California’s war on gas powered lawn equipment
California politicians like to approve laws banning things, so it is only natural to see Gov. Gavin Newsom sign a billbanning gasoline powered lawnmowers, leaf blowers and chainsaws by 2024.
It’s all for the planet’s sake, of course:
The law requires all newly sold small-motor equipment primarily used for landscaping to be zero-emission — essentially to be battery-operated or plug-in — by that target date or as soon as the California Air Resources Board determined it is feasible. New portable gas-powered generators also must be zero-emission by 2028, which also could be delayed at the discretion of the state agency.
Machinery with so-called small off-road engines also includes chain saws, weed trimmers and golf carts, all of which create as much smog-causing pollution in California as light-duty passenger cars, and reducing those emissions is pivotal to improving air quality and combating climate change, proponents of the law said.
“It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog-forming and climate-changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates,” said Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park), author of the legislation. “This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly.”
The 2028 ban on portable generators is particularly interesting, given the state’s blackout-prone electric grid:
In recent years, California has had widespread blackouts in the peak of the wildfire season when high winds sweep through the state, mostly because utilities are trying to prevent a downed power line from starting a blaze. Because of that, Sen. Brian Dahle (R-Bieber) said banning gas-powered generators makes no sense.
“This Legislature hates fuel, which is very sustainable. It’s easy to access. And when the power is off, you can still use it. You can still run a generator to keep your freezer going, to keep your medical devices going. But when your battery’s dead and there’s no power on, you have nothing,” Dahle said.
Berman said those concerns are being taken into account, and the law specifically requires the California Air Resources Board to adjust the restrictions on generators based on their “expected availability” of that equipment on the commercial and retail market.
No matter, the politicians have spoken, the bans are in place and the proles will obey. Now about your Gaia destroying gas grill…