Benishek Presses Washington Regulators on New Rules that Will Increase Home Heating Costs

Mar 19, 2014 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy and Resources

WASHINGTON, DC:  Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today urged the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to not increase home heating costs for Michigan families by enacting new regulations on wood burning stoves.

“Families in Northern Michigan are tired of seeing their utility bills go up because of Washington regulations.  In this tough economy, a lot of people are struggling and the last thing they need is for the EPA to slap new rules on our wood burning stoves.  During this very cold winter, we’ve already seen a spike in propane prices and home heating bills—and new regulations on stoves will make things even worse.  I’m hoping the EPA will use some common sense on these proposed new rules, rather than a one-size-fits-all Washington approach,” said Dr. Benishek, a general surgeon and lifelong resident of Northern Michigan. 

Benishek’s pressing of the EPA comes as the agency’s proposed New Source Performance Standards would update emission requirements for new residential wood burning heaters.   Since the announcement of the proposed regulation in January, Dr. Benishek has heard from many constituents who are deeply concerned about the increased home heating costs as a result of this new rule. 

A letter to the EPA, sent by Dr. Benishek and Rep. Reid Ribble (WI-08), reads in part: “In a time of rising fuel costs, many of our constituents have turned to the traditional wood burning stove as a means of providing affordable heat for their families during periods of record cold.  As you are aware, many of these families and senior citizens live in very rural communities where heating alternatives are extremely limited.  Winters in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are often harsh, and access to reliable heat can be a matter of life and death.” 

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