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Contact: Jeff Butler 202-225-2576

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McHenry Introduces RPM Act
Bill introduced with 44 original cosponsors would permanently block EPA from regulating modified vehicles used for auto racing

Washington, January 9, 2017 - Last week, Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R, NC-10) introduced H.R. 350, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2016 or "RPM Act" which permanently blocks attempts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate modified motor vehicles used for racing. The bill was introduced with a bipartisan group of 44 original cosponsors. 

For decades, automotive enthusiasts have modified street vehicles into race cars used exclusively at closed race tracks. In early 2016, the EPA issued a proposed rule that would make it illegal for this practice to continue via the Clean Air Act even though Congress never intended for race cars to be subject to the Clean Air Act. While the proposed EPA regulation was withdrawn in April of 2016, the RPM Act would make permanent that race cars are exempt from EPA regulation via the Clean Air Act.

"Automobile racing plays an important role in our state, both as a significant part of our local economy and also as a pastime for many North Carolinians," said Congressman McHenry. "Last year I was proud to lead the fight against the misguided EPA regulation targeting racing, but our work is not done. 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." 

BACKGROUND: The Clean Air Act authorizes the EPA to regulate motor vehicles but these regulations have never applied to race cars.  In 1990, Congress affirmed this exemption when it authorized the EPA to regulate “non-road vehicles” and explicitly excluded any “vehicle used solely for competition” from the non-road definition.  Despite the clear intent of Congress, the EPA's previously proposed rule attempts to amend the Clean Air Act.  H.R. 350 simply confirms that it would not be considered tampering to modify these vehicles for exclusive track use. 
Converting a motor vehicle into a race car is a significant part of American automotive heritage with the practice having played a large role in the foundation of NASCAR.  Additionally, the specialty automotive industry employs over 1 million Americans. Companies that manufacture, distribute, and sell products that improve race vehicle performance are a large and growing part of our economy. 

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