EPA: If You Like Your Wood Stove You Can Keep It

Date: April 23, 2014

The National Federation
of Independent Business (NFIB),
 praised action by Senator Tom Casperson
(R-38) and Congressman Dan Benishek (MI-CD 1)
to head off new restrictions on
wood burning appliances being promulgated by the Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA)

Upper Peninsula Senator Tom
Casperson introduced legislation today in the state Senate that would prohibit
the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) from enforcing any
federal EPA regulation limiting emissions from wood burning appliances after
May 1, 2014. At the federal level, Congressman Dan Benishek, whose district includes
the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan, has announced that he will be a
cosponsor of HR 4407 introduced by Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-CD3)
that also curtails EPA’s attempt to further regulate wood burning heat sources.

NFIB testified in support of Senator Casperson’s efforts at a hearing of the Senate Natural Resources Committee that included small businesses owners in the wood heat industry. The businesses included manufacturers, suppliers, dealers and wood fuel source providers in Michigan that could see the loss of their business and the jobs they provide if the EPA rules move forward.

The EPA has announced new
regulations called New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for new residential
wood heaters and wood heating appliances.

The new standards also
include pellet, corn burner and outdoor wood boilers. Manufacturers of wood
stoves and heating appliances have estimated that the proposed new emission
requirements could virtually end the burning of wood for heat in the United
States and more than double the cost of new wood burning appliances. The new
rules will also make it difficult or impossible for home builders and commercial
contractors to include fireplaces or wood – biomass heating options in new

“Leave it to the same EPA and
the Washington bureaucrats that want to dictate what light bulbs we use and how
our toilets flush to seek tougher restrictions on wood burning on the heels of
a record cold winter season,” said NFIB State Director Charlie Owens. “The
ruling elite in DC are completely out of touch with reality on this one.”


Owens said that while the EPA
proposal exempts current wood stoves, this exemption is in rule and could be
changed through the rules process without any input from Congress or voters.

“Remember the last time the federal government told you could keep something if
you like it?” said Owens, referring to promises made but not kept in the
recently passes Affordable Care Act that people would be able to keep their
health plans and doctors. “Rule making government employees are the unelected
shadow legislature that change the rules of the game after promises are made.

“Nearly 90 percent of wood
stove manufacturers are small businesses as are the dealers that repair and
sell these devices,” he continued. “In addition, these heaters are used by many
farmers and small business owners to offset the high cost of energy in rural
areas.  The people in the Upper
Peninsula and all of rural Michigan should be grateful that Senator Casperson
and Congressman Benishek are taking action to protect their way of life.”

Related Content: Small Business News | Michigan

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