Activism

Hydrocube.org supports the following policy initiatives:

Yukon needs to do more to promote hydrogen fuel technology

There is not one mention of hydrogen in the Yukon’s 2020 – 2030 Ten Year Renewable Energy plan

So good luck driving those Tesla Model 3’s anywhere outside of Whitehorse, when you get 40.8 kilometers for every hour of charging using a Level 2 charger. You might get to Takhini River crossing, need another charge station there, wait an hour, then maybe get to Mendenhall, wait another hour, etc. And that’s in the summer.

For a northern cold climate with low population density to ONLY be considering “electric and gasoline hybrids” is short sighted and unwise when at least three major car manufacturers have hydrogen fuel cell vehicles already retailing in California and southern Canada.

We don’t need to use hydrogen derived from fracking

You may not realize it from the marketing, but the new supposedly zero emission hydrogen fuel stations that have been installed in BC by the friendly Shell Oil Corporation are powered by fracking.

For more information on how fracked methane is converted to hydrogen, and how hydrogen can instead be made renewably using renewable electricity and water, read this page or check out our Green Hydrogen for the North nonprofit facilitation project.

The technology is here, we need the political and social movement to happen NOW instead of waiting for the “Shell game” of fake zero emission hydrogen fuel.

Triple (at least) the cost of fossil fuel energy

Fossil fuel energy: underpriced since 1798

When the steam engine was invented, coal factories sprung up and colonial steam ships made their way to America.

Black lung from coal miners, poisoning of water near fossil fuel extraction operations, human cancer from benzene and other toxic exhausts, and noise related health issues have not been priced in and our public health system foots the bill.

Not to mention the whole climate change thing. The costs of adapting to and mitigating it have been and are being passed on to future generations.

Increase fuel taxes

Starting at 4.4c/L gasoline tax in 2018 and increasing to 11.1c/L by 2022, the current carbon fuel tax is insufficient to change fuel use habits, according to Keith Halliday, Yukon News economist.

We need more aggressive carbon pricing (with all of the money returned to taxpayers via an individual rebate and/or directly invested in renewable energy rebates).

There should be NO EXEMPTIONS for politically favored sectors like airlines, or anything else, including rural communities who can carpool a lot more than we currently do.

It will be tough, but people will adapt.

Reduce barriers to adoption of clean energy

Improperly installed solar panels cause building fires. So do climate change driven wildfires.

The Yukon Territory has declared a climate emergency.

But they still enforce cumbersome, old fashioned and costly compliance rules on simple DIY renewable energy installations, even those that are off grid and/or on a normally uninhabited structure like a shed.

Basic training can be delivered, and permits and rebates can be issued, all online for simple DIY renewable energy installs on private buildings.

Governments can therefore expedite the process of de-carbonizing homes and communities while focusing traditional safety compliance efforts on large public buildings.

Fix broken renewable energy incentive systems

Despite a generous $800/kW installation rebate, and a 30c/kWh feed in credit for remote all-diesel communities, many locals I have spoken to are not getting solar installed due to the high prices charged by the local installation companies.

The government makes back a significant part of the issued rebate through taxes on the installer.

This is a way politicians are able to hide the true amount of funding that is being put in to climate solutions.

We need the entire life cycle costs of a renewable energy installation to be so favorable that NOBODY is considering not getting renewable energy installed.

If this means invoking Canada’s Defence Production Act to force installers to charge fair prices, then the climate crisis is a fair reason to do it.

Save the salmon. Stop building new dams

Salmon are increasingly endangered in part from climate change warming their rivers and changing flow patterns.

Dams slow their upstream progress, significantly reduce fish passage rates (even with the largely ineffective fish ladders) and harm the overall ecosystem. Yukoners are already opposing new hydroelectric projects.

We have enough geothermal, solar PV and wind energy resources in Yukon to provide all the year round energy we need without having to build more dams.

Current dams can be operated, but no new dams should be built and water should be spilled wherever possible in the increasingly hot summers to improve fish passage and survival during the climate emergency.

We are opposed to Yukon Energy’s decision to build new Moon Lake and Atlin hydroelectric projects while there are more environmentally friendly renewable options available like hydrogen energy storage.