Thune demands EPA drop wood stove regulation

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) demanded that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) drops a proposed “burdensome” regulation on new wood stoves.

In a letter sent Thursday to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Thune said propane shortages during this harsh winter have made it even more difficult for families to heat their homes and that the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards would make heating more costly.

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“The last thing the EPA should be doing is making it harder and more expensive for families to heat their homes,” Thune said. “The EPA needs to head back to the drawing board and work with Congress and manufacturers to work on common-sense standards that will keep energy affordable for middle-class families.”

The EPA issued new regulations to ensure that newly manufactured wood burning stoves, warm-air furnaces and hydronic heaters are more efficient and have lower emissions to improve air quality.

But Thune said the regulation would burden families because manufacturers will pass along the higher costs to consumers.

“I am also concerned about the potential impacts on job creators and small businesses,” Thune wrote. “Forcing unattainable standards on manufacturers may force them to close their doors because they cannot afford the proper reconfigurations or pass the additional costs along to customers, making their products unaffordable for lower and middle income consumers.”

When issuing the rule, the EPA said particulate pollution from wood heaters causes significant air pollution problems across the country, which result in health issues.

Thune wrote that he understands the “importance of improving air quality” but still doesn’t think this is the way the EPA should go about it.