In California, lawmakers limited taxpayers to 55 gallons of water per day, imposed $25 fines on restaurants that serve drinks with plastic straws, and effectively decriminalized public defecation.
With those issues resolved, bureaucrats and elected officials across the state are now turning their focus to another pressing problem: Selfish homeowners ruining the planet with their gas-powered lawn equipment.
“Some 60 cities in California already have some form of ban on gas-powered garden tools including Berkeley, Los Gatos, Mill Valley and Sonoma,” KGO-TV reports.
Novato Mayor Pat Eklund said his city is now reviewing the possibility of banning mowers, leaf-blowers and other small engine equipment as the state’s “Air Resources Board” considers similar measures statewide, a move proponents claim will help save Earth from “climate change.”
“A top-selling leaf blower, for example, operating for an hour matches the emissions of a Toyota Camry for over 1,100 miles,” Eklund told the news site.
Mark Bailey, owner of Buck’s Saw Service, said the change could spell doom for his business.
Bailey told KGO-TV he sells about 500 gas powered mowers and blowers each year.
“It’s going to be tens of thousands of dollars” in lost revenue, he said.
Bailey said he’ll focus on selling more battery-powered stuff, but thinks a full ban on gas is unreasonable.
“Time limits, I would look into that, so we can still use it in a certain time frame during the day,” he said.
While Eklund promised to vet the potential ban with voters through the first half of 2020, bureaucrats in Sacramento are moving ahead with plans for a statewide ban that could ultimately override whatever conclusion the community comes to.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
This year, the air board is reducing the emissions allowed for gasoline-powered lawn equipment sold in California. As early as 2022, it wants allowed emissions to drop to zero.
Dorothy Fibiger, an engineer with the California Air Resources Board, said companies will be able to earn credits for selling machines below the current standards that will allow them to continue sales beyond 2022, but the ultimate goal is to totally eliminate gas-powered equipment from the state.
Around the Bay area, gas-powered leaf blowers are already illegal in Belvedere, Mill Valley, Sonoma, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Los Gatos, and Los Altos, while Tilburon and Orinda impose time restrictions for use. Novato and Atherton are currently considering bans, and San Jose is mulling a buyback program to help residents replace their gas-powered equipment with electric alternatives, according to the Chronicle.
Those alternatives don’t work as well, and require landscapers like Jose Vaca to purchase scores of batteries to make it through big jobs like shopping centers – a double whammy that increases overhead for parts and labor.
When Mill Valley imposed a ban on leaf blowers Vaca told the Chronicle he canceled all of his contracts in that city.
The owner of Vaca Construction and Landscaping, based in Novato, said he plans to do the same there if the city follows through with its proposed ban.
“We would just start canceling more contracts and moving up north,” he said.
Mayor Eklund, who proposed Novato’s ban in December, seems more concerned about campaigning on climate change than what it could mean for locals like Vaca and Bailey.
“What I think we need to realize is that we have to do something different for climate change in the world,” he told the Chronicle. “If not, we are going to see a different world than we do today. Every little bit is going to help.”