California to ban gas-powered lawnmowers. Will Gov. Walz ban gas snowblowers?

Weather forecasts indicate some parts of the state could get six to eight inches of snow between Friday night and Saturday morning, meaning that many Minnesotans will be firing up their snowblowers for the first time this winter. The question for today is, will Gov. Tim Walz follow in California’s footsteps and ban the sale of small, off-road, gasoline-powered engines, including snowblowers?

California Gov. Gavin Newsom made headlines in October when he signed a new law banning the sale of these engines in California, which applied to new gas-powered generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, and even golf carts. 

The move was widely opposed by landscaping companies, who argued that electric equipment is more expensive and isn’t as useful as gasoline-powered models due to their short battery life.

It’s worth asking whether Walz plans on signing a similar law because earlier this year, the Walz administration finalized new regulations requiring Minnesota to follow California’s car mandates.

These mandates will require all new vehicles sold in the state to meet California’s gas mileage standards and require auto manufacturers to stock up to 14,000 electric vehicles in the state every year, which is more battery electric vehicles than have been sold in Minnesota in the last ten years.

American Experiment submitted 46 pages of comments explaining why the California car mandates are a bad policy that will increase costs for Minnesota families while providing zero measurable benefits to the environment.

During the public comment period, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency even admitted the temperature impact of these new mandates would be small. They understood the difference would be immeasurably small and enacted the regulations anyway.

The Walz administration’s eagerness to follow in California’s footsteps is why it is worth asking whether the Walz administration wants to adopt California’s ban on small gasoline engines, as well. If he does, I invite the Governor to come shovel my driveway.