California is a national and international focal point in the battle over climate change, transportation change and political change, and a recent proposal in Sonoma County is just the latest skirmish involving all three to make headlines.
According to The Guardian, county officials may vote soon, likely this month, on a proposal that would essentially terminate the construction of any new gas stations and also prohibit expanding the pump count at existing stations in the county. A similar measure is already in effect in the city of Petaluma in Sonoma County, and supporters are hoping to expand it the county in general.
Why? Supporters say the county has plenty of gas station already and they’d like to see more EV charging points get built to serve the growing number of electric vehicles on the road. Electric vehicles sales in California are among the strongest in the United States and the world, which is not completely surprising seeing how market leader Tesla is based in Fremont (for now).
Supporters also claim that once gas stations close (which is inevitable as the percentage of electric vehicles increases), they are often toxic sites contaminated by gasoline that require massive cleanup efforts.
Leading the charge in the efforts to ban any new petrol pumps are young people, including a 17-year old activist that The Guardian reports has seen wildfire damage up close and knows people who lost their homes in the 2019 wildfire that wiped out the town of Paradise.
Clearly, environmental concerns beyond the scope of the arguable environmental destruction due to the sourcing and use of gasoline ties into the push to call a halt to new pumps and stations. With vehicles of all types – from cars to trucks to motorcycles to off-road vehicles – beginning to switch over to electricity for fuel, which can be as close as the nearest outlet, the future of petroleum is looking bleak, at least in the long term, and possibly sooner if more anti-gas station measures like Petaluma’s expand to counties and perhaps even whole states.
What’s your take? Is electricity the future for all vehicles, or just some? Are the Sonoma County folks who support this measure hopeful tree-huggers, or keen-eyed futurists who know a trend when they see one? Is The Motor Law nigh? Would you support or oppose such a law in your city, county, province, state, or country? Why? Read The Guardian story here, and leave a comment. We’ll update you on the story when we hear about any votes on the matter.