Natural gas not as clean as you think it is

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March 5th, 2017

In response to LNG distribution company, Ferus, visiting the Yukon to promote natural gas as a replacement for diesel, Yukoners Concerned member, Sally Wright wrote the following letter to Ferus, Yukon Energy and Yukon First Nations:

Here is the information about some of the problems with the Natural Gas Industry of which you are involved. The greenhouse potential of methane is 84 times more potent that CO2 over a 20 year timeframe. Here is an article about Natural Gas leaks in the cities of North America. This is a serious problem that your industry is not talking about nor being forced to consider in your so-called low carbon transition fuel. At least diesel doesn’t readily evaporate into our atmosphere like natural gas does.
Also, I have attached a scientific paper about radon in natural gas fracked out of Shale formations. This has only come to our attention recently. I shared this 2012 paper with the CEO of YEC a few weeks ago. I am not only concerned for the health of the southern users of Natural Gas in their homes but I am concerned for the health of YEC and Kwanlin Dun employees when getting involved in this toxic industry. 
Radon does not degrade with burning and LNG, since it is so concentrated and dense could  be a vector for radon coming out of YEC’s so-called clean stacks beside Riverdale. Please, when you go back to Calgary, get a radon testing kit if you use natural gas to cook in your home.
Lastly, Canada has signed international agreements to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The Yukon is experiencing erratic unpredictable weather in every season. We can no longer trust the ice on our rivers, lakes and ice roads. Our country food is threatened and we who do not benefit from the extraction industry are watching your profits being made on the backs of future generations suffering from a changing climate. The business case that you espouse and your labelling LNG a cleaner transition fuel does a great disservice to your customers, our environment and our economy. 
As YEC’s legacy hydro struggles to keep up because of the past 6 years of focus on LNG is troublesome. YEC needs to focus on diversifying it renewable energy supply as well as invest in a smart grid that can help us shave our peaks by load management.  We need to look to expanding renewables into the transportation and space heating sectors and LNG is a barrier to making this happen.
As requested, this is the link to Dr. JP Pinard’s TEDx talk about the potential for wind energy to be used for space heating.
Lastly, before the EPA website is shut down by President Trump, please go there and find out what the 20 year greenhouse gas CO2 equivalent methane is. I not only shudder at the massive amounts of Hydraulic Fracturing, methane escapement and water destroyed to provide the Casino mine 12 truckloads of LNG a day I am very worried about the low balling of methane’s potent GHG potential. Your claim of 35x is over a 100 year timeframe. WE DO NOT HAVE 100 YEARS sirs. 
Thank you for the opportunity to share a small slice of the extensive research we have done on this topic and thank you for letting us come to your information session.
I know the LNG industry is going through challenging times and you are a business looking for new customers.
Unfortunately, your product is produced by wasting and poisoning water and your business model ignores the consequences of climate change. I think the world is waking up to this reality and that is probably why you came North to find new customers.
Sally Wright
Wife of a Northern Energy Maven
Kluane Lake, Yukon