What are vital fuels?
Without diesel, aviation fuels and gasoline, getting around and powering our lives in the Yukon would not be possible. These fuels are vital – to everyday life and to economic development. They’re also central to a bright future.
Where do our fuels come from?
A complex chain of pipelines, trains, cargo ships, and trucks delivers fuels to us. Two thirds of these fuels are purchased today from the United States.
What's the environmental impact of importing these fuels?
It has been suggested that trucking fuel long distances to the Yukon accounts for 6 per cent of the Yukon's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions!
Imported fuels come from a variety of places, and there’s often no guarantee that they are produced efficiently or with carbon emissions reduction in mind. We make use of them, but we can’t trust that their extraction and transportation is up to par. In fact, we know that the transportation of fuels is not done as well as it could be. The sheer distance covered by these fuels is astounding, coming from as far as North Dakota.
Strong oversight, by government, local residents, and First Nations, and stringent, thorough regulation is essential to keeping energy companies accountable and getting the most comprehensive protections in place. That’s something Yukon has a record of excellence in.
Why don't we just switch to clean energy?
Zero emissions are the end goal. We’ll know we’ve succeeded when we can sustainably and viably shift to entirely renewable power sources. But that won’t be possible for many years. The major challenges continue to be energy storage, matching generation capacity to demand, and reaching all remote communities, as well as the unique difficulties posed to battery technology by low winter temperatures. Until those are solved, efficiency and reduction in emissions must be pursued in every way possible.
What can we do better?
Research and development are where the hopes for a greener energy sector really rest. It’s our responsibility to invest as much as we can in innovation – innovation that will make extraction and production cleaner, the construction of infrastructure to transport fuels and energy more affordable, and the use of fuels more efficient. By championing the adoption of lower-emissions fuels, like LNG, Yukoners can become leaders in Northern Canada.