Key state committee will consider electric lawn equipment tax credit to tackle air pollution

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DENVERSenate Bill 16, sponsored by Senator Hansen and Representatives McCormick and Sirota, will head to its first committee hearing Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 25, before the Senate Transportation &  Energy committee. Section 8 of the bill creates a tax credit through retailers that could reduce the up-front price for consumers by 30% when they purchase electric-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers and snow blowers. 

According to CoPIRG Foundation’s recent report, Small Machines, Big Pollution, gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other equipment are big polluters. For example, a consumer-grade leaf blower emits nearly 300 times the amount of ozone-forming pollutants as a 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck, and operating a commercial lawn mower for one hour can result in as much ozone-forming emissions as driving 300 miles. Switching to electric lawn equipment eliminates these emissions, plus electric equipment can be easier and less costly to maintain than gas-powered counterparts.

Coloradans have been exposed to dangerously high levels of ozone air pollution for over a decade as the northern Front Range has failed to meet EPA air quality standards. If the region can fully transition away from gas-powered lawn and garden equipment, it can achieve nearly one fifth of the reduction needed to meet EPA health-based air quality standards.

CoPIRG Clean Air Advocate Kirsten Schatz provided the following statement:

“We are calling on members of the Senate Transportation & Energy committee to support the important provisions on electric lawn and garden equipment in Senate Bill 16. Coloradans have suffered from harmful ozone pollution for too long. Pound for pound, gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers are extremely polluting. Encouraging more people to make the switch to electric lawn and garden equipment is a great way to start to tackle our ozone pollution problem.”

The Senate Transportation & Energy committee will hear the bill starting at 1:30pm on Weds., Jan. 25.