We know that Obama would much rather see us all use solar energy for heating our homes, but we’ve seen how much of a disaster that hairbrained plan is, with his failed solar companies that filed bankruptcy.
But in Alaska, many people in the cold of winter, which on most days hits below zero, burn wood to keep warm. So enter the EPA who has come up with a plan to regulate the emissions from these stoves.
As is, heating prices in Alaska is killing the family budget, which has more people cranking up the old wood stove. And federal EPA bureaucrats in Washington, D.C., have determined that fine particulate matter (soot) in your wood smoke is verboten.
Take for instance, the city of Fairbanks, which regularly experiences temperature inversions that trap smoky air over the area. That means people with respiratory problems can have more irritation from increased soot content. The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s revised fine particulate matter regulations (PM2.5) have cut the annual level of allowable fine particulates from 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air to 12 micrograms.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough, a county area roughly the size of New Jersey with under 100,000 population, has been under the EPA gun since the agency ratcheted down its soot standards in 2008. Along with 14 other cities and 53 other counties that were not then on the EPA’s “non-attainment area” list, the Fairbanks North Star Borough is under orders to clean up its air or face fines and a “compliance plan” imposed by EPA. In efforts to meet the federal mandate, borough politicians attempted to regulate wood burning. That got citizens heated up.
“Everybody wants clean air,” state Rep. Tammie Wilson told the Associated Press. “We just have to make sure that we can also heat our homes.” Rep. Wilson sponsored a citizen initiative passed in October that bans the borough regulation of home heating devices. The borough, she said, has no business stepping in with restrictions when no one knows if they will work. “We’re still waiting here for a model, a model that shows us that if we do A, B and C, we can then get into attainment,” she said. “We have not seen anything from the borough, from the state or from the EPA showing us that that is even possible with the technology that is available to us.”
But the citizens are speaking up, and have told the local, state, and federal officials that they would rather not freeze to death to satisfy federal bureaucrats who are in a fretting frenzy over theoretical deaths from soot. And they aren’t backing down either. Now the EPA is basing their facts on shoddy data, as the studies providing the basis for PM2.5 is based on computer models and hidden data, not actualmeasurements and peer-reviewed analysis.
Kathleen Hartnett White, distinguished senior fellow-in-residence and director of the Armstrong Center for Energy & the Environment, Texas Public Policy Foundation, is one of many experts who have caught the EPA “scientists” fudging big time. She writes:
Whenever the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is confronted with evidence that its proposed regulations will kill jobs, risk blackouts, or otherwise harm economic growth, it typically seeks refuge in its own estimates of the amazing public health benefits the proposal will have.
By 2020, EPA rules “will prevent 230,000 early deaths,” one recent Administration report claims. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has gone so far as to testify before Congress that the new regulations would provide health benefits as valuable as a cure for cancer.
“Such unequivocal declarations scare the public and can intimidate the skeptic,” says White. “If EPA claims about saving lives were true, the case for its aggressive regulatory agenda would be compelling. How can society worry about higher electric rates or losing American jobs to foreign shores, after all, when thousands of human lives are at stake?”
Steve Milloy at JunkScience.com is another EPA critic who regularly exposes the agency’s exaggerated and bogus claims. In a January 6, 2012 column entitled the EPA’s statistics not science, but nonsense. According to the EPA’s false data, dozens of U.S. cities have worse air quality than the Chinese city of Xi’an, which is notorious for having some of the worst air quality in the world.
But to top it all off the EPA refuses to release the data that backs up their claims.
Yet if the people of Fairbanks were to cease all burning of firewood, there is no guarantee that they would satisfy the EPA standards. There is no viable source of energy that meets EPA approval. The EPA is down on coal and oil, and even clean natural gas, which for years was the darling energy source of the greens — until the recent natural gas boom began making it cheap and abundant.
The EPA has come under attack for not releasing the data. There is no viable source of energy that meets EPA approval. The EPA is down on coal and oil, and even clean natural gas, which for years was the darling energy source of the greens — until the recent natural gas boom began making it cheap and abundant.
Fortunately, American consumers and producers received some relief from the EPA’s regulatory overreach via a ruling this past August from a U.S. Court of Appeals striking down the agency’s proposed new limits on coal-fired power plant emissions in 28 states.