Letter to the Editor

Alaska is special indeed

To the editor: Alaska’s senators are co-sponsoring Senate Bill 2426, which, if passes, will push the deadline for our community to comply with PM2.5 standards forward another 10 years. We’ve managed to kick the air pollution issue down the smoky road for 10 years with no real penalties. This bill will enable us to evade significant federal punishments for another decade.

Some claim that the bill seeks to “create new law establishing that the people in Fairbanks have less right to clean air than everyone else.” The flip side of this argument is that the exemption will actually give us more rights than anyone else. We will be special under the umbrella of the Clean Air Act!

Passage of this bill could set an amazing precedent for us. We could then seek other exemptions simply because we Alaskans do things differently and need more time to study things. Pure genius. Think big, Sen. Dan Sullivan. You too, Lisa Murkowski. Seek exemptions for other pollution standards, the Real ID act, worker safety standards, income tax and inheritance tax details that might be hardships for Alaskans. Yippee for us.

Also, so grateful that you didn’t let on that this bill had been already introduced when you and EPA met with our community in August. Our ignorance allowed for a much more genuine testimony of hope that breathing clean air was within our lifetime. And it is always so much more fun to be surprised about things. Thank you for enabling us to keep our cup half full as we were being reassured that we constituents are being heard.

One website predicts only a 23% chance of this bill to pass. Interesting number. About the same percentage of those who comply with burn bans. Huh.


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