After seeking to reduce the use of gas stoves, the Biden administration is pushing a proposal to ban the sale of almost all portable gas generators—which some experts have said would be disastrous for the millions of Americans who rely on such generators during power outages.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has proposed a policy (pdf) that would remove nearly all existing portable gas generators from the market. The new rule restricts the amount of carbon monoxide that generators can emit by forcing these generators to switch off when they reach a certain level of emissions.
Smaller gas generators would have to cut carbon monoxide emissions by 50 percent, and larger generators would have to cut emissions by up to 95 percent. Nearly all models currently available are expected to not be in compliance with the new standard.
Once the proposed rules come into effect, manufacturers would have to comply with them in just six months, a process that usually takes several years. The rules would also ban manufacturers from stockpiling noncompliant generators before the new standards are enacted.
Generator Manufacturers Speak Out
In a June 28 press release, Susan Orenga, executive director of the Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association, pointed out that CPSC’s proposal will “create a shortage of essential portable generators during regional and national emergencies because it will prevent the sale of portable generators that are currently available on the market.”
“Furthermore, the timing of the CPSC’s proposed changes are particularly concerning, given repeated warnings that two-thirds of North America is currently facing an energy shortfall this summer during periods of high demand,” she said….