Target: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Goal: Don’t allow cruise industry to obtain an exemption on emissions regulations.
Bunker fuel produced by large ship engines has been linked to asthma, lung cancer, strokes, and heart attacks in the U.S. population. The regulation of these emissions can prevent roughly 32,000 premature deaths in our country within the next two decades, as well as save billions of dollars in health care costs. In spite of these facts, the Cruise Line International Association is lobbying for an exception to the rules in an effort to avoid expenses.
The Environmental Protection Agency has instituted a North American Emissions Control Area, which limits bunker fuel emissions within 200 nautical miles of U.S. shores. Large ships, such as cruise liners, will have to burn cleaner fuels in order to comply. This will protect our shores from the high levels of sulfur that contribute to harmful ocean acidification. The cruise industry has successfully attached a rider to the Interior-Environment Appropriations bill that offers special accommodations called ‘sulfur averaging’. Sulfur averaging would allow higher emissions in areas like Hawaii and Alaska in exchange for lowering emissions near more populated shores.
Not only will sulfur averaging result in overall higher emissions from cruise lines, it will also endanger specific areas of our country’s shores. Are the lives of our citizens in Alaska and Hawaii worth less than those in other areas? How can we choose to protect some and not others? All people deserve cleaner air and water, and human lives are far more important than the profits of commercial cruise lines. By signing the petition below, you can urge House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to reject the House Interior Appropriations bill while the sulfur averaging rider is attached.
Dear House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi,
The Cruise Line International Association wishes to be granted special privileges regarding the North American Emissions Control Area, which requires ships to burn cleaner fuel within 200 miles of U.S. shores. The association has successfully attached a rider to the Interior-Environment Appropriations bill that will allow them the practice of sulfur averaging. More specifically, the cruise lines wish to be allowed higher emissions of bunker fuel in less populated coastal areas, such as Alaska and Hawaii. In addition, this rider would result in a net increase of emissions from cruise ships.
These bunker fuels have dangerously high levels of sulfur, and have been linked with asthma, lung cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. Are the lives of our Alaskan and Hawaiian citizens less valuable than other coastal residents? Are the needs of commercial cruise lines a higher priority than the health of our people? Please prevent this rider from passing by voting against the Interior-Environment Appropriations bill.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: clarita via morguefile.