Rep. Reed’s Wood Stove Concerns vs Facts

Rep. Tom Reed, in his weekly “Update” of April 17, tells of his “concerns over an unfair EPA (proposed) Rule”:

We’ve heard from constituents about the EPA’s proposed rule that would increase costs for New Yorkers who heat their wood stovehomes and businesses with wood stoves. That’s why we’re pressing the agency to find an approach that cares for families and doesn’t place an additional hardship on home and business owners. It’s unfair to target families and businesses that rely on wood stoves to heat their homes. For many in our community, this is an affordable, renewable energy source that is a cost-effective alternative to some of the more costly fuels.

I wish he had explained what was “unfair”  about the the rule the Environmental Protection Agency proposed. I assumed that the link would take us to a site that explained the proposal, but it takes the reader to Reed’s Press Release about the EPA Rule. It explains that we had a cold winter, and that the proposed changes are unfair and would increase this cost of heating our houses with wood. That is as far as he went, no facts, no details.  Like Big Brother, he wants us to trust him. 

Here are the facts (from a FOX News article) that Rep. Reed decided not to tell us:

  • The proposed rule will have the manufacturers tighten emission requirements on wood burning stoves and boilers. It will reduce emissions by approximately 80%.
  • The manufacturers will have 5 years to develop the more efficient stoves.
  • The requirements will be on new stoves only. The present stoves will not be changed.
  • No one will be required to replace their present wood stoves, although the new, improved stoves will be the only ones sold beginning in 2020.
  • Presently it is estimated that 13% of our soot pollution comes from inefficient wood  stoves/boilers.
  • The current Wood Stove emission regulations are from 1988—more than 25 years ago. Innovated designers, technology, and new materials can increase the efficiency of the stoves.
  • Benefits: “For every dollar spent to comply with the new standards, the EPA says, Americans will see between $118 and $267 in health benefits — eventually adding up to $1.8 to $2.4 billion in annual health and economic benefits. In other words, for every dollar spent to comply, America will see fewer heart attacks, strokes, and asthma attacks — and less CO2, methane and black carbon emissions.”

One would think that a more efficient wood stove would use less wood, and money, to heat our houses.

This Update, and corresponding Press Release are example of our congressman giving us his conclusions without giving us the facts. He wants to have the us believe he is concerned about our well-being, but in reality he is protecting the manufacturers’ profits.

Would our congressman vote for any regulation? Probably not. Look at  The League of Conservation Voters information about Rep. Reed. They have given him a lifetime rating of 7%, including the lowest rating of any NYS congressperson in 2013.

I need to note that the Friday, April 18 edition of The Lansing Star ( and maybe other district papers) had a “News Article” titled, “Reed Challenges New Wood Stove Requirements“. The careful reader will see that it was “written by the office of Rep. Tom Reed”. The purpose of this article, in the guise of news, is to give the readers self-serving misinformation. It states that this proposal would “drastically change requirements on new wood heaters, causing families who heat their homes with wood stoves to see a significant increase in heating costs.” An obvious attempt to scare the residents of our district. 

You cannot improve the situation if you continuously misrepresent the facts. We need to have a representative who embraces the possibility to improve the lives of the residents of the NY 23rd.  We will have that opportunity in November at the election booths.


About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
This entry was posted in 2014, Constituents, Environmental, Reed's Views and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to Rep. Reed’s Wood Stove Concerns vs Facts

  1. Anne says:

    As always, it’s Tom vs. the Truth. I’m a little surprised the EPA hasn’t slapped an emissions requirement on him, given his chronic pants-on-fire status.


  2. whungerford says:

    Tom must have heard that inefficient wood stoves are a health hazard. It must be that he doesn’t believe it or else he doesn’t care about our health.


  3. josephurban says:

    Seems to be a real trend with this particular Congressman. Makes it very difficult to take any of his literature seriously.


  4. Barbara Griffin says:

    Many families use wood stoves as supplementary heat to reduce the use and cost of heating with oil, gas, and electricity. Tom is a fossil fuel man. If he supported the use of more efficient wood stoves, it might cut into the fossil fuel profits…the industry that provides him with much of his campaign financing. I have yet to see him support clean energy.


  5. BOB McGILL says:

    did you get this line from me ?
    ” You cannot improve the situation if you continuously misrepresents the facts. ”
    there should be no S at the end of ” misrepresent ”
    Let me remind you that you people ” misrepresent the facts ALL THE TIME !


  6. whungerford says:

    According to the EPA, a modern, efficient wood stove would use 1/3 the wood for the same heat as an older, inefficient stove.


  7. BOB McGILL says:

    “This is but another example of the 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,” Forbes reported.

    William Yeatman, a senior fellow with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Newsmax: “EPA engages in sweetheart litigation in order to cede its regulatory initiative to green special interests like the Sierra Club.

    “Virtually all of EPA’s air quality regulations were prompted by such sue-and-settle litigation, the occurrence of which has exploded since President Obama assumed the Oval Office,” Yeatman said, adding that the wood-burning stove regulation “is only the latest example of policy-making


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    The EPA “has targeted oil, gas, coal, and nuclear with needless regulations,” Yeatman said. “Now the agency is going after wood — a biofuel.”

    Pressure from the federal government is contributing to states seeking further restrictions on wood-burning stoves, Alaska state Rep. Tammie Wilson said.


  9. Anne says:

    There are also already standards in place; tightening them seems like it should help not only people’s health and their bank balances but also problems such as air inversions which plague certain areas of the country at certain times of the year. In addition, several states already have regulations addressing the question of air pollution v. wood stoves:


  10. josephurban says:

    I burn wood. More efficient stoves would end up saving money since less wood will be needed produce the save amount of heat. Common sense. If you want to see deregulation at it’s best…take a long look at the coal ash dumps in North Carolina. Without federal oversight the state of NC has allowed Duke Energy to destroy water supplies with coal ash dumps. Who do you suppose will end up paying for the cleanup? …..


  11. whungerford says:

    I was impressed with the claim of health care savings of more than $100 for each dollar spent on efficient stoves. I can believe it as my asthma related health care costs have been substantial. I had no asthma issues before moving to NYS.


  12. Matthew says:

    Wood smoke is highly poisonous. It is cardiotoxic and carcinogenic. It causes stroke, heart attacks, lung cancer, asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (Yes wood smoke kills babies) It also causes blood cancers. 30,000 Americans die each year due to wood smoke pollution. Wood smoke pollutes our towns and cities. It causes soot which worsens global warming. Basically if you are ignorant of the damage and cost to the community (billions in annual health costs at about $2000 per heater per year) then you are a danger to the community yourself. ALL WOOD BURNING SHOULD BE BANNED. Manufacturers have a long history of promising cleaner heaters and then not delivering. Heaters that test “clean” in the laboratory (although the “clean” level in testing is about a thousand times dirtier than any safe level) are filthy in real world use. Having a wood burner installed near your home can completely destroy your enjoyment of your own house and moving away from your house to avoid the smoke is quite a common experience.

    There are better ways to heat your homes that don’t sicken, kill and annoy your neighbors. Yes Tom Reed is an idiot, but so is anyone who burns wood at all.


  13. John Ackerly says:

    Thanks for this analysis of Tom Reed’s letter to the EPA. Industry has been working with many far right Republicans and Tea Party representatives to put pressure on the EPA. These regulations will be great for the consumer. They result in higher efficiency stoves and boilers, saving people far more in fuel than any small increase in purchase price – just like all HVAC products. But they will also require manufacturers to be transparent about what their actual efficiencies are, and what other test results are. Most of the big stove manufacturers refuse to give consumers information about efficiency, and they want to keep it that way. If we want wood and pellet heating to grow in the US, as my group does, we need these regulations to clean up the technology and get it more efficient.

    John Ackerly
    Alliance for Green Heat


  14. pystew says:

    Thanks, John for the information.

    Here are links for Alliance for Green Heat


  15. BOB McGILL says:

    Why do you keep using these guys ? ” The League of Conservation Voters “, is controled by the Democrats


  16. BOB McGILL says:

    one of pystew’s links states that gas is a lot cleaner than wood. 🙂


  17. BOB McGILL says:

    Europe Slashing Renewable Subsidies
    By Institute for Energy Research (Bio and Archives) Wednesday, April 9, 2014
    Comments at bottom of page | Print friendly | Subscribe | Email Us

    For years, Europe has claimed to be at the forefront in instituting policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to comply with the Kyoto Protocol. As part of that, Europe has been at the forefront of setting mandates for wind and solar generation coupled with hefty renewable subsidies as enticements. The Europeans have found that these subsidies have grown too large, are hurting their economies, and as a result are now slashing the subsidies. In fact, the costs have become so enormous that governments in European countries are unilaterally rewriting their contracts with renewable generating firms and reneging on the generous deals they initially provided. Spain, for example, ended its feed-in-tariff, which guaranteed an extremely high price for renewable power, replacing it with a much lower subsidy or in some cases no subsidy. Spain is reeling from unanticipated cost hikes and has not been able to recoup $41 billion that it provided to renewable generators since 2000


  18. BOB McGILL says:

    Unfortunately, Germany has some of the highest costs of electricity in Europe, making its consumers energy poor.The poor suffer disproportionately from higher energy costs because they spend a higher percentage of their income on energy. As many as 800,000 Germans have had their power cut off because of an inability to pay for rising energy costs, including 200,000 of Germany’s long-term unemployed. Coal consumption in Germany in 2012 was the highest it has been since 2008, and electricity from brown coal in 2013 reached the highest level since 1990, when East Germany’s Soviet-era coal plants began to be shut down. German electricity generation from coal increased to compensate for the loss of the hastily shuttered nuclear facilities. Germany is now building new coal capacity at a rapid rate, approving 10 new coal plants to come on line within the next 2 years to deal with expensive natural gas generation and the high costs and unreliability of renewable energy.

    Did you get this part ? ” unreliability of renewable energy. ”
    You Democrats keep saying we should follow Eurpoes lead, when we should be learning from Eurpoes mistakes !!!!!!!!


  19. pystew says:

    Do you think that Rep. Reed realizes that burning wood is dirty? If he does, why is he supporting it?


  20. whungerford says:

    The above was published by the Institute for Energy Research, a Koch funded non-profit with links to ALEC.


  21. josephurban says:

    There is plenty of industry funded research to support just about any fuel. Be wary and consider the sources. And, of course, economics always plays a role in the sense of what can people afford to use. Biomass, coal, gas, oil are all contributing to climate change. No doubt. Even the “cleanest” are dirty. (My mudhole is cleaner than your mudhole !) Solar, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear and geothermal seem to be the least polluting. All of these energy sources (with the possible exception of old Sol) have a number of associated problems. Cost, delivery systems, locality and long term disposal of waste among others. Keep in mind that the US has and continues to invest heavily in oil and gas. This has been done by the government “picking winners” through tax breaks, cheap leases, infrastructure investment, etc. So, let us not pretend that government has sat back and allowed a “free market” to determine price. That is an illusion. If anything, we should be investing in research to develop more efficient systems of extraction and delivery, keeping in mind that there are potential environmental issues that are very costly (polluted water being the main one).The long term answer is in solar, wind and geothermal, in my opinion. Investing in the research and development in these relatively non-polluting energy resources would be the smart thing to do. But the fossil fuel industry holds quite a bit of political power and will not easily relinquish their government subsidies.


  22. pystew says:

    “New York state adopted regulations in April 2011 to require all new wood-fired boilers sold in the state to burn at least 90 percent cleaner than older models. ” ( Why is Reed even bringing this up? This really isn’t 1984.


  23. BOB McGILL says:

    how come you’re not picking on this guy ? Fellow New York Rep. Bill Owens (D-NY21) joined Reed on the letter.

    Read more:


  24. BOB McGILL says:

    read your post again 🙂


  25. BOB McGILL says:

    I think what Tom is trying to say is, ” if you make the new stoves more expensive, you will make burning wood less of an option and fewer people will be able to use it ! “


  26. BOB McGILL says:

    saving people far more in fuel than any small increase in purchase price – ? It seems to me that people wanting to go thru all the work of burning wood don’t have a lot of money. EXACTLY HOW MUCH IS THE ” SMALL INCREASE ” in the price ?


  27. BOB McGILL says:

    Thank you for correcting me, I thought the EPA brought it up ! 🙂


  28. BOB McGILL says:

    Gas is clean energy !


  29. BOB McGILL says:

    and all this time I was under the impression that ” government subsidies ” were meant to keep prices down for the consumer, kind of like the FARM BILL.


  30. josephurban says:

    Oh, Bill. You know better than that. Government subsidies come from the taxes. Which I think is fine. But then again, I don’t pretend to support a “free market” economy. The reality is that we have a corporate welfare economy posing as a “free market” economy. The US has long supported the fossil fuel industry. Time to recognize that times have changed. Time to give taxpayer support other, cleaner energy sources as we slowly phase out of fossil fuels.


  31. BOB McGILL says:

    Did you ever think that if wood stoves get too expensive that people will just go back to making their own stoves ? Personally, I have made dozens.‎Cached
    Oct 18, 2013 … You must be thinking how to build best wood burning stove and heater at …
    assemble these parts and make a diy cheap wood burning stove.


  32. BOB McGILL says:‎CachedSimilar
    DIY wood-burning stoves are usually based on an old 55-gallon drums. … to
    make the stove as airtight and efficient as any $2500 woodburner


  33. BOB McGILL says:

    I have neighbors that burn wood and when there is no wind, you can’t stand to be outdoors. There are times when you can’t even see down the road.


  34. josephurban says:

    What this article about Germany fails to mention are a few important points. The only reason Germany has decided (in the short term) to build more coal plants was because they shut down all their nuclear plants after the Japanese incident. There is no long term commitment to return to fossil fuel use. It is a stop gap measure. A second point not mentioned in the article is that while the increase in energy coats (due to the shut down of the nuke plants) is hitting the poor hard, the same watchdog group that cited the 600-800,000 Germans losing electricity has called for subsidies for these folks since the industries are already subsidized. A third point forgotten by the article is that Germany (and the rest of Europe) remains committed to solar,wind and other non-fossil fuel technologies. In fact, according to Bloomberg Energy Finance, the actual cost of solar has dropped by 20% as the technology has improved. That is probably why the fossil fuel industry is running scared. Clean energy technologies are reaching the point of being competitive! They are the future and future is fast becoming NOW.


  35. BOB McGILL says:…energy…renewables/production-tax-credit- for.html‎CachedSimilar
    Jan 31, 2014 … The Production Tax Credit (PTC) is a federal incentive that provides financial
    support for the first ten years of a renewable energy facility’s …


  36. BOB McGILL says:…/2012/12/…green-energy-scam…/full‎CachedSimilar
    Dec 27, 2012 … Have you seen the latest development in President Obama’s waste-ridden, clean
    energy program that’s now under federal investigation at the …


  37. BOB McGILL says:

    WASHINGTON – Have you seen the latest development in President Obama’s waste-ridden, clean energy program that’s now under federal investigation at the U.S. Treasury Department?
    Three of the country’s biggest residential solar panel installers — SolarCity, SunRun and Sungevity — have been subpoenaed by Treasury’s Office of Inspector General for their financial records to determine if they had inflated the market value of their costs when they applied for federal reimbursement.

    The firms have reportedly received more than $500 million in federal grants and tax credits. Officials in two of them, Solar-City and SunRun, have been among some of Obama’s most generous campaign donors.

    The money these companies tapped into flowed from a $13 billion investment fund in Treasury that came from the president’s economic stimulus program which has poured huge sums of money into clean energy programs across the country.

    Obama has sunk billions of tax dollars into a scandal-ridden swamp of other energy deals that were crafted and promoted by administration business cronies who also were among his biggest fundraisers.

    After an exhaustive analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal e-mails about Obama’s green-technology spending program, the Washington Post concluded that it was “infused with politics” at every level of the decision-making process. Political considerations dominated the White House’s deal-making and all too often overruled warnings that billions of tax dollars would be lost on shaky energy projects that should never have been approved.


  38. pystew says:

    Bob, wouldn’t that mean that we should have more efficient wood stoves? 🙂


  39. josephurban says:

    Thanks for the news. I was not aware that any government sponsored programs ever had cost overruns. It certainly never happens with military appropriations….oops.. the F-35 fighter plane which came in 7 years late and $163 BILLION over budget. …oops. Hmmmm…$500,000,000 in tax credits vs $163,000,000,000 in cost overruns…


  40. BOB McGILL says:

    but the people WITH OLD STOVES don’t have to replace them, REMEMBER. Only the “well off ” will be buying the new ones, the rest will just find a way around the law.


  41. BOB McGILL says:

    just look and see who is involved in the clean energy technologies, THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY. BP for one.


  42. BOB McGILL says:

    This doesn’t say anything about cost over-runs ! 🙂


  43. josephurban says:

    The article you pasted (from Dave Lambro, World News, 2012….you really SHOULD give credit ) talks about “millions” being “lost” on shaky government clean energy projects. Yet is silent about the “billions” lost every year on “shaky” government defense industry contracts. The article is also silent on the fact that the bankruptcy rate for companies getting federal LOANS for green energy was only 4 %. . Strangely silent.


  44. careofny says:

    Pystew and others on this blog. have you seen the PBS program insight. There are 2 programs dedicated to this issue with both sides interviewed. Rep Reed is a criminal for his comments of not knowing the whole story. There is a movement to look in to this as a criminal case by law enforcement. Wood boilers have brought this all about! Here are the two links


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