The Petaluma City Council has decided that no new gas stations can be built in the city and no new pumps can be installed at existing gas stations. However, the Californian town still needs to approve the ban on second reading to make it official.
“This is not a ban on the existing gas stations, which are providing all the gas currently needed,” said Matt Krogh, U.S. oil and gas campaign director for the environmental group Stand.earth. He goes on to explain that new gas stations are not needed in the city and tend to compete with existing gas stations, leading to a loss of business. Furthermore, existing stations will not be allowed to add more gas pumps, while the construction of charging stations for EVs is encouraged. To be precise, the 60,000 person city currently has 16 operational gas stations in operation, which means there are multiple stations located within a 5-minute drive of every planned or existing residence within city limits.
Another interesting aspect of the measure is that gas stations will be responsible for cleaning up the messes they leave behind. As gas stations close in Petaluma, they will be required to clean up “whatever toxins are on the property”. Krogh lauds the measure as well: “We have a lot of unfunded cleanup needs associated with fossil fuels sort of writ large across the country.”
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