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CSHJR 19(RES): Relating to the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and their application to Alaska.

00                 CS FOR HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 19(RES)                                                               
01 Relating to the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel requirements of the United States                                          
02 Environmental Protection Agency and their application to Alaska.                                                        
03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                               
04       WHEREAS the United States Environmental Protection Agency has ruled that,                                       
05 beginning September 2006, roadway-based large trucks and buses must use ultra low sulfur                                
06 diesel fuel having a sulfur content of not more than 15 parts per 1,000,000; and                                        
07       WHEREAS the United States Environmental Protection Agency has taken this action                                 
08 based upon well-documented health hazards associated with diesel exhaust inhalation; and                                
09       WHEREAS rural Alaska depends on diesel fuel for its electrical power generation;                                
10 and                                                                                                                     
11       WHEREAS ultra low sulfur diesel fuel costs more to produce and is less efficient,                               
12 resulting in an overall higher cost to produce the same output as the high sulfur fuel currently                        
13 in use; and                                                                                                             
14       WHEREAS northern Alaska temperatures are colder than most areas of the United                                   
15 States, and fuel additives that create an arctic-grade of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel are                              
16 necessary to avoid fuel failure; and                                                                                    
01       WHEREAS arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel is currently manufactured only in                             
02 Alberta, Canada, and must be imported into the state, increasing fuel transportation costs; and                         
03       WHEREAS diesel fuel constitutes only a small part of the fuel refined in Alaska, and                            
04 to modify Alaska refineries to produce low sulfur diesel fuel would be prohibitively                                    
05 expensive; and                                                                                                          
06       WHEREAS ultra low sulfur diesel fuel may not be transported or stored in the same                               
07 tanks used for high sulfur diesel fuel unless the tanks have been cleaned; and                                          
08       WHEREAS the necessary separation of fuel types will create financial and logistical                             
09 problems in rural Alaska and may make it prohibitively expensive for communities to import                              
10 more than one type of diesel fuel; and                                                                                  
11       WHEREAS electric utilities that serve rural communities estimate that electric costs                            
12 will increase 25 to 33 percent based on the lower efficiency and higher cost of producing,                              
13 transporting, storing, and using arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel; and                                         
14       WHEREAS manufacturer and market responses to the new federal fuel requirements                                  
15 will eventually create demand for the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in rural Alaska; and                                 
16       WHEREAS rural Alaska communities do not have the same exposure to                                               
17 transportation-related diesel fumes as large urban areas because there are very few diesel                              
18 trucks and buses in rural Alaska; and                                                                                   
19       WHEREAS rural Alaska citizens have a unique and uncharacterized exposure to                                     
20 diesel fumes due to their proximity to diesel fired power plants; and                                                   
21       WHEREAS the lack of scientific information regarding the unique exposure to diesel                              
22 fumes in rural Alaska prevents the Department of Environmental Conservation from                                        
23 determining if exposure to diesel exhaust in rural Alaska communities poses a health risk to                            
24 the citizens of Alaska; and                                                                                             
25       WHEREAS rural Alaska community members have expressed concern about the                                         
26 unknown but potential health risks from diesel exhaust; and                                                           
27       WHEREAS, by June 2003, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation                                      
28 must submit a plan for applying the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards                             
29 for the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in rural Alaska communities;                                                
30       BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the state's delegation in                                
31 the United States Congress to request the United States Environmental Protection Agency to                              
01 provide funding to investigate and examine the fiscal and logistical effects of arctic-grade                            
02 ultra low sulfur diesel fuel on the current energy and transportation infrastructure in Alaska                          
03 and to evaluate the health effects of diesel fuel use in rural Alaska communities; and be it                            
04       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
05 direct the Department of Community and Economic Development to determine the fiscal and                                 
06 logistical effects on the state of using arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in Alaska; and                       
07 be it                                                                                                                   
08       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
09 direct the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, the Department of Community                                 
10 and Economic Development, and the Department of Health and Social Services to coordinate                                
11 with the United States Environmental Protection Agency to determine the health, fiscal, and                             
12 logistical effects on the state of using arctic-grade ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in Alaska; and                       
13 be it                                                                                                                   
14       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
15 direct the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to provide, in its plan for the                              
16 application of the United States Environmental Protection Agency standards, that rural Alaska                           
17 have as much flexibility as possible in the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel; and be it                              
18       FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature urges the Governor to                                        
19 direct the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation to reexamine how the United                                  
20 States Environmental Protection Agency standards for the use of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel                            
21 are applied to the state's plan for off-road communities.                                                               
22       COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable Christine Todd Whitman,                                
23 Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; and to the Honorable Ted Stevens and                               
24 the Honorable Lisa Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S.                                          
25 Representative, members of the Alaska delegation in Congress.