The political divide in the US over the best way to deal with climate change is reflected in starkly different proposals to build new gas stations in Los Angeles, California, and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Los Angeles has become the latest US city to propose a ban on new stations, following four other California towns that have restricted construction of new pumps.
But the movement to limit gasoline And speeding up the transition to electric cars isn’t a stretch for states like North Carolina. In Raleigh, one lawmaker wrote a bill proposing to destroy electric car chargers unless more gas stations are built near them.
The contrast highlights the different attitudes in America towards the push by the Biden administration Electric vehicles As part of an attempt to curb climate change by stopping the use of fossil fuels.
President Joe Biden has called for half of all cars sold in the US to be electric by 2030, up from 2% in 2021, according to the IEA. The Environmental Protection Authority Estimates that greenhouse gas emissions from transportation make up 27 percent of total US emissions, making it the single largest contributor.
“We’re seeing a bit of a cultural divide where more urban Americans who could adopt an EV lifestyle see gasoline vehicles as polluting and harmful, and more rural Americans see the EV push as unsympathetic to the constraints on their lifestyles,” said Philip Rossetti, senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a markets think tank. free
Petaluma, a California town of 60,000, became the first place in the world to ban new gas stations when it passed a local law last year that changed its building codes to not only ban new sites but also limit the expansion of existing stations.
Four cities in the state have since followed suit, while several others are considering similar laws, including Bethlehem, New York, and Los Angeles, which would become the largest US city to ban new stations.
Petaluma Councilwoman D’Linda Fisher said the ban was initially discussed as a way to prevent supermarkets from building mega gas stations on their sites in order to attract more customers to their stores.
“We had long lines of traffic all the time,” Fisher said. “But the real reason for banning gas stations was because we simply realized that we didn’t need any more of them.”
Fisher said she received hate mail related to the ban. “I’ve had some emails calling me a stupid liberal, I’ve had barbs from people asking, ‘Have you lost your mind?'” Fisher said. “No I haven’t. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what we need to do.”
In Los Angeles, Councilman Paul Kurtz, who authored the bill that proposed banning new gas stations, called the move a “modest step” that would prevent about two to three new gas stations from being built each year.
“We had a lot of criticism and resistance from people saying, ‘Can’t you do something more gradual?'” Kurtz said. “And the answer is no, we can’t be more gradual than saying no to two or three applications a year.
“Currently we have an abundance of gas stations. You can usually see the next gas station from a gas station. There is simply no need for more. We are not asking to close gas stations, we are just saying that we have reached a point where we do not need to dig a deeper hole.”
Drought-stricken California has some of the most climate-friendly policies in the US, with plans to end the sale of all gasoline-powered cars by 2035, but the landscape in North Carolina is the opposite. There, efforts to block the replacement of gas stations with electric chargers are gaining ground.
Ben Moss of North Carolina, a Republican lawmaker, has introduced a bill in the state’s Knesset that proposes to destroy the chargers built on public property if a gas pump is not provided, and prohibits the state government from funding new chargers without also funding a gas pump.
The Biden infrastructure bill included $7.5 billion earmarked for rolling out electric vehicle charging infrastructure, including $5 billion in funding available to states to build charging infrastructure between highway corridors.
“Taxpayers should not foot the bill for ‘free’ electric vehicle charging stations in state and local areas, unless those locations offer free gasoline or diesel,” Moss wrote on Twitter. “We need to do more to increase American energy production.”
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has elevated energy security to the top of the political agenda and helped propel gas prices to record highs, becoming a political liability for Biden ahead of the November midterm elections.
In Washington, Democratic lawmakers are set to suggest that electric vehicles could be the answer to high gas prices. Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Stevanov was recently portrayed as out of touch for praising her electric car’s ability to get her from Michigan to Washington without having to worry about the cost of gas.
Mike Kelly, a Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, noted that while the average cost of an electric car was $60,000, the median income of his constituents was $54,627.
The American Petroleum Institute, the oil and gas industry’s largest lobbying group, also warned of a “rapid EV transition” and argued that efforts to support electric vehicles could limit transportation options. Mike Sommers, the group’s president, says the government’s efforts to subsidize electric vehicles will be “expensive for taxpayers and consumers.”
Biden has proposed tax credits worth up to $12,500 per vehicle to help electric car buyers as part of his climate and social spending bill. However, the legislation has stalled in Congress and the tax credits are facing opposition from West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin – whose donors include oil and gas companies.
US states divided over petrol stations as LA considers ban on new pumps Source link US states divided over petrol stations as LA considers ban on new pumps