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City introduces milestone law outright banning new gas stations — here's what the policy means for residents

This city joins a growing list of cities getting ready to say goodbye to polluting gasoline cars once and for all.

This city joins a growing list of cities getting ready to say goodbye to polluting gasoline cars once and for all.

Photo Credit: iStock

Sacramento has taken proactive steps to accelerate the phasing out of dirty-fuel-powered vehicles in the city, announcing a plan to ban new gas stations. 

That should give Californians who are on the fence about buying an electric car a jolt, with traditional gas stations on the way out in favor of more electric charging infrastructure.

The policy, set out as part of the 2040 Sacramento General Plan, is calling for only "future-ready" facilities to be constructed in the coming years as well as updates to existing traditional gas stations to provide increased electric vehicle refueling points.

CSP Daily News posted part of the plan's wording, which read, "The city shall prohibit the establishment of new gas stations or the expansion of new fossil fuel infrastructure at existing gas stations unless the project proponent provides 50kW or greater direct current fast charger electric-vehicle charging stations on site at a ratio of at least one new charging station per one new gas fuel nozzle."

Sacramento joined a growing list of California cities getting ready to say goodbye to polluting gasoline cars once and for all, with Windsor, San Anselmo, and Fairfax among those to have passed gas station moratoriums or outright bans.

Perceived lack of appropriate infrastructure for refueling electric cars remains one of the main reasons customers aren't so convinced to invest in the technology despite EVs' being demonstrably better for the environment, requiring little maintenance compared to internal combustion engine machines, and being more affordable to refuel.

But if electric refueling stations become increasingly common, and no more dirty-fuel points are popping up, perhaps range anxiety will dissipate among potential customers — and existing electric vehicle drivers.

Indeed, confidence in electric vehicles is growing, with annual sales passing the one million mark in the United States for the first time in 2023. 

While the California Fuels and Convenience Alliance has opposed the proposal, arguing it will "disproportionately [harm] small, minority businesses and consumers the most," per CSP Daily News, the move will surely benefit local residents and the planet in the long run.

With fewer vehicles that emit fossil fuel pollution on the roads, air quality will improve, reducing the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses caused by harmful chemicals and particulate matter.

Meanwhile, with California prone to wildfires because of regular hot and dry conditions, reducing the amount of planet-warming carbon dioxide emitted by vehicles daily will help to slow the rate of rising temperatures that make these extreme weather conditions worse.

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