In an effort to limit greenhouse gas emissions, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted this month to ban the sale of new off-road engines such as those found in leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other equipment by 2024. The ruling also bans portable generators by requiring new models to meet more stringent standards in 2024 and meet zero-emission standards starting in 2028.
The decision by the board follows an executive order issued by California Governor and covid tyrant, Gavin Newsom (D) to bar the sale of gas-powered lawn equipment to curb emissions.
“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”
The new standards for generator sales for 2024 will reportedly require generator manufacturers to improve their efficiency by somewhere between 40% and 90%, eventually being zero emissions by 2028. The improvements by 2024 are likely unrealistic meaning it will be extraordinarily hard to find a generator in the state by 2024.
The state has set aside $30 million to help landscapers and mowing companies make the transition. But $30 million is a drop in the bucket given the fact that there are hundreds of mom and pop shops currently selling small engines across the state and thousands of landscape and mowing companies.
It is important to point out that folks who currently own a gas powered generator will still be able to use them, however, those who want to get one in a future emergency will soon be out of luck.
Given the state of California's power grid and the rampant outages faced by the state each year thanks to terrible political decisions and extreme weather, banning generators could have countless and dangerous consequences. In fact, just last year, many Californians had to use generators to charge their electric vehicles so they could leave their homes during outages. That could no longer be an option for many in the future.
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Generators also power life-saving equipment during outages for folks on oxygen or other life-support measures. Given the unreliable nature of solar power during cloudy days, that is not an option either.
“A cloudy, foggy or rainy day stops the solar-charging process entirely,” said David Tenney, who is also president of the California RVDA (CalRVDA). “Roughly 20 percent of RVs we sell go to a full-timer or extended-stay user. This is driven by retirement for some and cost of housing for others. Some of these RVers are depending on medical device. When RV parks lose power, as they often do, the only way to run oxygen tanks, CPAP machines, wheelchair lifts, air conditioners is a generator. Currently there is no other way.”
California's electric situation is so problematic that earlier this year the state actually paid people to ignore emissions standards and use gas-powered generators to lighten the load on the failing power grid. According to Newsom's declaration:
The proclamation suspends certain permitting requirements to allow greater energy production and creates incentives so that large energy users can move to back-up power generation, freeing up energy capacity on the grid for everyone else, during critical times when extreme heat events or the interruption of transmission lines from wildfires or other causes threaten energy supply this summer.
Come 2024, this option to lighten the load on the grid will be drastically reduced and could create massive and potentially deadly problems for the state's residents.
There is no doubt that small engines produce tons of carbon emissions, but moves like this only serve to destroy small businesses while bolstering the bottom lines of large corporations. What's more, since none of the states surrounding California have banned generators, a new black market will certainly arise with folks buying generators and transporting them back across state lines.
These are the easily foreseeable consequences of government prohibition, yet obstinate bureaucrats who can't think their way out of a wet paper bag continue to rely on it as their only tool.