U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works questioned witnesses today in a subcommittee hearing covering four EPW bills that emphasize deregulation.
Specific bills considered were S. 203, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2017 and S. 839, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017, which are co-sponsored by Sen. Inhofe. Other bills considered were S. 1934, the Alaska Remote Generator Reliability and Protection Act and S. 1857, a bill to establish a compliance deadline of May 15, 2023, for Step 2 emissions standards for new residential wood heaters, new residential hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces.
Inhofe: “Oklahoma... We’re really a NASCAR state. Now, Love’s Travel Stops is the largest family-owned truck stop in America… They are in Oklahoma…They are the primary sponsor of the NASCAR number 34 car that is driven by Landon Cassill. We know the language the EPA has considered… it’s made those involved in the racing industry nervous. Opponents of the RPM bill and the Obama EPA claim they aren’t going to go after individuals or NASCAR and that there is nothing to worry about…but, the EPA’s language makes it possible to do so, don’t you think?
Mr. Kersting replied: “The current EPA interpretation of the law renders any conversion activity illegal.”
Kersting also stated: “…A point was raised about this matter of there being a loophole or purpose or that the matter of intent, somehow in this bill, would create a new enforcement standard. I want to make very clear that the language of the RPM Act is actually drawn, it reflects language that is in this section of the Clean Air Act for other exemptions. The word purpose is in the law currently and, very importantly, the word intent is in the prohibition language currently…There is no loophole. Illegality is illegality… EPA has the enforcement authority to go after it and they do so successfully.
Sen. Inhofe also questioned the Mr. Davis Henry about the brick industry regulations businesses in Oklahoma face in reference to S. 839, the Blocking Regulatory Interference from Closing Kilns Act of 2017.