That's the only way to explain a new Environmental Protection Agency proposal to impose regulations on new heat stoves, as reported by Fox News:
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new standards for wood stoves that would reduce the maximum amount of fine particulate emissions allowed for new stoves sold in 2015 and 2019.
The Fairbanks Daily News Miner newspaper further reported:
The EPA's much-anticipated wood stove regulations are proposed to go into effect throughout the country in 2015, requiring newly manufactured stoves to cut maximum emissions by more than a third. Those standards would tighten dramatically in 2019.
Maybe wood doesn't burn the same in Washington, D.C.
The new proposed rules ostensibly come as a result of "increasing research and scrutiny of fine particulate air pollution," the paper continued, which is known as PM 2.5. The agency said such particulate matter has been linked to long-term negative health impacts, like heart and lung disease - though there is nothing from EPA geniuses about the negative health effects of, say, freezing to death. [ they must be joking. But they are not. Perhaps it is time to demand a double blind test of this curious conjecture - arclein ]
Alaska seems to be of particular interest to the agency, which appears to be saying that, despite its distance from the ruling class, Alaska is still not too far away to be messed with by petty little tyrants who draw paychecks from Alaskan taxpayers, as well as those "in the lower 48." From the Miner:
Fairbanks and North Pole have been struggling to meet the EPA's air pollution standards, with much of the focus being placed on wood burning as the primary source of PM 2.5. The EPA set a deadline of 2014, but compliance isn't expected to be reached for a number of years.
Under current regulations, a non-catalytic wood stove meets EPA certification if it produces less than 7.5 grams of PM 2.5 per hour.
The new rules would require those emissions to be trimmed down to 4.5 grams of PM 2.5 for all stoves made after the date the regulations would go into effect. Presumably, the physics behind the manner in which wood in a fireplace is burned will remain the same.
Alaskan legislators, apparently in an effort to head off the rules, have proposed regulations that would set a limit of 2.5 grams of PM 2.5 for all heaters in areas that are deemed incapable of reaching the EPA's limitations:
In the justification for its limits, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation wrote that the EPA's current regulations, which were first adopted in 1988, are no longer effective.
We must control... wood heaters!
"ADEC proposes more stringent emission standards for wood-fired heating devices than those currently adopted by EPA because the existing federal emission standards have been and continue to be inadequate to prevent deterioration of air quality in Alaska and exceedances of (National Ambient Air Quality Standards)," the state agency's justification document stated, as reported by the Miner.
As you might expect, right now, only a small portion of stoves on the EPA's "certified stove list" (yes, they actually have one of those 'you can only use these kinds of stoves' list) would meet the new requirements.
Though it's not clear where the data came from, the EPA bureaucrats claimed that the changes will bring instant health to the land:
"When these standards are fully implemented, EPA estimates that for every dollar spent to comply with these standards, the American public will see between $118 and $267 in health benefits," it said. "Consumers will also see a monetary benefit from efficiency improvements in the new wood stoves, which use less wood to heat homes. The total health and economic benefits of the proposed standards are estimated to be at $1.8 (billion) to $2.4 billion annually."
Less wood would be nice, but will "less wood" translate into more heat? That's generally not the case, but maybe the laws of physics don't apply in the world of an EPA control freak.