Unsplash | Konstantine Trundayev

California City Votes To Ban New Gas Stations

The city of Petaluma in California will no longer build new gas stations. The city decided that there are enough gas stations in the city and no new locations are needed. They passed their ban on new gas stations with a unanimous vote in a city council meeting.

There was already a movement to stop the construction of gas stations.

Wikimedia Commons | Coolcaesar

In 2019, the development of a new Safeway gas station encouraged the city to review its project review process. The city felt that given the current climate crisis, it is not appropriate to continue to allow gas stations to be built.

“I would support prohibiting them in the future altogether,” said Councilwoman D’Lynda Fischer in the Argus Courier in 2019. “A conditional use permit or other sort of entitlement is inappropriate given our current climate crisis and where we’re going, and where I want to see the city go in the future.”

The new ban was designed to address issues that allowed the controversial Safeway gas stations to be built.


In 2014, the city councilors tried to halt the construction of the Safeway gas station but did not have the legal recourse they needed to stop the project. At the time, the city did not have specific policies for gas stations.

Councillor Mike Healy explained to The Press Democrat, “This ban probably would have happened at some point anyway, but the Safeway gas station definitely brought the issue to the front burner.”

The new ban stops the construction of new gas stations or pumps in the city.


According to the bill, no new stations are needed because, “Based on this inventory, there are multiple stations located within a 5-minute drive (2.1 miles at 25 miles per hour) of every existing residence as well as all areas planned for residential development by the 2025 General Plan but not yet constructed.”

New electric or hydrogen stations are still allowed.


“The goal here is to move away from fossil fuels, and to make it as easy as possible to do that,” Councilor D’Lynda Fischer said. “Right now, we have existing fossil fuel stations, and what we want them to do is add (electric vehicle) chargers and create another source of fueling people can use.”

This new ban is in line with the state of California’s climate change goals.


Matt Krogh, director at Stand.earth, explains, “In California in particular, where state climate targets are required by law, new gas stations will have a short shelf life, and could be abandoned before they make enough money to pay for their own shut down and clean up. This gas station ban is a common sense step to not get further bogged down by fossil fuel infrastructure.”

h/t: Gizmodo

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