Phew! The backyard barbecue grill is safe from the Environmental Protection Agency for another year.

"Enough is enough," North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson told the House last week in urging approval of his amendment to handcuff the EPA.

Without notice, the agency recently announced a grant to study ways to prevent gas grills from polluting the air. At issue are the emissions resulting from grease drippings. The hope was that a filtration system could be developed.

The University of California, which received the $15,000 project, said it had the "potential for global application."

The EPA said it doesn't have plans to regulate grills. "Let me be very clear: the agency is not regulating backyard barbecues. The grant was given to student researchers at the University of California Riverside who are participating in a design competition for sustainability, similar to a student science fair. The competition helps inspire the next generation of innovators and scientists, and brings technology and science into the marketplace. The market would decide if this technology is used," said a spokeswoman.

Hudson, however, said, "The EPA gets a lot of things wrong, especially with this preposterous study. For one thing, 'barbecue' is a term us Southerners use to talk about the best pork in North Carolina or a community pig picking," the Republican told the House.

He heralds from Concord, N.C., home to several BBQ restaurants including the acclaimed chain Jim 'n Nicks.

"What they're proposing is reducing emissions from residential propane grills, which means they want to stop you and I from grilling outside on our own property. By the way, propane is one of the most clean and efficient sources of energy out there."

He didn't hear any argument, and his amendment to the EPA funding bill was approved unanimously.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at