Press Releases

Rep. Smith Protects Missouri Families with Wood Burning Stoves

Smith’s legislation stops Obama-era regulation that put harmful restrictions on how Missourians heat homes

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Washington, DC, March 7, 2018 | comments

Today, Rep. Smith’s legislation to protect Missouri families who use wood burning stoves to heat their homes passed the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 453 delays the Obama-era emission regulations for residential wood and pellet stoves, hydronic heaters, and forced-air furnaces by three years. In addition to championing the three-year delay for wood heater regulations, Smith is working with the Trump Administration to get a full and permanent repeal.

“Obama’s EPA consistently wrote rules like this one that disproportionately hurt rural Americans. They singlehandedly decided that 12 million wood-burning stoves in 2.4 million households across America needed to be regulated because of Washington-driven, bureaucrat emissions standards," Congressman Smith said. "Fortunately, with President Trump in office, the war on rural America is finally over.”

H.R. 453 was attached to the Kilns Act, and passed the House of Representatives by 234-180 with bipartisan support on March 7, 2019. It will now be considered by the U.S. Senate.

“Delaying this rule is going to be a big help for folks back home. The bottom line is, Missourians should not be punished for their self-reliance and their forethought to take advantage of an abundant, eco-friendly fuel like wood,” said Congressman Smith. “In fact, a given home in our district is five times more likely to be heated with wood than the national average. Fifty-seven percent of households who primarily use wood for heat are in rural areas, 40 percent are in the suburbs and only 3 percent in urban areas.”

Craig Bohnsack of Jackson, MO said, “This legislation will provide relief to me and my extended retail stores throughout the Midwest who are proud to sell clean-burning, affordable wood and pellet stoves. Extra time will allow manufacturers to develop user-friendly products that provide heat and reliability to southeast Missouri families.”  

Bohnsack is the CEO of Kasten Masonry Sales, Inc. which is based in Southeast Missouri and sells wood burning stoves to thousands of families in the area. Their stores are located in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Bonne Terre.

This is not the first time Smith’s legislation on wood fired stoves has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. In December of 2015, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Smith’s amendment to eliminate regulations on wood stoves by a bipartisan vote of 247-177. According to Smith, due to inaction in the Senate, legislation from the House of Representatives must be revisited frequently. 

“Unfortunately, you’ve got a Senate full of obstructionists that won’t act quickly. I’ve been able to pass protections for Missourians who heat their homes with wood in the past, only to see the efforts stall out in the Senate,” said Congressman Smith. “But, I believe President Trump is going to make a real difference this time around. Under his leadership, we are slashing Obama-era regulations at a rate of 22:1.” 

According to Smith, about 30,000 households in the 8th District use wood heat to warm their homes. Smith also said that heating with wood grew 34 percent between 2000 and 2010, and that low and middle-income households are more likely to use wood as a primary heating fuel.

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