Sacramento, CA — Now that Joe Biden is in the White House, the focus has turned back to climate change. One city took a drastic step by banning all new gas stations.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Petaluma City Council has passed a law to block the construction of any new gas stations in town. The city says the initiative is on their priority list to help achieve a net-zero carbon emission status by 2030.
Petaluma has become what officials said is the first city in the country to permanently ban the construction of new gas stations. https://t.co/tbdBBYhStQ
— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) March 2, 2021
On the surface, the logic surrounding the decision seems like it could perhaps help accomplish the goal. The City Council believes that by banning these gas stations, residents will be forced to look at other modes of transportation, such as electric vehicles. There are several issues with the new law, however.
Brad Palumbo at FEE.org shares several reasons the law may backfire. The law does nothing to decrease the demand for gas, any resident with those types of vehicles will still need it. If a new gas station was to be built, it would be because of demand.
Now, if demand increases, residents could be forced to drive to neighboring towns to obtain gas. Such a move would increase the amount of carbon emissions rather than decrease them as the citizens may drive more.
The move also does little to incentivize people to purchase an electric vehicle or use public transportation. One of the things that it will do, as Palumbo notes, is to increase the price of gas in the area.
Without any new competition to worry about, gas stations around the area can raise the prices of gas as demand may increase. This will force residents to travel outside for gas, as described above, or pay the higher price for the convenience hurting their wallet. Perhaps that’s what the City Council wants, however.
Americans have been slow to adopt electric vehicles due to the significant investment in those vehicles. A four-door full-size sedan made by Tesla will cost someone over $70,000 while a four-door full-size sedan made by Ford is around half the cost. If the desire is to drive people to electric vehicles, the focus should be on incentivizing the purchase of an electric vehicle or increasing competition in the electric vehicle market to drive down the price.
We are all well aware that Democrats do not pass laws that are to benefit those who they are elected to serve. They pass laws that focus on special interest groups, missions, and measures that benefit them politically. Everyday Americans are the ones who will suffer due to this new law.
JD Washington is the Editor-in-Chief at The Liberty Loft and host of The JD Washington Show. Be sure to subscribe to The Liberty Loft’s daily newsletter. If you enjoy our content, please consider donating to support The Liberty Loft so we can continue to deliver great content.