A US city is banning new petrol stations as lawmakers say they feel an “obligation” to tackle climate change.
Lousiville, near Denver in the state of Colorado, is home to around 21,000 people and currently has five stations. A sixth was recently approved but it could be the city’s last.
The new local legislation notes that “gasoline station bans may also be seen as promoting the use of Electric Vehicles (EVs), thus, reducing vehicle emissions and encouraging low-carbon and cleaner energy options for transportation.”
It adds that the proposal for a cap on petrol stations and not a full ban is because there will still be demand while more electric vehicles are phased in.
Any new petrol stations granted an exception to the ban or those that are modified will also have to install at least two electric vehicle chargers as part of the legislation. They will also have to be at least 1000 feet (just over 300 metres) from existing ones.
- Last year, Louisville’s City Council passed an emergency moratorium that banned the construction of new petrol stations until September 2023.
Now city councillors have approved the proposal to put a cap on the number that can be built.
Where else are new petrol stations being banned?
In 2021, Petaluma, Santa Rosa in Sonoma County, California became the first city in the US to ban the building of new petrol stations. Around 60 per cent of the trips residents make here are less than 8 kilometres across mostly flat ground.
Other Californian cities have followed suit with the state’s largest city Los Angeles also exploring similar legislation. Local leaders in other US states including New York are looking to do the same.
In Canada, parts of British Columbia are also considering similar policies to halt construction.
The movement is growing as many governments around the world, both local and national, consider a future ban on petrol and diesel cars.
Building new forecourts for fossil fuel-run cars would send a mixed message to residents, and go against expert opinion on the energy transition.
As many as 80 per cent of the 150,000 petrol stations across the US could be unprofitable by 2035, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group. This is in part due to a shift from fossil fuel-powered cars to electric vehicles.