This movement is starting to spread like a cancer…
Recently, I touched on the phenomena of some cities in California banning the construction of new gas stations. It’s a stand encouraged by environmental groups with the supposed aim of ditching fossil fuels entirely. I mentioned that Los Angeles is toying with the idea, a move which would have more of an impact than a handful of much smaller cities, most of them in the Bay Area. Bloomberg recently highlighted the idea, so it’s almost guaranteed to spread to other areas, which is why I think it’s worth digging more into what’s going on, who’s behind it, and why.
Watch the latest Motorious Podcast here.
This new push in the City of Angels comes via LA council member Paul Koretz, according to Bloomberg. He’s proposing a measure which would not only cease all permits for new gas stations but would stop existing gas stations from adding fuel pumps. The hope is by constraining the supply of fuel to those who doggedly insist on not buying EVs, those people will be forced to comply. To help spur everyone forward, existing gas stations will be allowed to add vehicle chargers.
Koretz seems to think more heavy-handed measures should be imposed by government to force people into buying EVs, calling the banning of new gas stations “a modest step in the right direction.” He also hopes the idea of cities not allowing new gas stations to be built “spreads around the country.” Considering how many municipalities seem to worship Los Angeles for reasons unknown, he might be right.
Just where do activists think all this electricity necessary to keep cars on the move will come from? A small fraction of electricity in any given area is generated by wind turbines and solar panels, both of which require intensive manufacturing processes dependent on a shocking amount of fossil fuels. With California decommissioning virtually all of its nuclear power plants, the state has become even more reliant on coal, an uncomfortable reality.
Perhaps the most prime example of the folly of these types of policies is Germany, a country which was hailed for its so-called green energy initiative a few short years ago. In reality, the Germans were just buying their fossil fuel power from Russia, a move which imploded with the war in Ukraine, causing the Germans to switch on their coal-fired power plants since they also decided shutting down nuclear reactors was best for the environment. Reality is a harsh tutor for those who don’t want to live in it.
As many have rightly pointed out, this move to ban the construction of new gas stations and the addition of pumps at existing stations smacks of cronyism. It’s a way for the government to pick the winners and losers in the transportation business, to squeeze out ICE vehicles and essentially force citizens to choose EVs, a fact activists regularly boast about instead of trying to hide. Staunchly behind this movement of banning gas stations in California is Stand.earth. The far-left environmental activist organization makes numerous claims about the impact of gas stations, including that they “cause cancer and asthma.” However, it fails to address how burning coal to generate electricity to power EVs is any better.
The organization has pledged to “fighting fossil fuel threats one at a time” through its SAFE Cities program, according to its website. To do this, it wants to stop any fossil fuel infrastructure projects “before they’re even proposed” as a way of taking the fight directly to the energy sector. Considering our economy is dependent on fossil fuels, something which would take considerable time and planning to transition away from if that’s even possible, the end result of Stand.earth’s actions will be to slow down economic growth considerably. Ultimately, that impacts the low-income areas the organization claims to care so much about helping.
The irony with this movement doesn’t stop there. Not only do Stand.earth members show up to protests wearing apparel made at least in part with petroleum products, including their face masks, the same is true of the banners they proudly fly to announce their agenda to the public they inconvenience. It’s similar to outdoor outfitter North Face recently decrying the oil industry, only to be called out for benefitting from the extraction of petroleum. Environmental solutions must be balanced with the realities of industry instead of basing them purely on fantastical idealizations of utopian transportation systems. For the foreseeable future, gas stations will remain necessary to keep people and the economy on the move.