Reed Raises Concerns over Unfair EPA Rule
Tom Reed is responding to constituent concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule that would increase costs for New Yorkers who heat their homes and businesses with wood stoves. Reed recently sent a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy concerned about the new regulation and asking that the agency find an approach that doesn’t place an additional hardship on home and business owners. Fellow New York Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21) joined Reed on the letter.
“It’s unfair to target families and businesses in rural areas that rely on wood stoves to heat their homes,” Reed said. “For many in our community, this affordable, renewable energy source is a cost-effective alternative to some of the other more costly, volatile options. It’s common sense to continue making this affordable option available.”
The EPA proposed the new rule in January that would drastically change requirements on new wood heaters, causing families who heat their homes with wood stoves to see a significant increase in heating costs.
In their letter, the New York Reps. say it’s unfair for the EPA to “propose rules which will place added costs on the devices many people in cold-weather states use for their primary or secondary hearing device…while we understand the need to strengthen performance standards, rules designed to improve the health of people and the environment should not simultaneously discourage consumers from using renewable resources.”
Reed says the propane shortage New York continues to face puts enough strain on families’ budgets as they try to heat their homes. Compared to other home-heating fuels that require consumers to submit to price fluctuations, heating with wood can provide a lower-cost, stable option for families.
“Families might turn to wood stoves as a primary or secondary source of heat as a result of the propane price spike,” Reed continued. “This winter New York saw record low temperatures and even this week, we are seeing lows in the 20s. Now is not the time to make life harder on families and business. It’s time to care for them and ease their burden.”
Roughly 12 million homes in the United States are heated with wood stoves. In New York, the use of wood as an energy source has grown more than 50 percent since 2005.