Gasoline lawn mowers are big polluters.
Gallon for gallon -- or, given the size of lawnmower tanks, quart for quart -- the 2006 lawn mower engines contribute 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 cars, according to the California Air Resources Board. In California, lawn mowers provided more than 2 percent of the smog-forming pollution from all engines. (NY Times)
Adding a golf-ball-sized catalytic converter would drastically cut emissions and add, maybe, $20-25 to the cost of a mower. In California this would be like taking 800,000 cars off the road. But manufacturers are opposed. Why?
Briggs and some other American equipment makers argue that the converters could add a dangerous amount of heat to already hot engines, creating a fire hazard.
The opinions on this is mixed. And it's the same argument used against adding converters to automobiles, yet we've somehow worked around the fire hazard there.
tightening small-engine standards nationally would take 1,750 jobs from [Wisconsin] and send them to China.
Nonsense. Everyone selling machines in this country would have to comply, including the Chinese. It would be a level playing field.
Of course, given America's problem with obesity and importing foreign oil, perhaps this would be a good time to plug old-fashioned push reel mowers?