SACRAMENTO – There was a collective sigh and eye rolls this week when it was announced that the Governor signed a law to ban gas powered mowers, generators and other equipment. Many Californians will say it’s just California being California, but not realizing the real impact it will have on our everyday lives, and how the new law is truly a contradiction of policies.
Assembly Bill 1346 (Berman) requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to implement regulations banning the sale of new internal combustion, small off-road engines (SORE) that have more than 25 horse power by January 1, 2024. The measure includes equipment used in lawn care, portable generators, various power tools, and other equipment used for personal and commercial purposes.
As part of existing law, CARB must to adopt a statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions limit equivalent to 1990 levels by 2020. Additionally, ARB is required to reach goals of statewide GHG emissions reduction to at least 40% below the 2020 statewide limit no later than December 31, 2030.
The overall economic impact of converting landscaping equipment to electric or battery will substantially increase the cost to consumers and taxpayers alike. Once again, pricing people out of California. It’s more than just providing an affordable option. Rechargeable batteries sound like a good idea, until you factor in that California’s less than reliable electrical grid. So, when the power goes out Californians have had to invest in generators to power their refrigerators, HVAC systems, and especially life-saving medical equipment. This will no longer be an option.
In addition to strongly speaking against this legislation in the Senate, Senator Dahle released the following statement regarding the signing of AB 1346:
“Our communities are burning down, blackouts are becoming a way of life, and instead lawmakers want to regulate combustible engines. We are not a third-world economy, but it feels like we’re moving in that direction,” said Senator Brian Dahle (R-Bieber). “At some point the public has to be made aware of the mismanagement of funds. We need to be accounting for the massive forest fires that are emitting more carbon annually than all sources combined.”
Senator Dahle is not against reducing carbon emissions. In fact, he proposed legislation (SB 495) that would calculate carbon emissions from wildland and forest fires into the State’s scoping plan and determine an appropriate reduction strategy. Tragically, legislators killed this bill in committee, because they would rather just study the issue, instead of talking about real solutions.
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Note: The federal Clean Air Act preempts California control of emissions. More information and a list of preempt equipment is available here: https://ww2.arb.ca.gov/sore-list-determine-preempt-road-applications.
Senator Brian Dahle represents California's 1st Senate District, which contains all or portions of 11 counties, including Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou.