California Cities Ban New Gas Stations, Even As Price Tops $6 Per Gallon
Gas station price sign showing record high gasoline prices for over seven dollars a gallon of regular gas.
Michael Vi/Getty Images

In an attempt to battle climate change, some California cities are rejecting the construction of new gas stations.

Officials of a Sonoma County city north of San Francisco were the first in the game when they stopped the development of a gas station there last year. “We didn’t know what we were doing, actually,” Petaluma Councilwoman D’Lynda Fischer told Yahoo News. “We didn’t know we were the first in the world when we banned gas stations.”

Since that decision, four other cities in the Bay Area have done the same.

The average price per gallon in California is now $6.06, according to AAA. In one county, the price is $7.11.

The movement is now making its way to Los Angeles, with 13 million residents in the city and surrounding area. The city has already been slow to grant new stations, approving one to two new stations per year from 2016 to 2021, excluding 2017, Yahoo reported.

L.A. Councilmember Paul Koretz (D) has put forward a proposal to stop new stations there. “We are ending oil drilling in Los Angeles. We are moving to all-electric new construction. And we are building toward fossil fuel free transportation. Our great and influential city, which grew up around the automobile, is the perfect place to figure out how to move off the gas-powered car,” he said.

A group called Safe Cities is heading up the campaign, backed by the environmental group, which is also pushing an end to fossil fuels.

“A new report from SAFE Cities at and partners CONGAS, Coltura, and Elected Officials to Protect America shows how gas stations pose numerous health, environmental, equity, and financial risks to communities,” said in a statement last month. “Given the rapid growth in vehicle electrification and developments like the Biden Administration’s announcement to make EV charging accessible across the US, the risks can no longer be justified.”

The group cited Fischer, who said: “We are not surprised that many cities are following our lead to prohibit the development of new gas stations. We have an obligation to stop fossil fuel expansion and new gas stations lock communities into many kinds of risks. This is one of many steps Petaluma is taking. We are proud to be part of this growing movement to stop fossil fuel expansion and phase out fossil fuels.”

Joseph Curl has covered politics for 35 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent for a national newspaper. He was also the a.m. editor of the Drudge Report for four years. Send tips to [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @josephcurl.

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