By Josué Guerrero
A bill that would prohibit state enforcement of EPA regulations on wood burning stoves is making its way through the state House.
In the past year, Missouri legislators on both sides of the aisle have proposed or passed bills tackling such federal behemoths as the ban on industrial hemp, Affordable Care Act, NSA spying, Common Core, Agenda 21, and federal gun regulation. In short, Missouri is a Nullification machine.
While most of these have been “big ticket” items, lawmakers are seeking to stop less high profile over-reach by federal regulators. Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulations that would effectively ban wood-burning fireplaces. The regulatory change would impose an onerous maximum particulate cap on new wood-powered heaters. The cost would essentially remove wood burning as a viable inexpensive option for rural or off-grid residents who rely on the local renewable resource to heat their homes.
In the face of the proposed changes, some states have adopted or are considering even more restrictive regulations. If fact, New York, not content with crushing the spirits of its own citizens, lead a seven-state coalition in suing the EPA in order to compel stricter emission limits on wood-fired boilers.
But while many states are embracing the proposed changes, more than three dozen Missouri legislators have co-sponsored a bill which would prevent state regulators from enforcing the federal regulation. Many Show Me State residents view the proposed regulation as “just another way for [the federal government] to control my life and lifestyle and basically force me to pay more for just survival.”
HB1302 affirms that “All Missourians have a right to heat their homes and businesses using wood-burning furnaces, stoves, fireplaces and heaters.”
The legislation also “prohibits the Department of Natural Resources from regulating the manufacture, performance, or use of residential wood burning heaters or appliances through a state implementation plan or otherwise, unless authorized to do so by the General Assembly.”
While the legislation wouldn’t stop EPA enforcement, it would ensure state agencies do not cooperate with the regulation. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said this would go a long way toward nullifying the regulations.
“The EPA simply doesn’t have the resourced to patrol the entire state of Missouri and ensure that every wood burning stove is in compliance. It would depend on state help, as the feds do with virtually all of their actions. This bill would ensure the state of Missouri does not cooperate with unconstitutional EPA actions,” he said.
HB1302 passed out of committee on Feb. 20, and cleared its first full House hurdle on Tuesday. It will need to pass one more full House vote before moving on to the Senate for consideration.
Missouri residents – Contact your state representative and ask him/her to support HB1302. You can find contact information HERE.