Please invest in Our Daily Planet today, by making a one time or monthly contribution.
We do not charge our readers a subscription fee for our content. We want to continue to grow our readership, particularly among millennials and public servants. Voluntary contributions from readers will help us employ interns and freelance journalists, expand our content, and reach a larger audience.
The city of Petaluma, California is the first American city to ban new gas stations and pumps in an effort to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The city unanimously passed a bill extending a two-year moratorium indefinitely, and while the town’s 16 gas stations will still be permitted to operate, advocates hope that the ban will spark the installation of EV charging stations and plug-in points at existing gas stations. Much like the recent statewide ban of new on sales of new gas and diesel vehicles by 2035, and many regional bans of natural gas hookups in new buildings, bans like the one in Petaluma could begin cropping up across the nation as more cities invest in an electric future.
Why This Matters: The U.S. auto industry is changing, and to support the future of EVs, we need to start building infrastructure to support them, now.
The Biden administration knows this and recently held a meeting with EV infrastructure companies to discuss the best course of action. The administration hopes to create jobs and bolster local economies with new EV infrastructure projects, but the clock is ticking.
Companies like Volvo, Ford (in its European markets, at least), and GM, have pledged to phase out gas-powered cars within the next 15 years, setting the timeline for an infrastructure revolution. And unlike gas infrastructure, which has evolved over a century, EV infrastructure must become just as common and convenient in just a few decades. The Petaluma case, however, offers an innovative solution, encouraging gas stations to self-improve, and recycling the network of local gas stations as opposed to rebuilding them.
Good Company: “This is a massive step forward in the fight to protect communities and the climate from fossil fuels,” tweeted environmental nonprofit Stand.earth. This sentiment has been echoed across many California towns like Petaluma, which have implemented a series of limits and bans on differentGHG releasing practices.
Last month, Santa Monica announced a one-square-mile, zero-emissions delivery zone, a pilot program to evaluate how reducing last-mile delivery emissions could be expanded to larger supply chains.
It’s not just California getting in on the fun. In December 2020, Cambridge, MA introduced warning stickers on all fuel pumps that are reminiscent of the warnings on cigarette packaging. The labels read, “Burning Gasoline, Diesel and Ethanol has major consequences on human health and on the environment including contributing to climate change.”
Critical Response: Although no strong opposition to the Petaluma ban has cropped up (yet), other cities have faced upward battles when trying to use bans to shift away from fossil fuels. In response to city-level bans on new natural gas hookups, Republican-led state legislatures across the nation, including in Arizona, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Louisiana, passed laws banning local electrification measures and natural gas bans.
Banning new gas pumps and encouraging the installation of EV charging points may not seem all that revolutionary, but much like natural gas bans, it prevents fossil-fuel industry profits at the point of sale. For now, Petaluma is celebrating a win for a clean-energy future, but if history repeats itself, cities considering similar bans shouldn’t expect a smooth ride.
by Ashira Morris, ODP Staff Writer Right now, 95% of American public school buses run on diesel fuel, but that could soon change thanks to part of the Biden administration’s massive infrastructure proposal. The new Clean Buses for Kids Program would electrify at least 20% of the country’s iconic yellow school bus fleet. It would […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer In February, the governors of Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware voted unanimously to ban fracking in the Delaware River Basin, but Republican-led lawsuits are seeking to stop this action. The ban prevented the natural gas industry from blasting up to 4,000 wells in the basin, serving a blow to the […]
Electric vehicles are an important part of meeting climate change action goals in addition to their potential to clean up air pollution, yet Americans have traditionally been apprehensive about purchasing them. That is until now. As Ben Geman wrote for Axios this week, “Even as gasoline-powered sales return from the pandemic, cars with plugs are […]
Our Daily Planet is your daily dose of the stories shaping our world and the ways that you can take action. From the climate crisis to the protection of biodiversity, if these issues matter to you then please subscribe & stay informed!
Your privacy is Important! We promise never to use your email address to send you spam or advertisements.