Sunday, November 17, 2013

Property Rights and Government

This is going to be a short one today (the boss changed my schedule at the last minute, so I don't have as much time as usual to post. I'll try to get more into it later, if I have 'net access.)

I just found out that the EPA has been sued by 7 states' Atty General, not to protest the imposition of some new mandate, to protest the lack of administrative ruling.  Apparently, they have decided the EPA has been remiss in their duties by not taking steps to regulate the burning of wood for home heating.

The use of wood (a completely "renewable resource") for home heating has been on the rise in recent years as the cost of heating with fuel oil has gone up and using natural gas is impractical for rural areas.  Saying that the EPA must act to regulate the emissions of these wood-fired boilers because of the particulates they put out in wood smoke, they are suing the department to create standards similar to those proposed for new coal-fired power plants.

The proposal would directly impact lower-income Americans in rural areas financially by requiring them to either spend money they don't have on expensive retro-fits to existing stoves and furnaces or on the purchase of new, hi-tech systems.  People are already having a hard enough time making ends meet in this economy, now individual states are actually suing the federal government to make things even harder???

The most disturbing part of this to me is that one of these AG's is Bill Sorrell, the Attorney General of my home state of Vermont.  Imagine!  We who are living in a rural state where heating with wood is as much a tradition as tapping maple trees for sap to turn into syrup for breakfast and raising cattle, a state where a majority of the population relies on wood heat as an economical alternative to oil, have a member of our government demanding that the Obama administration levy new costs on a populace already treading water.


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