Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Washington To Make Operating Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment A Crime?


Hide your Home Depot ads!

Two Washington Democrats recently introduced a bill that could land people in jail for up to 364 days for using gas-powered lawn care tools. State Reps. Amy Walen and Liz Berry last week introduced House Bill 1868, which aims to "reduce emissions from outdoor power equipment."

The proposed legislation claims that gas and diesel-powered landscaping tools "emit a host of air pollutants" that are "contributing to climate change and negatively impacting public health." The bill cites U.S. Environmental Protection Agency findings that state that gas-powered lawnmowers are responsible for 5% of the nation's air pollution. The language surrounding the bill also claimed that the noise from outdoor power equipment can be a nuisance, especially as more people are working from home since the onset of the pandemic. Ergo, it would provide tax break incentives for zero-emissions equipment.

Because, as any Socialist worth his or her salt knows, you can’t let consumers decide for themselves! Free markets go hand-in-hand with free people. Intolerable.

The proposed legislation would ban lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, augers, wood-chippers, pressure washers, snowblowers-- and various other tools-- "produced on or after January 1, 2026, or as soon as the department determines is feasible, whichever is later." Huh?

Unsurprisingly, the bill would not prohibit federal, state, or local government agencies from using the equipment if they deemed it necessary.

If HB 1868 passes, operating a prohibited lawn care tool would be considered a gross misdemeanor punishable by jail time. Offenders would be “punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for up to three hundred sixty-four days, or by both for each separate violation.” Ten-grand? A year in the clink? Maybe both? For each separate violation?! In Washington, you would get a lesser sentence if you were convicted of serial burglaries. Not that you’d be convicted, of course.

We’ve come a long way since the days of the Founding. Down a road that ought not have been travelled-- if the state of Washington is any guide. “Limited government” has gone the way of the Passenger Pigeon. Imagine the following headline: “British catch George Washington using gas-powered leaf-blower, throw him in prison.” (If I lived in Washington, I wonder if I would be fined or jailed for accessing sites to research gas-powered lawn equipment for this article.)

I picture a Washington state prison, circa 2027, several felons chatting at lunch:

“What are you in for?”

“Serial murder.”

“And you?”

“Repeated aggravated sexual assault of a minor.”

“And you, bro?”

“Well, I…(head down, eyes averted, pained expression on his face)…I…I blew leaves in my lawn with a gas-powered blower.” (Gasps all around.)

If that poor schlub had committed his “crime” while under the influence of alcohol, Washington might have given him the guillotine.

Democrats may have finally found a crime they are willing to punish: landscaping.



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