UPDATE: Monday, March 7 - One week to go folks. Not much action on the NNSL online forum lately, but I expect that there will be a third question asked of councillors this week. I've been really impressed by some answers so far, and underwhelmed by others. More that anything, I just want to see councillors take this forum seriously. This is a chance for them to demonstrate that they're as concerned about the potential risks of this project as many taxpayers are. Of course, their confidence in the benefits can outweigh concern about the risks - as long as the concerns are articulated I'm happy.
Geothermal Posts and Resources
Check the NNSL forum here: NNSL YK District Energy Page
Con Mine Geothermal: The Nays Have It - March 15
Con Mine Geothermal: Scenario Risks Presentation - Posted February 15 - a good analysis of the risks associated with this project
Con Mine Geothermal: Online Forum - the original article with explanation and rules for the forum.
Con Mine Geothermal: Risk Management Update - (Tuesday, February 1st)
Con Mine Geothermal: Background Articles and Excerpts - I'll be holding off on this until I see what Yellowknifer will be doing. Most of the material is from them anyway.
On January 28 Andrew said:
It is good to see more discussion coming up about this & I completely agree - asking hard questions makes the project stronger & in the end it should only go ahead if it makes sense. After reading the latest NNSL editorial, it is clear that people don't understand what they are being asked. That is understandable 'cause it is a strange question. The City is not asking for permission to go ahead 100% .... they are asking for permission to go ahead IF they think the business case is worth it, when it comes time to make that decision. They have to ask permission now because the feds are threatening to walk away from the table, unless full financing is guanteed right now. (Thanks Feds - that is really helpful!) I wonder how they will word the actual question on the ballot?
I replied on January 29th:
Andrew, right off the bat your comment gets to what I think is the heart of the problem. I think people feel like they are being asked to determine whether or not the project makes sense. The truth is, the City doesn't know if it makes sense yet. They've got consultants evaluating the risks as we speak. But that's confusing for people. It feels like the wrong stage to bring people in for a vote.
If it weren't for the grant, this referendum might be happening at a later stage - once all of the risks were fully understood. The grant is forcing the City into asking residents to allow them to proceed very carefully with the process of evaluating the pros and cons of proceeding with this project.
But if that is the case (and I think it is), it isn't being reflected in the media. Even some of the comments made by councillors seem to be flowing over with confidence about how much sense this project makes. I think it would be more helpful if they spoke about this with equal parts confidence and caution. Of course, they can't control which parts of their statements the media chooses to quote.
Really, instead of publicizing the merits of the projects, they should be publicizing the merits of the team that is analyzing the merits of the project. I mean, don't just talk about the great district heating system in Springhill, talk about the one that almost got built in some other city but had to be cancelled, based on the advice of the same consultant we are using.
That makes for a much more complicated message, but I think it would come closer to conveying true meaning of this referendum. Anyway, that's the kind of thing I'm hoping will come out of this forum.