Minnesota Dems promote bills to ban gas-powered lawnmowers, chainsaws

State Reps. Jerry Newton and Heather Edelson, who are both members of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party, are pushing a pair of bills intended to combat climate change by banning gas-powered lawnmowers, chainsaws, and ice resurfacing machines such as Zambonis just as California has done.

(Video Credit: Straight Arrow News)

Only electric versions of the machinery will be sold in the state starting on Jan. 1, 2025, if the bills pass.

The ban will reportedly include any machine that uses “a spark ignition engine rated at or below 19 kilowatts or 25 gross horsepower.” Under that definition, commonly used landscaping tools such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, hedge clippers, chainsaws, lawn edgers, string trimmers, and brush cutters would all be prohibited.

This move follows a Democrat-backed clean energy bill that was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz. It ostensibly requires electricity production to be 80% carbon-free by 2030 and 100% by 2040. Republicans have branded it the “blackout bill.”

“DFLers are committed to taking action on climate – unchecked climate pollution threatens Minnesota’s future,” House Speaker Melissa Hortman proclaimed after Democrats passed the bill, according to Alpha News. “Now is the time to take bold action and ensure Minnesotans have the healthy climate and clean energy future they deserve.”

Proponents of the shift to electric garden equipment point to the pollutants that ostensibly come from noisy, two-stroke engines, which can be found in leaf blowers and others tools.

“Unlike larger, heavier engines, a two-stroke engine combines oil and gas in a single chamber, which gives the machine more power while remaining light enough to carry,” Margaret Renkl for the New York Times writes. “That design also means that it is very loud and that as much as a third of the fuel is spewed into the air as unburned aerosol.”

The proposal in the Minnesota House does not yet have a companion in the Senate. If the bill receives a hearing, its first stop will be in the House Commerce and Finance Committee. But with Democrats controlling the offices of the governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and both chambers of the state legislature, it stands a good chance of passing.

Other Democrat-led cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and others are pushing for a ban on fuel-burning appliances such as gas stoves, claiming they pose a health risk and have an effect on the climate. They are also cracking down on refrigerators and dishwashers in the name of climate change.

According to a Morning Consult poll, 56% of Democrats would vote for the ban while 56% of Republicans would vote against it. Independents are not in favor of the ban either with only 39% giving it the thumbs up. However, New York is already reportedly implementing a gas stove ban of sorts and other liberal enclaves are sure to follow.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law in 2021 banning or selling gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers, starting in 2024. The California Air Resources Board has also unrealistically mandated that all new vehicles in the state will run on electric batteries by 2035.

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