Bill to Protect Motorsports Reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
Washington D.C.—Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has submitted the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act for re-introduction in the 115th Congress and its official introduction. The RPM Act was originally introduced by Rep. McHenry last March in response to a July 2015 EPA rulemaking on greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty engines and vehicles.
A provision in the rulemaking concerned auto racing hobbyists and related industries by declaring that “[c]ertified motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines and their emission control devices must remain in their certified configuration even if they are used solely for competition or if they become non-road vehicles or engines; anyone modifying a certified motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine for any reason is subject to the tampering and defeat device prohibitions.”
The declaration would have criminalized a large percentage of auto racing enthusiasts. EPA did eventually remove the provision from the rulemaking, but maintains that it has the authority to enforce it statutorily. The RPM Act amends the Clean Air Act to clearly state that a motor vehicle permanently converted to racing and used solely in competition would not be a violation of the law.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., the original Senate sponsor in the 114th Congress, will likely reintroduce a Senate version of the act in the near future.
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting praised Rep. McHenry and his colleagues for reintroducing H.R. 350.
“SEMA looks forward to working with Congress to enact the RPM Act and make permanent the Clean Air Act’s original intention that race vehicle conversions are legal,” Kersting said. “We thank Rep. McHenry and all the cosponsors for reintroducing a bill that will protect businesses that produce, install and sell the parts that enable racers to compete.”
When the RPM Act was first introduced in 2016, racing enthusiasts and Americans working in the motorsports parts industry sent Congress nearly 200,000 letters in support of the bill. More than one-fourth of the U.S. House of Representatives joined as bill co-sponsors as a result. However, the shortened election year schedule did not permit sufficient time for passage of the bill by the previous Congress.
“Last year, I was proud to lead the fight against the misguided EPA regulation targeting racing, but our work is not done,” Rep. McHenry said. “In the coming months, I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new Administration to ensure the RPM Act becomes law.”
Motorsports competition involves tens of thousands of participants and vehicle owners each year, both amateur and professional. Retail sales of racing products make up a $1.4 billion market annually. There are an estimated 1,300 racetracks operating across the U.S., including oval, road, track and off-road racetracks, the majority of which feature converted race vehicles that the EPA now considers to be illegal.
“Upon introduction of the Senate version of the RPM Act, we will call on racing enthusiasts throughout the U.S. to contact their members of Congress to request support for the bill,” Kersting added. “Stay tuned for updates on how you can get involved.”