Alaska editorial: Low-sulphur rule would hurt Kodiak business

This editorial first appeared in the Kodiak Daily Mirror:

Two weeks ago, the state of Alaska filed suit against the federal government to stop enforcement of new EPA regulations that mandate low-sulfur fuel for ships operating within 200 miles of Southcentral and Southeastern shores.

While the pros and cons of this issue are complicated, it’s a move we can get behind for one simple reason: cost.

Low-sulfur fuel costs more than current fuel. According to Totem Ocean Express, the cost of shipping to the Port of Anchorage would rise by 8 percent. Because shipping to Kodiak involves an extra trip, this cost would impact Kodiak even more.

While reducing atmospheric sulphur — a key component of acid rain — is a noble goal, this measure comes at a disproportionate cost to Kodiak.

Without action, the low-sulfur requirement comes into effect Aug. 1. We advise the judge hearing the state’s lawsuit to issue an injunction to prevent this from happening.

Acid rain and ocean acidification are important topics, but the impact of marine traffic on these processes is minimal. According to the EPA, two-thirds of American sulphur emissions come from power plants that use fossil fuels — primarily coal.

On a global level, marine traffic produces just 10 percent of the earth’s atmospheric sulfur emissions.

This regulation pursues minimal gains at a high price. For that reason, however noble the goal, we cannot support the means suggested to reach it.

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The following editorial first appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

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Letter: The Homeless Ordinance

As I understand it, on Monday the assembly will be voting on an ordinance to permit the police to evict people camping in the downtown and make them move to a camping area in the Thane avalanche zone. I think that’s mistaken public policy. I’ve just hand delivered a 5 page letter to the CBJ in opposition. But what’s really needed isn’t my opinion. It’s a newspaper’s reporting of the facts. That said, if someone’s camped out in a doorway, it couldn’t be a more clear cry for help. And underneath that gruff scary homeless person is so often someone suffering the terrible diseases of mental illness and addiction.

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Win Gruening: Homeless Not Helpless

When Mayor Ken Koelsch recently proposed a city ordinance prohibiting camping in downtown Juneau to help resolve on-going issues with our homeless population, there was significant public reaction.

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My Turn: A Good Time for Kindness

Some time ago, the snow was mounded everywhere, deep and wet. As I gazed from my window, contemplating shoveling, I saw a neighbor plowing out the nextdoor driveway and mailbox — and then chug over to our mailbox, and plow it out as well. Such a welcome and unrequested act of thoughtfulness, of kindness: it lifted my spirits!

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