LOCAL NEWS

State lawmaker proposes bill to offer people money in exchange for gas-powered yard tools

Jan 16, 2022, 2:27 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2022, 7:02 am
Gas-powered yard tools...
(Unsplash)
(Unsplash)

A state lawmaker from Seattle is pushing to offer financial incentives to state residents if they give up their gas-powered yard tools.

Seattle takes new approach in latest bid to curb use of natural gas in homes

State Sen. Reuven Carlyle wants to offer a $200 coupon for electric lawn equipment to anyone who turns in their gas-powered tools, “working or not.”

“Battery-powered equipment is coming down in cost very quickly, and the quality of it is just improving,” Carlyle told KIRO Newsradio. “The power of these leaf blowers and other equipment is really impressive.”

But, the bill hit a road block in its first hearing. An ecology department representative indicated that the governor supports the idea, but it is not currently funded. That means that even if it does get approved during the the 2022 legislative session, rebates likely wouldn’t be offered until 2024.

Even so, Carlyle highlights the proposal as one piece in a larger plan to transition away from gas power, citing the surprisingly harmful effects yard tools can have.

“One hour of an internal combustion engine leaf blower emits the same amount of emissions as a drive from Seattle to Los Angeles,” he noted. “It really is shocking — they are completely and totally unregulated.”

Study: Fossil fuels could cause clouds to disappear

The U.S Environmental Protection Agency estimates that gas-powered mowers alone “contribute 5% of United States air pollution,” according to the text of Carlyle’s bill.

“The legislature further finds that the small gas engines used in lawn and garden equipment are not only bad for the environment and contributing to climate change, but they can also cause asthma, hearing loss, and other health issues for workers who use them,” it continues.

The bill is scheduled for an executive session in the state Senate’s Environment, Energy, and Technology Committee on Jan. 20.

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State lawmaker proposes bill to offer people money in exchange for gas-powered yard tools