For those who do not remember the EPA’s attempt to make racing illegal for the average person, it almost went undetected but for the watchful eyes of SEMA’s legislative oversight branch and their watchful eye. Unfortunately, that battle is not yet over.
During a interview with Chris Kersting, President and CEO of SEMA, he explained that the EPA interpreted an existing law and declared that modifying a street car for the purpose of racing is now illegal. Of course, this did not sit well with anyone who enjoys motorsports or participates in racing, so SEMA stepped in with the RPM Act.
After decades of having the freedom to modify street cars for racing, this interpretation by the EPA threatened much more than America’s love for racing, it threatened the entire aftermarket industry. This interpretation by the EPA impacted racers, shops, tracks, manufacturers, and others whose livelihood could be legislated out of existence.
SEMA and the SEMA Action Network (SAN) quickly got behind the movement to stop this nonsensical action by the EPA through the development of the RPM Act. This act is designed to ensure American’s right to continue to modify their street cars for the purpose of racing just as they have for decades.
SEMA proposed this piece of legislation in 2016, but due the time constraints in the election year, it did not make it all the way through. Thanks to SEMA’s letter writing campaign and support from the motorsports community, the bill gained garnered bipartisan support in Congress. However, SEMA is again faced with getting the RPM Act through in 2017.
Currently, the bill was reintroduced in January of 2017 and again has bipartisan support. However, it is important that the motorsports community continue their efforts to ensure American’s right to build and race cars. According to Juan Torres, a Media Relations Specialist with SEMA Performance Racing Industry, the bills has 80 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 16 in the Senate.
Even with the current support in both houses, it is important to continue the letter writing efforts. For those who wrote a letter in 2016, SEMA would like to thank you for your efforts and encourages supporters to write again in 2017. For those interested in supporting the RPM Act, SEMA has the same easy to use form on their website.