All eyes are on Petaluma, Calif., a city of approximately 60,000 that voted in February to ban the construction of new gas stations as part of the fight against climate change.
Petaluma City Council voted unanimously to enact the ban as the city aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, The Press Democrat reported.
“The goal here is to move away from fossil fuels, and to make it as easy as possible to do that,” council member D’Lynda Fischer said according to The Press Democrat. “Right now, we have existing fossil fuel stations, and what we want them to do is add (electric vehicle) chargers and create another source of fueling people can use.”
Many Petaluma residents got behind the ban after a Safeway supermarket with a gas station was built near a school and residential neighborhoods, according to The Press Democrat. The gas station at Safeway will remain despite the ban.
“The fossil fuel industry’s harmful practices and reckless plans for expansion threaten the well-being of communities and people around the world. That’s why the SAFE Cities campaign is connecting local efforts to limit fossil fuels into a global call for action,” the group’s website reads.
Petaluma still has 16 gas stations that are not going anywhere for the time being, according to The Press Democrat.
“At this point with Safeway approved, I think it probably is not going to mean that less gas will be sold in town,” council member Mike Healy said according to The Press Democrat. “I think what we’re really relying on is people switching to electric and more fuel efficient vehicles moving forward. I feel that (gas) is kind of a sunset industry at this point.”
Healy had previously tried to outlaw new gas stations in 2014, according to The Press Democrat.
News about Petaluma comes as President Biden’s administration promises to focus on environmental justice.