Business Interests Back Bill to Shield Wood Stove Makers

June 3, 2015

Business interests are backing a GOP bill that would protect wood stove manufacturers from tougher federal air pollution standards.

The federal Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish regulations called new source performance standards to limit certain types of air pollution that endanger public health. The EPA first established these pollution rules for wood stoves in 1988 and revised them in 2014. But the act also allows the EPA to give states the option to implement the updated, stricter wood stove pollution rules.

The measure, sponsored by Rep. David Craig, of Big Bend, and Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, would prohibit the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), without legislative approval, from creating new state rules or enforcing new federal pollution regulations on residential and commercial wood stoves that are tougher than the present DNR rules created in 1990.

The bill is backed by the National Federation of Independent Business. Business interests contributed just over $1 million to current legislators between January 2011 and December 2014, and about $878,000, or 84 percent, of those contributions went to Republican legislators. The GOP controls the Assembly by a margin of 63-36 and the Senate by a margin of 19-14.

Lasee accepted $10,900 from business interests between January 2011 and December 2014, including $1,500 from Howard Kamerer, of Greenville, president of WOW Logistics, and his wife, Laura; $1,500 from Joe Jacobson, of Appleton, owner of Amusement Devices; and $1,000 from Thomas Kuber, of Menominee, owner of K&K Warehousing.

Craig accepted $3,320 from business interests between January 2011 and December 2014, including $1,600 from Timothy Johnson, of Hales Corners, a Heritage Funeral Home partner, and his wife, Patricia; $450 from Rick Petfalski, of Muskego, a Burton & Mayer printing company employee; and $350 from Steve Whittow, of Muskego, owner of Whittow’s Tree Service.