California air regulators want to cut down the use of gas-powered lawn tools, arguing they could be worse for the environment than automobiles.
Last summer’s effort by the SF Board of Supervisors to ban natural gas from city-owned buildings was hailed by the measure’s co-author, Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, as an example of how “San Francisco needs to lead the way” out of the ongoing climate crisis. But in reality, that measure had its roots in Berkeley, and several other climate measures are also inspired by ambitious/restrictive environmental laws in smaller municipalities. And so it goes with today’s report in the Chronicle about several local pushes to ban gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, a move regulators hope to spread statewide just like the California auto emission standards.
It won’t surprise you to hear that Berkeley already has a similar ban, though theirs only relates to leaf blowers. Same goes for Belvedere, Los Gatos, Mill Valley, and Sonoma (the city, not the county.) Various time and area-based bans on the gas devices are in effect in Palo Alto and Orinda, and Novato is considering an outright ban. The goal is to get landscapers to use electric devices instead; though many users don’t like those because they’re less powerful and often require an electrical cord.
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