Gas-powered mowers and garden equipment could soon be a thing of the past in the most populous state in the U.S.
The California Air Resources Board says, gallon for gallon, the small gasoline engines commonly found in lawnmowers, leaf blowers, and other power equipment pollute at a higher rate than other equipment and vehicles. As a result, California is considering a statewide ban on such equipment.
"They're always looking to kind of ban things," Steven Greenhut says of the Air Resources Board. "They're looking to phase these things out and aren't thinking about the ramifications on average people."
Greenhut, a California resident serving as western region director for the R Street Institute, argues that the Board's decision, if enacted, will have an impact on small landscape and gardening businesses.
"The electric versions [of these types of lawn equipment] are not up to snuff [in comparison] … and then people who have made a large investment in power equipment are going to have to buy new power equipment," says Greenhut.
"I have a large lot, and I don't know how I'm supposed to cut six acres with an electric lawnmower," he adds.
It's unclear when the ban would go into effect, he adds. "There's talk of some rules next year reducing the allowable emissions from these lawn products," Greenhut tells OneNewsNow.
According to CBS 13 in Sacramento, at least 60 cities in California have some kind of ban on gas-powered garden tools – and that includes cities in the Bay Area.
"They claim it's for pollution reasons, but a lot of that is nuisance reasons," says Greenhut. "A lot of neighbors, especially in wealthy communities, can't stand the noise of those leaf blowers going through the day."
According to the California Air Resources Board, emissions from one hour of lawnmower use is equivalent to a 300-mile trip from Los Angeles to Las Vegas; and one hour of leaf blower use equals the emissions from an 1,100-mile drive from Los Angeles to Denver.