California, first US city to ban new petrol stations

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA (AP) — A Northern California city has become what’s believed to be the first in the country to ban all new petrol stations in an effort to curb carbon emissions.

The Petaluma City Council voted unanimously on Monday to prohibit the creation, expansion, reconstruction and relocation of petrol stations, encouraging owners to transition to stations that serve electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The city of 58,000 people 40 miles north of San Francisco hopes to become carbon neutral by 2030.

“We need to do our part to help mitigate and adapt to our changing weather patterns that exist because of all the carbon we put in the atmosphere,” Councilwoman D’Lynda Fischer, who spearheaded the initiative, said on Tuesday.

“I hope other cities will follow suit, and if they have existing fossil fuel stations that satisfy the needs of their community, they too will decide that they don’t need any more,” Fischer said.

Petaluma has 16 petrol stations, with one more expected to be built as part of a grocery store. It had been approved before the vote.The measure is happening in a state that’s been a leader in fighting climate change.

In 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown signed an executive order intended to get California carbon neutral by 2045. Last year, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the sale of new gas-powered vehicles would be banned starting in 2035.