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Los Angeles could become the largest city to ban the construction of new gas stations, joining a movement that seeks to limit fossil fuels locally as part of efforts to tackle the climate crisis.

Officials in the second-largest city in the United States, as well as Bethlehem, New York, and the Comox Valley Regional District of British Columbia, said Wednesday morning 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 new all-electric construction. And we’re moving toward fossil fuel-free transportation,” said Paul Koretz, the Los Angeles board member working on the policy. “Our large and influential city, which grew around the automobile, is the perfect place to discover how to ditch the gas-powered car.”

LA’s development policy is a significant change for the car-dependent metro area, which has been ranked as one of America’s worst commuter cities. If successful, Los Angeles would be the largest city to adopt such a measure. Koretz office staff Andy Shrader said the board member hopes to see policy progress by the end of the year.

“Our daily bad habits destroy the natural systems we depend on to exist. It’s really up to cities to reverse climate change,” Shrader said. “If you have lung cancer, you quit smoking. If your planet is on fire, you stop throwing gasoline on it.

The Los Angeles 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 favor 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 into the atmosphere,” council member D’lynda Fischer said at the time. Municipality of Petaluma.

Local action, Fischer said, is crucial to tackling the climate emergency. “To fight this crisis, it’s going to happen at the local level and it’s going to happen in our communities,” she said at a press conference on Wednesday.

The movement has grown further since then, with neighboring towns adopting similar measures and other towns developing their own policies. seeking to address the climate emergency and phase out fossil fuels with moratoriums and bans on new fossil fuel infrastructure and proposals that favor electric transportation and buildings. The campaign, known as the Safe Cities movement, is backed by environmental nonprofit Stand.earth, which supports community efforts to limit fossil fuels.

Petrol stations pose health and environmental risks to communities, according to a new report from Safe Cities. Even small spills over time can significantly pollute soil and water and old service stations make up a large part of brownfields, the report says.

“The need to ban new gas stations is so clear. Why would we want more fossil fuel pollution and risk the costly cleanup of more gas stations when we have had enough and California won’t even have gas-powered cars for sale by 2035? said Jackie Elward, Mayor of Rohnert Park.

Gasoline prices in California are at record highs, with the average Golden State driver paying $6.38 a gallon, according to AAA. State lawmakers have announced plans to investigate why the state has the highest fuel prices and whether oil companies are taking advantage of consumers. The gas station ban will not affect fuel prices, Sohini Baliga told Stand.earth.

“The number of gas stations does not affect the cost of a gallon. We already have more than enough gas stations to serve our communities,” she said. “Banning the construction of new gas stations will have no impact on gas prices today. But the cost of new gas stations as future stranded assets is a bill that definitely ends up being paid for with public money.


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