Sunday, February 23, 2014

THE 2%

I will never be one of the one percent, but according to an article sent to me by Scapegoat George, I am one of the two percent. This is what the U.S. government figures is the amount of people who use the burning of wood as their primary heat source. Getting home too late from another Indian casino run last night and not having any kindling, I was forced to turn on the gas, and let the stove go completely cold. Anyone who heats by wood knows what this can lead to this time of year- stove pipe clog. I just spent the last hour trying to get the fire started and breathing lungs full of smoke. Finally I was forced to break up and burn the crude little shelf I had made to hold my VCR. If that hadn't worked I would've started breaking up furniture. Temps are going down again tonight. Minus zero is predicted by the weekend. I don't have a choice in the matter. I got plenty of chairs.
   Now comes word that the government wants to send EPA officials out into the sticks to regulate our stoves and wood furnaces. You got to be kidding me! In the middle of one of the coldest winters in memory, politicians want to tell the hillbilly nation they can't run their stoves? The primary target of their regulations is outdoor wood burning furnaces. Now, I admit that one of these in a trailer park could be a nasty polluter. But in wide open country you just have to raise the stack. But it's a short slippery slope before they start knocking on doors if they see smoke. Pretty soon "Smokey" may take on another meaning. My pot is still illegal. The clip on my pistol may or may not break the law (try getting a straight answer to this one) and now if the cops see smoke they may break your door down and dowse your fire.
   A spokesman for the wood burning stove industry admits that no stove will pass new proposed regulations. And if they do they would be cost prohibitive. How wrong headed can a government get? Most people cannot afford complete reliance on electric, propane, natural gas or oil to heat their homes in a hard winter. Burning wood is hard, dirty and not that cheap, if you buy cords. But it is still cheaper than fossil fuel and pretty efficient, even in an under insulated shack. It saves us 2 percenters from freezing to death. Hopefully the rural backlash will get the US out of our business of burning. If it doesn't there will be one more law I'll be breaking. Big deal. 'Til they pry my lighter from my cold dead hands.....        


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