CS Monitor Mows Around High Cost of New Emissions Regs

Soon it’s going to cost you more to mow your lawn, and the Christian Science Monitor doesn’t mind because it’s all in the name of a cleaner planet.

“[H]elp is on the way. Thanks to a new rule unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency this week, homeowners will finally be able to buy mowers that give their lawn a truly clean cut,” wrote Mark Clayton of the Monitor.

But it was not homeowners who pressured mower manufacturers to lower emissions, but a mandate from the EPA. According to the new rule, beginning in 2011 small engines like those used in lawn tractors must filter out “an additional 35 pollutants … in addition to the 60 percent reduction mandated last year.”

“That’s good,” according to the Monitor because lawn mowers emit “far more” pollution than automobiles.

But the Monitor deemphasized costs saying mowers may cost “a few dollars more.” That understated an EPA estimate printed in the USA Today: “Costs of the new rule could add up to $47 to the price of a lawn tractor …”James McNew of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) said that even the EPA estimate is too low – only about 25-30 percent of what OPEI estimates. So costs could be couple hundred dollars higher for a lawn tractor.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.