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Saturday, July 13, 2024 - 10:42 AM


First Published in 1994


La La Land Ignores Supply and Demand

Now that California has passed a state-wide ban on the sale of gasoline-powered cars, which goes into effect in 13 years, climate activists are energized to eradicate this very efficient fuel. Their new target is gas stations. So far, eight California cities have banned the construction of new gas stations in their communities, which illustrates what's wrong when the heavy hand of government gets in the way of consumer demand and private development.

The climate activists think that “no gas, then no fuel for gas-guzzlers, then no change in climate.”

The reality is consumer demand for a scarcity of available gasoline will drive up prices as people drive further and use more fuel to fuel up. Electric vehicles are a luxury and not an efficient form of transportation compared to the gasoline-fueled internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles cost more and offer slower travel due to lengthy recharging times. Who wants to pay more to travel slower?

Plus, gas stations offer much more than just fuel for the car. They also sell fuel for the body and a rest stop. Have any of these eight cities in Napa and Sonoma counties considered where their visitors will find available restrooms after touring the wineries? Convenience stores are not a public nuisance but a public benefit for all travelers. Will California become the land of public urination?

Perhaps the California climate activists hope that by shutting down gas stations, they will shut down commerce, travel, tourism, and the freedom of the open road. Woody Hastings, co-coordinator of the Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations, said to the Wall Street Journal, "We were surprised that anyone was still building them." Note to Mr. Hastings: 93 percent of households in Los Angeles have motor vehicles that need regular fill-ups at the gas station. Stopping development does not stop the need for development.