Democratic Governor of California Gavin Newsom recently signed a bill that would effectively ban the sale of certain kinds of new common gas-powered machines as soon as 2024, including lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws.
As reported by The Sacramento Bee:
Assembly Bill 1346 directs the California Air Resources Board to phase out the sale of small off-road engines by 2024 or as soon as feasible, whichever comes later. The new law also directs the board to identify and make available, where feasible, funding for commercial rebates to go toward the purchase of electric equipment.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the legislation “requires all newly sold small-motor equipment primarily used for landscaping to be zero-emission – essentially to be battery-operated or plug-in.”
“New portable gas-powered generators also must be zero-emission by 2028, which also could be delayed at the discretion of the state agency,” the Times continued.
“The new law applies to any engine that produces less than 25 gross horsepower, including lawn mowers, weed trimmers, chain saws, golf carts, specialty vehicles, generators and pumps. It does not apply to on-road motor vehicles, off-road motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles or model airplanes, cars or boats,” the outlet added.
Those who are against the measure have said it will create more difficulty for people who work in the landscaping and gardening businesses.
State Senator Brian Dahle, a Republican from Bieber, spoke out against it, pointing to the power blackouts that have negatively impacted California.
Dahle said, “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.”
“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 Democratic Assemblyman Marc Berman, who authored the bill. “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.”
Machines that run on gasoline bought before the cutoff dates will still be permitted to be used, Berman reportedly said.
Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for the National Assn. of Landscape Professionals, reportedly said there are downsides to the new measure. Specifically, certain equipment that is zero-emission is much more expensive than gas-powered pieces of machinery. Bray also pointed out that people will need to transport an abundance of batteries during a day of work— with a crew of three people needing to bring 30 to 40 fully charged batteries with them.
“These companies are going to have to completely retrofit their entire workshops to be able to handle this massive change in voltage so they’re going to be charged every day,” Bray said.
Last year, Newsom signed an executive order that directs the state to require “all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles” by 2035.
California has increasingly become a difficult state for businesses to thrive resulting in several companies relocating to other states.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently announced he is moving his corporate headquarters out of California to Texas.
As reported by The Daily Wire, “The Tesla CEO made the announcement at the company’s annual stockholder meeting, which took place in Austin, Texas, at Tesla’s vehicle assembly plant, which is currently under construction.”
“Even though the company’s headquarters is moving from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Musk clarified that production will still be ramping up at Tesla’s California plant.”