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One of the fondest memories of my childhood, growing up in the idyllic countryside of Connecticut, was the crisp air of autumn days, the smell of dried leaves from the maple and walnut trees on our farm, and the crackle of a fire in our woodstove or fireplace warming our colonial era home. Since I've relocated to Oregon as an adult, some of the most epic scenes in this rugged countryside involve giant fireplaces in the great lodges of the West. But if Oregon has its way, you'll be able to warm your bones beside the fire no longer.
The killjoys at the office of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have taken aim at woodstoves:
We thought Oregon’s offensive against woodstoves reached the apex of its lunacy back in 2009, when the Legislature passed a law that prohibits people from selling a home that contains a stove that isn’t certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
We were wrong.
Now, it seems, not even that coveted EPA certification, which was supposedly so vital four years ago, no longer is sufficient.
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has joined officials from six others states in filing a lawsuit against the EPA, claiming the agency has failed to adequately limit air pollution produced by new woodstoves.
You read that correctly: New woodstoves, not those old, uncertified smoke-belchers that are the target of the 2009 law (which is still in effect, by the way).
In other words, no woodstove meets muster with the guardians of Oregon’s pure air. But the evidence that smoke from woodstoves poses a significant risk to the clarity of Oregon’s atmosphere seems to us too scanty to justify spending tax dollars to sue a federal agency (which, of course, will use more tax dollars to defend itself).
“Smoke from residential woodstoves pose a real threat to air quality, in rural Oregon and the Portland area,” Rosenblum said in a press release.
Except statistics from another state agency — the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) — suggest that Rosenblum is exaggerating this threat.
Just two Oregon cities don’t meet federal air quality standards — Klamath Falls and Oakridge.
As the article points out, it's pretty absurd that a state is using taxpayer money to sue the federal government, defending itself at taxpayer expense. This is the latest twist in the Sue and Settle tactics being used by the professional Left to use the courts to write regulation while bypassing the state and federal legislative process. But instead of the feds coming in and taking over the state agencies in charge of environmental regulation, here the states are forcing the the feds to add wood stoves to their suite of regulations - which they will then turn around and implement on the states without their input. All to create a solution to a non-existent problem.
It's a funny world we're living in these days.