Some small businesses may go into the red so California can go green.
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law directing the California Air Resources Board to craft a regulation that will ban the sale of gasoline-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers no later than Jan. 1, 2024, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The law also covers chain saws, weed trimmers and golf carts.
New portable gas-powered generators must also have zero emissions, with a deadline of 2028.
Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Landscape Professionals, said small businesses will face substantially higher costs.
A gasoline-powered commercial riding lawnmower costs between $7,000 and $11,000, but a zero-emission machine costs more than twice that much, he said.
And there are the batteries.
Bray estimated that a day’s work by a three-person crew would require 30 to 40 batteries, all of which would need to be charged, increasing the electric bill.
“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.
Many on Twitter mocked the new law.
Lmao… So we can’t even buy gas generators for emergencies now … Or to charge electric cars when power goes out… Genius idea right herehttps://t.co/bFNny5mhjD
— Liam (@HockeyLiam41) October 11, 2021
Tell me you’re a legislator who’s never done manual labor without telling me you’re a legislator who’s never done manual labor.https://t.co/Zo9JMRTqTW
— Jake Poinier #NoPROAct (@DrFreelance) October 11, 2021
California signs new law AB-1346 banning small gas engines for chain saws, mowers, generators, etc., with no defined plan to increase grid capacity nor apparent forethought for rural &CalFire ops where piddly electric chainsaws & the like aren’t going to cut it
— Arthur Kuntler ?☠️ (@ArthurKuntler) October 10, 2021
Democratic Assemblyman Marc Berman said the law is really popular.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he said.
Berman said the state has $30 million in its budget to help landscaping companies buy what they need, but Bray said with 50,000 businesses impacted, that money will not help everyone adapt.
Berman said that in his world, property owners, governments and colleges are already making the change.
The new rule on portable generators drew the scorn of Republican Sen. Brian Dahle.
“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.
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