Government Gas Detectors

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

[audio:QP – 4-8-09.mp3]

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Oregon legislators surely know that this recession has led to a slower housing market than most of us can remember. So why are some of them trying to dampen home sales even further?

House Bill 3450 would prohibit transferring the title to a single-family dwelling or multifamily housing that has a carbon monoxide source (i.e., a furnace or gas fireplace) unless the dwelling is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector.

An Oregonian editor just wrote about his personal experience of being poisoned by a faulty oil furnace, so he’s now arguing that this bill is a good idea.

He understands that some may see this as another nanny-state intrusion into our lives, but he clearly thinks it’s necessary and asks his readers to “go ahead and try to change [his] mind.”

He clearly has a very personal reason for wanting such a regulation, so I won’t try to change his mind. I’ll simply say that the cumulative effect of such regulations will be to make selling – or buying – a home harder and harder.

Also, personal responsibility is apparently a fragile thing, and I fear that the risk of ceding too much responsibility to the government is a worse danger than the gas that made him ill.

Don’t get me wrong; I not only have a carbon monoxide detector in my home, but a radon detector as well. Are they good ideas? Of course. Should the state mandate that no home can be sold without them? No way.

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