This major US city wants to ban new gas stations


Sacramento, capital city of the EV-loving Golden State, is the latest city proposing to ban new gas stations or upgrading existing stations, unless of course you’re adding electric vehicle charging.

The government recently issued a 2040 Sacramento General Plan, first reported by OPIS, which calls for “future-ready” gas stations. The plan states that the “city shall prohibit the establishment of new gas stations or the expansion of new fossil fuel infrastructure at existing gas stations unless the project proponent provides 50kW or greater direct current fast charger (DCFC) electric-vehicle charging stations on site at a ratio of at least one new charging station per one new gas fuel nozzle.”

The plan also calls for setting up requirements for EV charging infrastructure in new and expanded gas stations citywide.

Of course, Sacramento isn’t the first California city to have passed a ban or moratorium on gas stations, with Petaluma leading the charge back in 2021, followed by Calistoga, Rohnert Park, Sebastopol, Cotati, Santa Rosa, Novato, Windsor, American Canyon, San Anselmo, Fairfax, and Yountville. Los Angeles and Angels Camp have pending bans in the works – with LA also banning new oil wells.

Other cities that have passed their own ordinances to limit building new stations include Memphis, Tennessee, and Louisville, Colorado, with a few others in the US and Canada also considering the ban.

Of course, the move is seeing plenty of pushback, not surprisingly from the California Fuels and Convenience Alliance (CFCA), a lobby industry that represents gas stations.

Electrek’s Take

As governments are mandating an end to new gas car sales by 2035, the writing is already on the wall, with at least 80% of gas stations set to be unprofitable by that date. Despite being an environmental hazard, building new gas stations is just a bad investment, on top of being extremely expensive to remediate – although for its part, California recently passed a bill requiring that oil companies put aside money for remediation of wells before they open new ones. Still, of the 450,000 hazardous brownfield sites in the US, the EPA reports that about half are contaminated by petroleum that has leaked from underground tanks from old gas stations. Plus let’s not forget all the hazards with gas stations that are in operation, which emit cancerous benzene and ozone, which can cause asthma and respiratory problems. Building new gas stations just locks us into this depressing, never-ending cycle for decades to come.

Photo: California State Capitol, Photo by Tony Webster

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