Tennessee General Assembly fights to end vehicle emissions tests—a victory for Tennessee taxpayers
Tennessee residents in Rutherford, Hamilton, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties no longer will have to complete emissions tests on their vehicles, starting Jan. 14. Davidson County leaders voted in 2018 to continue the testing.
The emissions change came after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved changes to Tennessee’s air quality plan.
The Tennessee General Assembly led by Rep. Carter, a Republican of Ooltewah passed a bill in 2018 that eliminated vehicle emissions testing in the state 120 calendar days following EPA approval. In February 2020, the state submitted to EPA its revision to the state’s air quality plan requesting removal of the vehicle emissions testing program.
Sadly, Rep. Mike Carter lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on May 15th.
“Mike lost his battle with Pancreatic Cancer late last night, surrounded by his family. We’ll miss him very much. We appreciate your prayers during this difficult time,” the family said.
Mike Carter, a Republican of Ooltewah, who was 67 had served in the Tennessee House since 2013. Mike had previously served as a general sessions judge in Hamilton County from 1997 to 2005.
Carter, was a businessman and an attorney who served as a Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge from 1997 to 2005.
Carter received his B.S. in Pre-Law from Middle Tennessee State University in 1975 and received his J.D. from the University of Memphis in 1978.
He was first elected to the State House in 2012, and was re-elected for a fifth two-year term last November and had no political opposition.
Last summer of 2020, Carter was hospitalized with COVID-19, and while recovering from that illness, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Carter continued to serve in the state legislature until his condition worsened.
Governor Bill Lee tweeted about Carter’s passing the morning after his passing by saying, “I will miss Mike Carter who was a leader, friend and brother in Christ. Maria and I pray for the Carter family and we give thanks for his life.
“It is with great sadness that our friend and colleague Chairman Mike Carter has left this life, but it is with great comfort that he was a man of faith and now has God’s greatest gift – eternal life,” House Speaker Cameron Sexton said in a social media post. “Chairman Carter was an effective and dedicated public servant. His love of service to his community and to Tennessee was surpassed only by his love for God.”
The Smyrna Vehicle Emissions Town Hall Event
In June of 2018 Carter and I organized a Vehicle Emissions Town Hall in Smyrna. The vehicle emissions testing has been a huge issue for Smyrna, La Vergne, Murfreesboro and Rutherford County residents.
There are thousands of stories of resident’s vehicles that fail emissions and the OBD code has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of emittance from the exhaust pipe.
Serving in politics for close to 20 years I have seen ‘the Good, the Bad and often the Ugly’ in public servants. I hate to break the news to you–but not everyone in politics have a servant’s heart.
Mike Carter was a true public servant. He had a Christlike attitude for his fellow man and he was a voice for those who often didn’t have a voice.
Case in point, at our emissions town hall event in Smyrna, Carter shared the story of a lady who had purchased a company (I think is was an air-conditioning and heating company). Carter explains that the lady had called him and stated, “I’m sure I’m inconveniencing you, but this is my livelihood. I purchased this company with 4 Ford vans and they won’t pass emissions due to the check engine light coming on. The check engine codes have nothing to do with clean air. I can’t operate my business without my vans. The repairs are estimated to cost around $1400 per van.”
As Mike Carter is sharing the story with the crowd of around 30 people he became emotional due to the lady’s plight. Carter, no doubt cared about his fellow man.
If our country had more leaders like Carter this world we all call home would be a much better place. I’m reminded of the scripture in Matthew 25 verse 21, “His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.”