The San Diego Union-Tribune | September 23, 2015
By Morgan Lee
The humble backyard clothesline is about to a get second chance in energy-obsessed California amid shifting sensibilities about neighborly decorum and how to cope with climate change.
A bill awaiting Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature would override any restrictions by home owner associations and apartment-building owners that make it impossible to put up a clotheslines or drying rack.
Assembly Bill 1448 seeks to ease pressure on the state’s power supplies and help reduce the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by giving all households the right to dry clothes in the sun. Separately, the governor is likely to sign sweeping new mandates for renewable energy and energy efficiency on buildings.
Switching to a clothesline from an electric dryer can save the average U.S. household about $96 a year — and eliminate 1,500 pounds of carbon emissions, by state and federal government estimates.
Time-pressed Californians still may cling to the convenience of dryers, but it is the freedom to dry as you please that counts, according to proponents of the bill.
“This bill will allow people other options,” said Nicole Capretz, executive director of Climate Action Campaign, a San Diego nonprofit. “It’s not that people will stop using the dryer. It’s that people have a choice to stop using the dryer and reduce their carbon footprint and save money.”
California environmentalists have been pushing to ensure access to clotheslines since at least the turn of the century, without overcoming the enduring stigma of outdoor laundry and its impact on property values…
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