Topic: Barbecues & Grills

Date Posted: Friday, December 11, 2015
Posted by: Tanya Zanfa (Master Admin)

Editorial: EPA’s next target is your outdoor grill

Editorial: EPA’s next target is your outdoor grill

The Environmental Protection Agency is at it again. After successfully regulating the light bulbs we use and how much water flushes through our toilets, the agency has lighted on its next target – your outdoor barbeque grill.

The EPA is funding research by the University of California Riverside to create a grill that uses a two-step process to make propane grills smoke less. Through use of a removable tray and a special air filtration system, the specialized grill will cut down on “fine particle emissions” escaping into the atmosphere as the burgers sizzle.

If past practice holds true, the study will be followed by new regulations on the $750 million barbeque market.

“When you want to regulate, issuing a study is a logical first step,” says David Kreutzer, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

If that sounds far-fetched, consider that in 2013 the EPA issued regulations on the amount of electricity the display on a microwave can use.

“It fits a pattern of the EPA regulating things people never thought they’d regulate,” Kreutzer says.

Some Michigan lawmakers want to get out front of the EPA. In May, state Sens. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair, and Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, introduced a resolution that condemns grill regulations and asks the EPA to be much more restrained in exercising its power.

Pavlov describes it as part of a struggle against the EPA, including the push-back against rules that would force the shut down nine power plants in Michigan.

The resolution asks Michigan’s congressional delegation to help contain the agency by denying funding to enforce its more intrusive rule making. Barbeque grills would seem to fall into that category.

Casperson says it’s also important to highlight the reach claimed by the EPA. The Upper Peninsula lawmaker says his district is particularly hard hit by EPA meddling, noting a new road was blocked in Marquette County by the agency on environmental grounds. The county road commission has filed a lawsuit against the agency.

“This [resolution] let’s Congress and Washington know this needs to stop,” he said.

The EPA has emerged as a dominant player in nearly every aspect of American life. It’s aggressive and often frivolous regulating raises costs for consumers and limits development in places like the U.P.

Sending Congress a reminder that it has an obligation to keep the agency in check is a worthwhile exercise. THe Michigan Legislature should pass the resolution.

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