Employees at the Edelbrock Carburetor Factory in Sanford, NC, were honored recently by a visit from US Representative Richard Hudson of North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District, referred to by many as the heart of race country. This was Congressman Hudson’s first visit to Edelbrock, however, he is no stranger to the automotive performance industry. In fact, he is one of our strongest allies in Washington DC, as well as one of the original supporters of the RPM Act.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the RPM Act, “RPM” stands for Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports; this is a bipartisan bill that was drafted in 2019 by US Representatives Patrick Henry of North Carolina and Paul Ortiz of California. The RPM Act must be enacted into law to guarantee our right to modify street cars, trucks and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles, and also to ensure that our industry can continue to offer the performance parts that enable racers to compete.
Congressman Hudson’s visit proved timely because less than one week after touring the Edelbrock Carburetor Factory, the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) released a news report about PFI Speed, a small speed shop in Colorado, that was hit with a fine of $18,000 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The fine was accompanied by a letter that threatened to increase the amount to $180,000 if not paid within 30 days. (Details about the shop and why they were fined are outlined in PRI’s story here.) This is exactly what the RPM Act is designed to prevent.
On a tour led by Edelbrock General Manager of East Operations Todd Belcher, Congressman Hudson was able to see first-hand how Edelbrock manufactures its AVS-2 and Performer carburetors, EFI throttle bodies, pumps, regulators and other components that come out of the Sanford factory.
“It’s important for us to have representatives who get involved,” said Belcher. “When someone from Washington makes a visit like this, it lets us know that they’re in it for the right reasons, not just to have a job in Washington.”
After the tour, Congressman Hudson talked with several Edelbrock employees and took the opportunity to share a recent discussion that he had with EPA administration about how one proposed EPA regulation could cause thousands of people in the automotive industry to lose their jobs and end the way of life for many enthusiasts who like to modify their cars and go racing with them. That discussion ended up with Hudson scoring a victory for us, getting the committee chairman to draft a letter in support of withdrawing that regulation.
Before ending the talk, Congressman Hudson went into detail about the significance of the RPM Act, and his visit to the Edelbrock facility served as a reminder to us all that we must not take the EPA’s overreach lightly. The aforementioned situation between PFI Speed and the EPA should serve as a crucial reminder for you to take action now before it’s too late. Reach out to your lawmakers and support the RPM Act. This is the most resolute action that you can take to protect the motorsports industry. Additional information about the RPM Act can be found here: SaveOurRaceCars.com.
“Congressman Hudson has been our biggest champion in congress, hands-down, for the past six years,” said Eric Snyder, Director of Congressional Affairs for SEMA. “We thank him for all he is doing to pass the RPM Act and defend the industry.” Not only is Eric responsible for coordinating the visit by Congressman Hudson, but he too is also very instrumental in making sure that Congress is in tune with the outside world and fighting the right causes for the automotive aftermarket industry.