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DOH! California city bans new gas stations

Okay, folks. Who’s ready to put an end to climate change and global warming? The city of Petaluma, California is, that’s who. And the brilliant plan they’ve decided on looks like a sure-fire winner… to somebody, apparently. As the Washington Times reported this week, the city’s leaders have taken the carbon emissions bull by the horns and wrestled it to the ground. From now on, no new gas stations will be allowed to be built inside the city. If and when the city’s 16 existing gas stations eventually go out of business, gasoline will no longer be available. What could possibly go wrong?

A Northern California city has become what’s believed to be the first in the country to ban all new gas stations in an effort to curb carbon emissions.

The Petaluma City Council voted unanimously Monday to prohibit the creation, expansion, reconstruction and relocation of gas 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 (64 kilometers) north of San Francisco hopes to become carbon neutral by 2030.

The City Council said they are “encouraging” residents to switch over to either electric vehicles or cars powered by hydrogen. It’s certainly good to hear that they had a back-up plan in mind. And to be fair to Petaluma, Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order banning the sale of gas-powered vehicles starting in 2035. But there will still be a lot of internal combustion engines running long after that.

Of course, the first thing the council apparently doesn’t realize is that until all of the gas-powered cars are finally driven from the roads of the Golden State, drivers of such vehicles who live in Petaluma will still need to fill up. So that means that they’re just going to have to drive even further to find a pump once the last gas stations close. So they’ll be burning even more fuel and putting more carbon into the air.

Meanwhile, they’re trying to force their citizens to go out and purchase one of two newer types of vehicles. The average sticker price for new electric cars is $19,000 more than the average gas-powered car. Also, whether or not you get any savings by plugging in your car rather than filling up the tank depends on where you live. If you are in a state with massively high gas taxes (like California), recharging can be cheaper. But in places with low gas prices, the juice for keeping your electric car running can end up being significantly more expensive.

As for hydrogen cars, there are currently three models of them available, and all only in limited areas. They are far from cheap. And good luck finding a “hydrogen station” to refuel them in your neighborhood.

Hopefully, the existing gas stations in Petaluma will be able to stay in business for a respectable amount of time. And who knows? The lack of any new, local competition coming into the market might make them even more profitable. But the net result of this pompous construction ban will be little more than yet another act of virtue signaling by the city government for quite some time to come.