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Photo: Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Thursday to ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers starting in 2024 and portable generators by 2028 in an effort to reduce harmful pollutants.

Why it matters: Gas-powered equipment produces more smog-forming emissions than light-duty passenger cars, according to the Board's statement, and is projected to produce nearly twice as much as passenger cars by 2031.

The big picture: The CARB believes that battery technology will improve and zero-emission gear will become more available before 2024 when the ban kicks in, the Los Angeles Times writes.

  • The rule, which impacts both homeowners and commercial landscapers, does not ban existing gas-powered equipment which can continue to be used.
  • Reducing emissions will prevent hundreds of premature deaths as well as lower healthcare costs, according to the CARB's statement.
  • The regulation follows Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order which aims to move California closer to a zero-emission future.

What they're saying: "It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB chair Liane Randolph said in a statement.

But, but, but: Gardners and landscapers raised concerns about the costs to buy the equipment.

  • State Democratic Assemblymember Marc Berman, who wrote the legislation, said California has set aside $30 million to help professional landscapers and gardeners transition from gas-powered to zero-emission equipment, according to the LA Times.

Go deeper

Biden directs federal government to become carbon neutral by 2050

President Biden speaking to reporters outside of the White House on Dec. 8.

President Biden signed an executive order Wednesday that requires the federal government achieve multiple goals related to reducing its carbon emissions, including achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Why it matters: Meeting the objectives of the order would require a massive investment by the federal government to buy electric vehicles, upgrade buildings and change how it procures electricity.

China builds its own movie empire

Expand chart
Data: Gower Street citing Comscore; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

China blocked all four of Disney's Marvel movies from being released in its theaters last year, a grim sign for U.S. film giants being squeezed out of the world's fastest-growing box office.

Why it matters: The Chinese Communist Party is using domestic films as a key conduit for mass messaging aimed at achieving political goals, leaving little room for foreign views.

Why 401(k) rollovers are so annoying

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

If you happened to change jobs recently, you may have tried to transfer your retirement account from your former employer into an Individual Retirement Account or your new employer's 401(k) plan. If so, you probably encountered a bureaucratic gantlet — and you're not alone.

Why it matters: Kludgey processes around retirement account transfers result in people losing track of their funds, giving up important tax advantages, or otherwise disadvantaging themselves and being less prepared for retirement.