After implementing various policy initiatives aimed at common household appliances such as gas stoves, air conditioners, water heaters, and dishwashers, the Biden administration is now directing its attention towards portable gas generators to address climate change concerns.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has put forth a proposal that, if approved, would effectively remove almost all existing portable gas generators from the market.
The proposal outlines stringent regulations that would mandate an automatic shut-off for generators once they surpass a specified emission threshold. Smaller gas generators would be required to reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 50 percent, while larger units would face an even more significant reduction of up to 95 percent.
“The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission or CPSC) has preliminarily determined that there is an unreasonable risk of injury and death associated with acute carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from portable generators. To address this hazard, the Commission proposes a rule under the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) that limits CO emissions from portable generators and requires generators to shut off when specific emissions levels are reached,” as the policy stated.
Based on these criteria, it is anticipated that almost all the models presently available in the market will fail to meet the requirements.
If implemented, manufacturers would be obliged to meet the regulations within a period of six months, a significantly accelerated timeline compared to the typically lengthy adjustment period that is customary.
The generators impacted by this policy encompass single-phase models with a voltage of 300V or lower, operating at 60 hertz, and equipped with receptacle outlets for AC output circuits. These generators are designed to be mobile. They usually contain small spark ignition engines, as categorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and are powered by gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or natural gas (NG).
Importantly, the regulation will not be applicable to permanent stationary generators, 50-hertz generators, marine generators, generators permanently installed in recreational vehicles or motor homes, vehicle-attached generators, generators with compression ignition engines, and industrial-type generators designed exclusively for connection to temporary circuit breaker panels at jobsites.
The proposed rule contains an anti-stockpiling clause that restricts manufacturers from increasing the production or importation of noncompliant portable generators between the final rule’s announcement and its enforcement. This provision limits the manufacture or importation of noncompliant products to no more than 120 percent of the firm’s average monthly production in the previous year.
Critics argue that the “climate change” agenda pursued by the administration will negatively impact millions of ordinary Americans and could lead to significant adverse consequences.
Portable gas generators serve a critical role for millions of Americans, extending beyond mere convenience to become essential lifelines during emergencies, indispensable tools for disaster relief and job sites, and a fundamental component of outdoor recreational activities.