LEGISLATIVE AND TECHNICAL AFFAIRS
Law and Order
Wisconsin Emissions: Legislation has been introduced in the Wisconsin Assembly to provide an emissions-testing exemption for vehicles that are at least 10 model years old. The SEMA-supported bill has been referred to the Transportation Committee. Under current law, the emissions-test exemption for older cars is restricted to ’95 and earlier vehicles.
House Committee Approves RPM Act: The U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee approved the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act with a bipartisan vote of 33–20. The bill is now eligible for consideration on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. In the U.S. Senate, SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting testified in November before the Environment and Public Works’ (EPW) Clean Air Subcommittee. The bill is now pending before the Senate EPW Committee. The RPM Act clarifies that it is legal under federal law to manufacture, sell, distribute and install race parts that modify the emissions system of a motor vehicle that is used solely for racing. More than 175 members of Congress have co-sponsored the legislation. While significant progress has been achieved, racers, fans and the industry must keep the pressure on their members of Congress to get the RPM Act over the finish line. To contact your lawmakers, visit www.sema.org/rpm.
National Monuments: President Trump signed proclamations decreasing the size of two Utah-based national monuments by more than 2 million acres. The President’s action reduces the borders of the Bears Ears National Monument, which was created in the final days of President Obama’s term, from 1.35 million acres to 202,000 acres. The proclamation also slashed the size of the 1.9-million-acre Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument, which dates back to 1996, to just over 1 million acres. U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke also announced plans to make changes to the boundaries of the Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, the Castle Mountains National Monument in California, and the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument along the border of Oregon and California.
President Trump’s proclamations are subject to court review on whether boundaries can be significantly scaled back once having been designated. The 110-year-old Antiquities Act provides the president authority to preserve land with significant natural, cultural or scientific features. It has resulted in hundreds of millions of acres being set aside over the decades, leading many to question whether the footprints are larger than necessary. The issue is consequential for off-road recreation enthusiasts since national monuments automatically prohibit new roads or trails for motorized vehicles and require a new land-management plan be drafted that could lead to more road closures. SEMA supports legislation in the U.S. Congress to curtail the president’s power to unilaterally designate national monuments by requiring their approval by Congress and the impacted state legislature(s).