Los Angeles could become the largest city to prohibit the construction of new gas stations, joining a movement that seeks to limit fossil fuels at the local level as part of efforts to combat the climate crisis.
Officials in America’s second largest city, along with Bethlehem, New York, and Comox valley regional district, British Columbia, said on Wednesday morning that they were working on policies to stop the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure.
“We are ending oil drilling in Los Angeles. We are moving to all-electric new construction. And we are building toward fossil fuel-free transportation,” said Paul Koretz, the LA council member who is working on the policy. “Our great and influential city, which grew up around the automobile, is the perfect place to figure out how to move off the gas-powered car.”
LA’s developing policy is a significant shift for the car-reliant metro area, which has been ranked as one of the worst cities for US commuters. If successful, Los Angeles would be the largest city to pass such a measure. Andy Shrader, a staff member in Koretz’s office, said the council member hopes to see the policy move ahead by the end of the year.
“Our daily bad habits are destroying the natural systems we depend on to exist. It’s really up to cities to turn around climate change,” Shrader said. “If you have lung cancer you stop smoking. If your planet is on fire, you stop throwing gasoline on it.”
LA’s proposal was inspired by the city of Petaluma, California, which last year became the first in the world to ban new gas stations. The Bay Area city council voted unanimously in support of the measure, citing Petaluma’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2030.
“We need to do our part to help mitigate and adapt to our changing weather patterns that exist because of all the carbon we put in the atmosphere,” D’lynda Fischer, a Petaluma city council member, said at the time.
Local action, Fischer said, is … (Read more)