Attempts to regulate family BBQs is an overreach of power, waste of tax dollars

Published 8:54 am Thursday, October 8, 2015

The barbecue is an outdoor tradition that families have enjoyed for generations.

Whether tailgating for a football game, hosting a backyard get-together or just grilling a summer meal, barbecues are a quintessentially American experience and an opportunity to eat and socialize with family and friends.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now thinks the backyard grill might pose a threat to public health.

Unfortunately, that’s not a joke. The EPA is actually looking into regulating the family barbecue.

The agency has funded a University of California-Riverside student project to develop preventive technology to reduce emissions from residential barbecues. The study could lead to federal regulations on personal grills and barbecues.

It’s a ridiculous idea, a tremendous overreach of government power and an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars.

That is why I joined my Senate colleagues to approve Senate Resolution 56 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 to officially oppose the study and the idea of new regulations.

The measures point out that cooking outdoors on a grill during the summer saves electricity and that in the face of annual budget deficits, surely the federal government can better use resources than on a study of grills and barbecues.

Our country is more than $18 trillion in debt, yet the administration continues to look into new ways to expand the size and scope of government into the lives of everyday Americans.

Efforts like this EPA-funded study are why people are so upset at their government. We have many profound federal issues that need to be addressed — having environmental regulators examining people’s backyard barbecues or grills at football tailgates is not one of them.

I supported these resolutions as a way for us to send a loud message to Washington: Hands off our grills, and quit wasting our money.


Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents Southwest Michigan.