Car Industry

A California city just banned all new gas stations in zero-emissions push

Petaluma won't let any companies build a new gas station from here on out.

No more for Petaluma.
Issarawat Tattong/Getty Images

It's the end of an era for the humble gas station in the city of Petaluma, California. The city council on Monday voted unanimously to prohibit the construction of any new gas pumps and stations in the city. All stations currently operating will remain open, but any company seeking to build new pumps will not be allowed to. Instead, the city will focus on electric vehicle charging stations and alternative-fuel stations, like hydrogen.

The San Francisco Chronicle first reported the news on Tuesday and a document from the Petaluma City Council dated March 1 gives the order 30 days to go into full effect. It's actually a final stamp on a moratorium on gas station construction the city enacted back in May 2019, but now it's official. Officials noted the small city in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco, is home to 16 gas stations that provide "adequate" coverage for city residents. The bill added, "Prohibiting new gas stations serves the public interest by preventing new sources of pollution that adversely impact environmental and human health."

Although the current stations won't be able to add new gas pumps, they will be allowed to transition fuel pumps to EV chargers.

California has led the US in a shift away from fossil fuels. Last year, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state will ban the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels starting in 2035. Automakers have also started to largely fall in line to support the state's stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations following lower federal targets the Trump administration rolled out nearly one year ago. The Biden administration is expected to review the regulations once again, which may lead to the country finally adopting a nationwide standard. Today, automakers must follow California regulations as well as a national standard.

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