The Left has been screaming that President-Elect Trump is picking people to lead federal agencies they are critical of. Of course picking people who are critical is a positive, or could be anyway. These people might actually bring some positive changes, like, less regulations, lower budgets, and yes, common sense! Take the EPA for example
But alas, now comes the federal government to tell the inhabitants of Alaska’s interior that, really, they should not be building fires to keep themselves warm during the winter. The New York Timesreports 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.
Of course the reality is that heat is as valuable as food or water. Extreme cold will kill you, but that is reality. central planners do not deal in reality. They deal in idealsim, and idealism is winless when pitted against reality, but that will never dissuade the central planning morons. The EPA, of course, is not alone in its well intended idiocy, pojt put any federal agency, or department, and you can find waste, over regulation, and policies that hurt real people and often make issues the agency is supposed to help worse rather than better.