Tag Archives: Alaska

EPA moves to punish Alaskans for burning wood to heat their homes

We’re here to help you! The EPA is about to declare Alaska in violation of the Clean Air Act for burning wood, the only fuel available to them to heat their homes, and thus threaten the state with the loss of all federal funding.

The New York Times reports the Environmental Protection Agency could soon declare the Alaskan cities of Fairbanks and North Pole, which have a combined population of about 100,000, in “serious” noncompliance of the Clean Air Act early next year.

Like most people in Alaska, the residents of those frozen cities are burning wood to keep themselves warm this winter. Smoke from wood-burning stoves increases small-particle pollution, which settles in low-lying areas and can be breathed in. The EPA thinks this is a big problem. Eight years ago, the agency ruled that wide swaths of the most densely populated parts of the region were in “non-attainment” of federal air quality standards.That prompted state and local authorities to look for ways to cut down on pollution from wood-burning stoves, including the possibility of fining residents who burn wood. After all, a declaration of noncompliance from the EPA would have enormous economic implications for the region, like the loss of federal transportation funding.

The problem is, there’s no replacement for wood-burning stoves in Alaska’s interior. Heating oil is too expensive for a lot of people, and natural gas isn’t available. So they’ve got to burn something. The average low temperature in Fairbanks in December is 13 degrees below zero. In January, it’s 17 below. During the coldest days of winter, the high temperature averages -2 degrees, and it can get as cold as -60. This is not a place where you play games with the cold. If you don’t keep the fire lit, you die. For people of modest means, and especially for the poor, that means you burn wood in a stove—and you keep that fire lit around the clock.

The level of stupidity here by EPA’s Washington bureaucrats is almost beyond measure. Worse, they and their liberal supporters still have no idea why it appears a Trump administration might be dismantling much of that EPA bureaucracy.

Share

Building a log cabin, alone

An evening pause: This is the first part of a longer work. To quote the youtube webpage,

“Alone in the Wilderness” is the story of Dick Proenneke living in the Alaska wilderness. Dick filmed his adventures so he could show his relatives in the lower 48 states what life was like in Alaska, building his cabin, hunting for food and exploring the area. Bob Swerer has taken the best footage from Dick’s films and he has created 3 videos about Dick, “Alone in the Wilderness”, “Alaska, Silence and Solitude” and “The Frozen North”

I like this because it gives a good hint at what life was really like for the original mountain men who first explored the American west. They were resourceful, clever, strong-willed, and technologically very sophisticated. Dick Proenneke shows us how to do it again.

Hat tip Rocco.

Share

Alaska is going to sue the Obama administration for blocking the construction of a 10 mile long road necessary to give people in a remote village access to emergency medical care.

Alaska is going to sue the Obama administration for blocking the construction of a 10 mile long road necessary to give people in a remote village access to emergency medical care.

The lack of a road has led to the deaths of 19 people. And why is the Obama administration allowing these people to die? Let me quote Interior Secretary Sally Jewell:

During an August visit to Alaska, Jewell was told that building a road that connects King Cove and Cold Bay was vital. But in December, Jewell rejected the road saying it would jeopardize waterfowl in the refuge. “She stood up in the gymnasium and told those kids, ‘I’ve listened to your stories, now I have to listen to the animals,” Democratic state Rep. Bob Herron told a local television station. “You could have heard a pin drop in that gymnasium.” [emphasis mine]

Share

Bronze artifact found in Alaska

A bronze artifact, resembling the remains of a buckle and a thousand years older than the house being excavated, has been found by archeologists in Alaska.

One Asia archaeologist suggested the piece may have been part of a harness or horse ornament. The researchers are looking for an East Asia expert to confer with on the bronze piece. Mason said it’s not likely the bronze piece was washed ashore after being dropped by a Russian explorer or a whaler. “That’s totally unlikely, in fact nearly impossible, considering where it is,” he said.

Share

A bureaucratic fight stalls oil drilling in Alaska

Government in action: A bureaucratic fight stalls an oil drill project in Alaska.

The project has put two federal agencies at odds. The Environmental Protection Agency has maintained that a roadless alternative, which would route the pipeline under the Nigliq Channel and use an airstrip instead of a road and bridge, would be less damaging to the reserve’s environment. The Interior Department backs Conoco’s proposal as environmentally preferable.

Share

Shell abandons oil drilling plans in Alaska after EPA ruling

And Obama wonders why oil prices are high? Shell has abandoned its oil drilling plans in Alaska after an EPA regulatory board denied it permits. This after the oil company had spent $4 billion over five years developing those plans. To me, the quote below reveals much about the political agenda behind the EPA’s decision:

The Environmental Appeals Board has four members: Edward Reich, Charles Sheehan, Kathie Stein and Anna Wolgast. All are registered Democrats and Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.

Share