It is time to ban construction of new gas stations.

    3 EV models photo    

In addressing climate change, California has set a goal of replacing all private light duty internal combustion engine cars, SUVs and light trucks with zero emission vehicles by 2050. On September 23, 2020 Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring that "by 2035 all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles". Currently in California and the United States transportation is the economic sector with the largest contribution to greenhouse gas production.

I am suggesting that in taking action toward meeting this goal, banning construction of new retail gasoline stations. Land use planning should be forward looking. California has over 10,000 gas stations. If the state goal is met all of these will be out of business. They will be a blight on the landscape. As well, they will all need to be properly decommissioned to keep them from becoming sources of toxic waste into our soil and water. The fewer there are the better. No new gas stations are needed.

Action is needed now by local governments or by state mandate to allow the number of gas stations to decrease gradually by attrition. It is time to ban the construction of new gas stations. I am not suggesting closing any existing facilities or stopping renovation or repairs.

       Fossilized Gas Station image
       Closed station photo
    Tesla Model 3 photo

In January 2018, Governor Brown signed Executive Order B-48-18, setting ambitious target of 250,000 electric vehicle chargers to support 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) on California roads by 2025, on the path to 5 million ZEVs by 2030. The initiative is designed to focus multi-stakeholder efforts on deploying charging and fueling infrastructure as well as making ZEVs increasingly affordable to own and operate.

While positive ZEV trends continue to climb, work remains to be done to reach 5 million ZEVs by 2030. Five million ZEVs means about 40% of all new purchases would be ZEV by 2030. It means rapid expansion beyond the 2025 target of 250,000 chargers. And it means ZEVs and supporting infrastructure that can meet the demands of the majority of Californians. All of this is possible, but it will only happen with sustained focus on bridging the gap from today’s hard-earned market foundation and tomorrow’s economically driven market.

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