From Alaska Dispatch, Wednesday, October 20, 2010:
The people of Fairbanks spoke loudly and clearly at the polls this year: They didn’t want government dictating to them what could come out of the smokestacks atop their homes.
Enforcing standards for clean-air for everyone, voters decided, reeked of socialism — that policy of ensuring the needs of the many trump the desire of the individual. It is not a popular political philosophy in these tea-party days, especially in Alaska where it has never been a very popular philosophy.
Fairbanks is, after all, the home of the late Joe Vogler, founder of the Alaskan Independence Party, who thought the whole of America too socialist almost 40 years ago when the federal bureaucracy was but a shadow of what it is today. So it came as no big surprise when Fairbanks voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot initiative blocking a North Star Borough plan to fine people for polluting the air with woodsmoke.
Unfortunately, the end result of that vote is that people are likely to pollute the air with woodsmoke again this winter and borough officials are having a devil of a time trying to figure out what to do about it.
Continue reading: Clean air and the cost of freedom