Petaluma, California, in Sonoma County, located 37 miles north of San Francisco, is the first city in the U.S. to ban the construction of a new gas station.
Petaluma’s city council initially implemented a two-year moratorium in early 2019, but it recently unanimously voted to extend the moratorium.
City officials argue not building any more gas stations will help reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2030, in line with the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 and World Economic Forum’s stated goals, which in part advocate for the future of cars and trucks being electric.
Last fall, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in the state by 2035. According to Newsom’s office, “California Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that 100% of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035, a target which would achieve more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide.”
Berkeley and several cities in California have banned, or are planning to ban, the use of natural gas in new homes and businesses.
These policy decisions are economically and environmentally “terrible mistakes” and much more costly to consumers, the Heritage Foundation, American Gas Association and Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, among others, argue.
Mandating all-electric would force higher energy bills on households who in California already pay the third-highest electricity rates in the U.S. Research has shown that low-income communities would be disproportionately impacted, forced to spend a higher percentage of their income on electric bills in a state with already rolling blackouts and electric problems.