Nixing gas stations won't solve climate change

Thursday, March 4, 2021
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

gasoline pumpsThe voice of the independent oil and gas industry in the West says Petaluma, California voting to outlaw new gas stations as part of an effort to combat what some people view as man-made climate change is an example of how some cities are "really overstepping their bounds."

Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, says the decision "is interfering in private commerce, and it seems like an effort from the left to control goods and services and what we buy."

She tells One News Now outlawing new gas stations is only going to disadvantage consumers in Petaluma.

"They're either going to have to buy gas elsewhere or pay higher prices because there is less competition," Sgamma points out.

In addition to curbing emissions, supporters of the "no new gas stations" effort want to speed the transition away from gas-powered vehicles to electric vehicles (EVs). Based on that, should the city have told gas stations owners to install some charging stations?

"Municipalities don't just ask; they mandate things," answers Sgamma. "By mandating that they have to provide some service, that's too much government control of private commerce as well."

Sgamma adds that preventing new gas stations from being developed is not going to solve climate change. (See earlier related story)

Sgamma

"Really, all it's going to do is require motorists to get gas elsewhere, because suddenly the existing gas stations are not going to have any new competition, and so they're going to be able to raise prices to the point where either the citizens in Petaluma suffer because they're paying higher gasoline prices compared to across the city border, or it's just going to cause them to drive farther to get cheaper gas," the Alliance president poses. "So it's not solving the problem of climate change by just making it harder to get gasoline."

Sgamma does, however, see an advantage to electric vehicles.

"Electric vehicles make sense if you're bopping around town a bit," she says. "They probably don't make sense for a long-haul trip, but for fleet vehicles or those just commuting within a municipality -- great!"

Still, Sgamma believes telling people they should not drive the internal combustion engine and they just need to move to electric vehicles "is really an infringement upon personal freedom."

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