New EPA Regulations Increase Ship Fuel Cost
ANCHORAGE - Shipping and cruise companies in Alaska’s waters will have to use a less-polluting fuel as of next month.
The federal regulation, enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency, requires vessels coming within 200 miles of Southeast and Southcentral Alaska to use a low-sulfur fuel.
State and city officials say the new regulations mean Alaskans will be paying more for their food.
The Anchorage Economic Development Corporation says Alaskans already pay, on average, 37 percent more for groceries than others in the country.
"As far as specific affects on the Anchorage consumer we're not sure all we can say is if the cost of fuel goes up the cost of goods in Anchorage will also go up," said Bill Popp, president and CEO of the AEDC.
“Whether it's the hamburger or the milk in your grocery store the building materials that you’re using to repair your home or build a new home or new business.”
They Municipality of Anchorage supports a suit filed by the state against several federal agencies - including the Environmental Protection Agency - to stop the regulations taking effect in Alaska.
"The fuel is very difficult to get in Alaska it's much more expensive and I think it's unnecessary; I don't know that anybody has really made a determination that there is a significant air quality issue,” said Mayor Dan Sullivan.
Mayor Sullivan is especially concerned about how cruise ship passengers will react to possible higher ticket prices.
“A taxation of any kind whether it's a charge that's imposed for higher fuel costs or another form of taxation it discourages consumers,” said Sullivan.
Senator Lisa Murkowski says the impact of these regulations could potentially be devastating to all Alaskans, especially those in rural areas.
Murkowski says the EPA should sample Alaska's air quality before imposing the new regulations.
You can read the lawsuit by clicking here.