Richard Celio: Banning sales of small engines is necessary |

Richard Celio: Banning sales of small engines is necessary

I’m frustrated and so, after reading state Sen. Sen. Brian Dahle’s original reaction to AB1346, I respectfully submit that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

Read the legislation. His newsletter initially said the legislation is “banning new … engines … that have more than 25 horsepower.” Show me a leaf blower that is over 25 horsepower. It would blast you into an orbit around your chimney. Were you thinking of jet packs? I assume you didn’t proof the letter, so you get a pass here (who the heck writes them?). The legislation is addressing small off-road engines under 25 horsepower.

Furthermore, human caused climate change is real and we must aggressively reduce carbon emissions.

New ways to count it, as you suggest — forest fire production — is, well smoke and mirrors. It doesn’t add up. Check the facts related to greenhouse gas vs. particulate products of fires. By the way, aren’t we (you) aggressively working to reduce human caused fire?

Hmmm, small off-road engines emitted an average of 16.8 tons per day of nitrogen oxides and 125 tons per day of reactive organic gases in 2020. Per day!

Perhaps you don’t understand the chemistry. Consider this: Each gallon (about eight pounds) of gasoline will through combustion create close to 20 pounds of CO2. So your car that gets 25 mpg will produce its weight in CO2 in less than one year.

How many million operating vehicles are there in California again (I know, do you?)? All spewing way more than their weight in CO2 each year, not to mention the other products of combustion.

Now add the millions of leaf blowers, lawn mowers, etc. It’s just common sense that something has to be done now. And the technology is here. Is it a pain? Of course. Get used to change. It might be the only thing you’re going see over the next 40 years.

Having spent my career as a professional engineer in the energy business, I can tell you that converting to renewable with battery storage is only impractical to people who are invested in the status quo. This includes manufacturers, utilities, distribution channels, individual sales reps, consultants and everyone else in the established food chain. Bureaucrats and politicians, also.

Just as every century has seen people stuck in the present/past, your party (of which I was a member decades ago) has lost touch with reality, science, technology and the kind of attitude that can help to lead this world into a better future.

One encouraging thing we are seeing is that large auto, utilities and even the oil companies are seeing the writing on the wall. They’ve got to change and faster then they would without a kick in the pants. This is where you come in, right?

I’m not a fan of Gov. Gavin Newsom, super majorities in the legislation, etc., but right now, you and your party do not offer an intelligent alternative.

I grew up in the San Jose area and remember the terrible smog in the ’70s. Conservatives who opposed emission regulation said it was not feasible/practical/economical to enforce or require auto makers to add emission regulation cost. Same was said of electric vehicles, utility scale solar and batteries.

What if we had gone along with that kind of thinking? What if we committed to real change earlier and faster?

Please open your eyes to what is happening in the real world and become part of the change that is needed, not part of the reason children in the central valley have some of the worst rates of asthma in the country. I look forward to your response. After all, without our environment, what do we have?

Richard Celio lives in Grass Valley.

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