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EPA's Wood-Burning Stove Ban Discussion


Referenced/Base Article

EPA's Wood-Burning Stove Ban Has Chilling Consequences For Many Rural People

Larry Bell for Forbes

It seems that even wood isn’t green or renewable enough anymore.  The EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to mankind and mainstay of rural homes and many of our nation’s poorest residents. The agency’s stringent one-size-fits-all rules apply equally to heavily air-polluted cities and far cleaner plus typically colder off-grid wilderness areas such as large regions of Alaska and the American West.

While EPA’s most recent regulations aren’t altogether new, their impacts will nonetheless be severe.  Whereas restrictions had previously banned wood-burning stoves that didn’t limit fine airborne particulate emissions to 15 micrograms per cubic meter of air, the change will impose a maximum 12 microgram limit. To put this amount in context, EPA estimates that secondhand tobacco smoke in a closed car can expose a person to 3,000-4,000 micrograms of particulates per cubic meter.

Most wood stoves that warm cabin and home residents from coast-to-coast can’t meet that standard. Older stoves that don’t cannot be traded in for updated types, but instead must be rendered inoperable, destroyed, or recycled as scrap metal.

The impacts of EPA’s ruling will affect many families. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 survey statistics, 2.4 million American housing units (12 percent of all homes) burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7 percent that depended upon fuel oil.

Local governments in some states have gone even further  than EPA, not only banning the sale of noncompliant stoves, but even their use as fireplaces. As a result, owners face fines for infractions. Puget Sound, Washington is one such location.   Montréal, Canada proposes to eliminate all fireplaces within its city limits.

Only weeks after EPA enacted its new stove rules, attorneys general of seven states sued the agency to crack down on wood-burning water heaters as well. The lawsuit was filed by Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, all predominately Democrat states.  Claiming that EPA’s new regulations didn’t go far enough to decrease particle pollution levels, the plaintiffs cited agency estimates that outdoor wood boilers will produce more than 20 percent of wood-burning emissions by 2017. A related suit was filed by the environmental group Earth Justice.

Did EPA require a motivational incentive to tighten its restrictions? Sure, about as much as Br’er Rabbit needed to persuade Br’er Fox to throw him into the briar patch. This is but another example of EPA and other government agencies working with activist environmental groups to sue and settle on claims that afford leverage to enact new regulations which they lack statutory authority to otherwise accomplish.

“Sue and settle “ practices, sometimes referred to as “friendly lawsuits”, are cozy deals through which far-left radical environmental groups file lawsuits against federal agencies wherein  court-ordered “consent decrees” are issued based upon a prearranged settlement agreement they collaboratively craft together in advance behind closed doors. Then, rather than allowing the entire process to play out, the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action both they and the litigants want.

And who pays for this litigation? All-too-often we taxpayers are put on the hook for legal fees of both colluding parties. According to a 2011 GAO report, this amounted to millions of dollars awarded to environmental organizations for EPA litigations between 1995 and 2010. Three “Big Green” groups received 41% of this payback, with Earthjustice accounting for 30 percent ($4,655,425).  Two other organizations with histories of lobbying for regulations EPA wants while also receiving agency funding are the American Lung Association (ALA) and the Sierra Club.

In addition, the Department of Justice forked over at least $43 million of our money defending EPA in court between 1998 and 2010. This didn’t include money spent by EPA for their legal costs in connection with those rip-offs because EPA doesn’t keep track of their attorney’s time on a case-by-case basis.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has concluded that Sue and Settle rulemaking is responsible for many of EPA’s “most controversial, economically significant regulations that have plagued the business community for the past few years”. Included are regulations on power plants, refineries, mining operations, cement plants, chemical manufacturers, and a host of other industries. Such consent decree-based rulemaking enables EPA to argue to Congress: “The court made us do it.”

Directing special attention to these congressional end run practices, Louisiana Senator David Vitter, top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has launched an investigation. Last year he asked his Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell to join with AGs of 13 other states who filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking all correspondence between EPA and a list of 80 environmental, labor union and public interest organizations that have been party to litigation since the start of the Obama administration.

Other concerned and impacted parties have little influence over such court procedures and decisions. While the environmental group is given a seat at the table, outsiders who are most impacted are excluded, with no opportunity to object to the settlements. No public notice about the settlement is released until the agreement is filed in court…after the damage has been done.

In a letter to Caldwell, Senator Vitter wrote: “The collusion between federal bureaucrats and the organizations entering consent agreements under a shroud of secrecy represents the antithesis of a transparent government, and your participation in the FOIA request will help Louisianans understand the process by which these settlements were reached.”

Fewer citizens would challenge EPA’s regulatory determinations were it not for its lack of accountability and transparency in accomplishing through a renegade pattern of actions what they cannot achieve through democratic legislative processes.

A recent example sets unachievable CO2 emission limits for new power plants. As I reported in my January 14 column, a group within EPA’s own Science Advisory Board (SAB) determined that the studies upon which that regulation was based had never been responsibly peer reviewed, and that there was no evidence that those limits can be accomplished using available technology.

Compared with huge consequences of EPA’s regulatory war on coal, the fuel source that provides more than 40 percent of America’s electricity, a clamp-down on humble residential wood-burning stoves and future water heaters may seem to many people as a merely a trifling or  inconsequential matter. That is, unless it happens to significantly affect your personal life.

As a Washington Times editorial emphasized, the ban is of great concern to many families in cold remote off-grid locations. It noted, for example, that “Alaska’s 663,000 square miles is mostly forestland, offering residents and abundant source of affordable firewood. When county officials floated a plan to regulate the burning of wood, residents were understandably inflamed.”

Quoting Representative Tammie Wilson speaking to the Associated Press, the Times reported: “Everyone wants clean air. We just want to make sure that we can also heat our homes” Wilson continued: “Rather than fret over EPA’s computer – model – based warning about the dangers of inhaling soot from wood smoke, residents have more pressing concerns on their minds as the immediate risk of freezing when the mercury plunges.”

And speaking of theoretical computer model-based warnings, where’s that global warming when we really need it?


The matter, with all of its collateral implications, needs to be considered by anyone who does not wish to ultimately become a ward of the State. This kind of nonsense is particularly offensive during a winter such as we are having. These greenies, who are nothing more than useful idiots for the power brokers and who have likely never split a piece of firewood in their entire lives, continue to dance around these issues and to feed upon our country as if their scientific arguments had any sound basis whatsoever, and as if there will be an infinite supply of money. It is interesting that these so-called high minded people and their causes are also rife with graft, which has become the norm for every political procedure.

The principal organic question is, when we cannot practically garden, burn wood, have a job other than policing our neighbors and family, legally defend ourselves beyond the capacity of livestock, or travel without a chip under our skin, will there be, even then, a sufficient number of people left in the US to comprise a rebellion against, or other suitable emancipation from, such nation-killing stupidity? With propane above 5 bucks, diatribes about losing our grid, a winter that will not soon be forgotten, and an epic drought in our largest region for fruit and vegetable production, the reality disconnect of these people who propose such nonsense is unacceptable to those who split their firewood and are willing to defend their beloved country and countrymen. Perhaps a civil war is, in fact, the functional pretext intended by the brokers, but none of this may necessarily turn out as they, and their departure from reality and human decency, have planned.

Timothy B. Spencer

Well folks - the nut-cases in the Dirty City (Washington D.C.) have finally lost all sense of reality...  It is blatantly obviously and now an unarguable fact that these idiots are living in their own private little fantasy world.  This, next to the unconstitutional and unlawful plans to confiscate firearms, is the most hair-brained idea yet to come out of the administration.

Let's look at the reality of the situation...

  1. Few Rural Americans, to more likely none, will comply with these new rules - it seems ridiculous that the EPA really believes this is enforceable.
  2. What person in their right mind will let a family member freeze to death because some distant fascist bureaucrat says they can't build a fire.
  3. Somehow, I just don't imagine that even the EPA's SWAT Teams can really be effective in trying to keep people from trying to stay warm..  I know that I personally would much rather die warm and free than cold, shivering and on my knees...
  4. People will fight back!  If these scum-bags really try to stop people from keeping their families from freezing to death, there will most assuredly be at least some blood-shed.

Apparently, their plan is to fine us for trying to keep warm.  I say, fine away - I'm am not going to play their silly little administrative games.  However, if they try to charge me criminally for trying to keep my grand-babies from freezing, there is quite likely going to be a real serious problem for me, but I can assure the reader that it will be a problem for the goons from the EPA also.

I really don't think that I stand alone on this issue - but, I have been wrong before a few times in my life.  The idea of people quietly freezing  when there is a way to prevent such an undesirable and unfortunate happening just flat out does not make sense to me.

As far as their attempts at enforcement of these new administrative rules goes - how, exactly are they going to enforce them?  Yeah, I know, make it illegal to sell wood stoves that do not meet their ridiculous emissions standards.  Okay, fine, but any country tinkerer with half a brain can build a fully functional and efficient wood stove in just a few hours.  How are the thugs going to stop that?

Just as is occurring in Connecticut now with the prescribed  firearms registration, I really do not believe that the majority of the people in rural America are going to comply.  I certainly know that my family will not.  I have a very strong  feeling that you and your family won't either...

Free Wood Stove Plans on RS.i℠:

Hard Times? - It's a Gas!

I hope this article, will help you solve your gas problem! :)
I mean...... BioGas, and Wood Stove emissions gas, of course! What did you think I meant?! ;-)
My light-hearted apology, for the inference :). I have always found, dealing with hard times needs a laugh, instead of a scream!

My Solution for Hard Times:
We need to do what we can. We need to use what common sense we can. We need to be as smart as we can. We need to use what resources we have. We need to find a solution!
Did you notice, I did not say, 'We need to find a solution if we can?'. That is because there is always a solution!
Hard times are here, and unfortunately, there are more to come.
We have been told there is a propane shortage.
Oops! Sorry! Another one of those hard times laughs, just slipped out!
Shortage? Remember your history? Just before the SHTF (Stuff Hits The Fan), 'they' start hollering 'Shortage', and then comes more regulation!
For those who live in rural areas, this propane 'shortage', will be a real problem!
If that isn't bad enough, now 80% of wood burning stoves, cannot be used, because of their emissions!
More regulation! Country folk are in deep do-do!
That is a good thing though, because having deep do-do will make BioGas for you!
I am sure you are familiar with the saying, 'If you are given Lemons, make Lemonade!'. Well, how about a new SHTF saying? 'When in deep do-do, make BioGas!'. What do you think? Too dumb? :)
You know what I say about all the recent 'shortage' and banning that creates more hard times for us?

I say .............. Hard Times? - It's a Gas!
The gas I mean is BioGas (Methane), and Wood Gas!
There are solutions, to the new SHTF obstacles we face. The propane 'shortage', and wood smoke ban, are simply obstacles that have solutions!
As usual, I won't tell you what to do, and I won't do your research or work for you. What I will do, is make suggestions, and give you the information, you need, to use the resources, you have available.
If you have read my other articles, then you know what I am about to say. :)
Yep! You guessed it! You need to add some material, to your SHTF Survival Library! (See my other article Poor Man's Survival Library, to learn how to create one.)
You will need to add the subjects of, 'BioGas/Methane Digester', and 'Rocket Stove/Mass Heater' to your SHTF Survival Library!
You need to find the necessary files, then download like the Stuff is about to Hit The Fan, because it is! (Actually, the SHTF has already begun, so get to it!)
After you get all your new files downloaded, you will then have in your possession, the knowledge, to solve your gas problems! Sorry! Another giggle, just slipped out! :).
Seriously need the free PDF's!
These are easy to obtain, by using a search engine, then type in, 'biogas methane plan toilet link greenhouse walipini ferrocement diagram how to diy make homemade build pdf'
This will give you all that is needed, to not only build your own BioGas Digester, to use, in place of propane, but will give you plans for an underground greenhouse. In the greenhouse, is where your BioGas Digester should be, to mitigated a slow-down in gas production, due to our new, frigid winter norm!
You can also download free PDF's, giving detailed information, on how to make a BioGas Digester, from chicken wire and cement. Use those PDF's with the ferro-cement PDF's, to guide you through the process!
It will also give you information, on how to link a toilet, to your BioGas Digester! (Spoiler Alert!: A regular toilet won't work with your BioGas Digester. Sorry.). :(
To get the other free PDF's you need, the same is true of the Rocket Mass Heater. Go to your search engine, and type in 'rocket mass heater cook stove plan diagram how to diy make homemade build pdf'
A good, free Rocket/Mass Heater Stove PDF, mini manual, will give all the statistics, necessary, for the Rocket Mass Heater emissions. In a nutshell, Rocket Mass Heaters, are the answer, for future cooking and heating needs, as there is no wood smoke emitted! The built-in smoke converter uses all the wood smoke! There is even no smoke to smell, coming from the chimney! Exhaust is mostly hydrogen!
If you get these mini-manuals, put them in your SHTF Survival Library, they will speak for themselves. They will give you step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and material lists with many of the items needed being, what I call useful junk! (See my other article on 'Useful Junk or Just Crap?')
Yes, hard times are here! However, instead of letting these hard times, make us want to scream, let's have the last laugh!

I hope this helps you, and those you love!


Anonymous Ole Prepper

Editor's Note:

The reader may wish to download the following free PDFs from RS.i℠:℠ (Right-side navigation page SSI insertion)