There was a collective sigh and eye rolls recently when it was announced that the governor had signed a law banning mowers, generators and other gasoline-powered equipment.
Many Californians will say that California is just California, not realizing the real impact this will have on our daily lives, and how the new law really conflicts with policies.
Assembly Bill 1346 requires the California Air Resources Board to implement regulations prohibiting the sale of new small all-terrain internal combustion engines under 25 horsepower by January 1, 2024. The measure includes lawn care equipment, portable generators, various power tools and other equipment used for personal and business purposes.
Under existing law, the Air Resources Board is to adopt a statewide greenhouse gas emission limit equivalent to 1990 levels by 2020. as of December 31, 2030 .
Converting landscaping equipment to electricity or battery will dramatically increase the cost to consumers and taxpayers. Again, we charge people outside of California. It’s more than providing an affordable option.
Rechargeable batteries seem like a good idea until you factor in California’s less than reliable power grid. So when the power goes out, Californians have had to invest in generators to power their refrigerators, air conditioners and especially vital medical equipment. It will no longer be an option.
I spoke against this bill in the Senate because our communities are burning and blackouts are becoming a way of life. Instead of solving these problems, lawmakers want to regulate lawn mower engines.
We are not a Third World economy, but it feels like we are moving in that direction. At some point, the public needs to be made aware of the mismanagement of funds. We need to consider massive forest fires that emit more carbon each year than all other sources combined.
I am not against reducing carbon emissions. In fact, my proposed legislation (SB 495) would calculate the carbon emissions from forest fires in the state scoping plan and determine an appropriate reduction strategy. Tragically, lawmakers killed this bill in committee because they preferred to simply study the issue rather than talk about real solutions.
Note: The Federal Air Quality Act preempts California emission controls for many tools. More information and a list of preemption equipment can be found here: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sore-list-determine-preempt-road-applications.
State Senator Brian Dahle represents the 1st Senate District of California, which contains all or part of 11 counties, including Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou.