If you have been following the news about the EPA trying to shut down racers from turning street cars into racecars, then you are probably aware what is at stake here. Thanks to the folks at SEMA and its powerful lobby, they have been effective in making our voices heard in Washington, but is it enough? The EPA recently announced that it has changed the language so it won’t effect racers turning street cars into non-street-legal racecars. While the EPA may have backed off this time, who is to say they won’t come back and try it again from some other angle?
Racing and performance is a multi-billion dollar industry, but with the recent “dieselgate” stuck in the EPA’s craw, having a strong aftermarket industry with diehard consumers may not be enough to satisfy the EPA’s need for blood. Perhaps instead of making an example of us because we race and build performance vehicles, government(s) should hold manufacturers like VW and now even Mitsubishi more accountable.
While race vehicles often start out as street vehicles, they do not make up large enough numbers to significantly affect whether we have clean air or not, and the industry has been exempt for years until this point. Now the EPA says they have always had the authority to regulate race cars. This is the loophole that needs to be closed in this writer’s opinion.
SEMA has already begun a petition to “protect motorsports” through its RPM act. We urge you to visit the site and make your voice count. See SEMA’s latest stance on the subject below:
CONFUSION REIGNS: Racing Industry, Community Call for Clarifying Congressional Action Following Latest EPA Action
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2016) – A recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision has done little to protect the future of American motorsports and the racing industry. Despite Friday’s announcement, the EPA continues to claim that it has the authority to regulate street cars modified exclusively for the track. The racing industry cannot live with this doubt and uncertainty. The Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act is the only solution that would make it clear now and in the future that the law allows emissions-certified street vehicles to be modified and converted for competition use.
In case you missed it, here’s SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting’s reaction the latest EPA action: “We want to thank Congress for pushing EPA to withdraw an ill-conceived proposal. However, confusion reigns: the agency continues to assert new-found authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate modification of vehicles for use in competition. This means that those converting and racing competition vehicles, and the parts and services industries that support them, do so under new EPA policy that considers the activity illegal. Only clarifying legislation, such as that offered under the RPM Act, will confirm that such activity is legal and beyond the reach of future EPA regulations. The racing industry and public need a long-term solution to eliminate any uncertainty regarding how the Clean Air Act is interpreted.”
Race fans and industry stakeholders can support the RPM Act by visiting www.sema.org/rpm. Additionally, we would like to hear your feedback in the comment section below.