Tuesday, October 04, 2011

YouTube Video: Fairbanks Resident Demonstrates How Proposition 2, The Healthy Air Protection Act, Would Outlaw His Efficient Outdoor Wood Boiler

Update October 5th: Proposition 2 fails; details in this post.

Non-attainment area enclosed by purple line; click HERE for larger version

On October 3rd, 2011, Judge Paul Lyle rejected a suit filed by a trio of hydronic heater owners asking that Proposition 2, the Healthy Air Protection Act, be removed from the ballot because they considered it unconstitutional. Judge Lyle ruled that since Proposition 2’s effects are scheduled to take effect on Oct. 29, 2012, a day after the two-year time limit, it didn’t violate state law and can go to voters tomorrow.

Proposition 2 seeks to improve air quality in an area of the Fairbanks-North Star Borough that doesn’t meet federal air quality standards. It would ban hydronic heaters and coal-fired devices, along with creating emissions standards for all wood burners in the non-attainment area. Read a more specific analysis of the issue and the primary players in my September 26th post.

But of even greater interest was the following comment posted to the News-Miner story:

pursuit_of_freedom wrote on Monday, Oct 03 at 04:55 PM:

I plan to vote no on proposition 2. Although we all want to breath pristine air, this is a bad proposition.

I own a wood boiler (EPA phase 2) and researched before my purchase. I invested almost $20,000 for my system not to mention installation by myself. I may have to put a little physical work into keeping warm but I can purchase wood and heat everything for about 1/3 the cost of heating oil (4400 sq foot and all domestic hot water for a family of 7).

My boiler has the capability to run on natural gas (maybe someday?) also. It can also burn as clean or cleaner than many indoor woodstoves. I am posting a youtube video contrasting my boiler and the woodstove of my neighbors to show the problem with this proposition.

Here is the link:


And here is the video:

The person starts out by showing his outdoor wood boiler fully engaged, but emitting virtually no smoke. Then he turns the camera to his neighbor's home, showing the neighbor's indoor wood stove emitting noticeable smoke. Yet the outdoor wood boiler would be banned under Prop 2, while the indoor wood stove would NOT be banned. The person points out although he's invested nearly $20,000 in his system, Prop 2 would only authorize FNSB to give him $7,500 to remove my boiler, imposing a $12,500 loss upon him.

Therein lies the fatal flaw of Prop 2 -- it outlaws an entire class of heating systems regardless of their emissions. The authors of Prop 2 presume all outdoor wood boilers are bad. Prop 2 deserves a NO vote on October 4th.

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