle and generator. Biodiesel can go into the diesel tank.

Using canola as an engine fuel requires heating it substantially. Using canola as furnace fuel requires it being warm enough to both pump and vaporize, therefore inside storage if not also extra heating.

It will be interesting to see what Covenant Energy develops in both net carbon price and its fuel’s usability.

Skeeter Wright