Last week the EPA finally released a rule requiring a 35 percent reduction in emissions from these common garden power tools – in 2011. In effect, manufacturers will have to install catalytic converters, similar to the ones required for automobiles since 1975. Amazing how the industry managed to resist this for so long, huh? Well, the story of how that happened is classic politics as usual. After California passed a similar requirement in 2003, Briggs & Stratton in Missouri got their senator, Kit Bond, to intervene on their behalf and forbid other states from following suit. EPA was charged with ruling on the matter.
From this story about the new rule I learn that Maryland’s Black & Decker stands to benefit from the move – because all its products are electric! And I see this impressive page on their website. Now don’t anybody tell me they’re actually a sweatshop or something, coz I DO like to find corporate good guys occasionally, especially if they’re neighbors.
I was informed of EPA’s announcement by the activists in my town moving to ban ALL gas-powered garden equipment within city limits. I said YES, I’ll be there for the city council’s "work session," and if it proves to be as interesting as I think it will be, you’ll read about it right here.