It’s hard enough in the Bay Area to find affordable gas stations.

But in the North Bay, it might be difficult to find gas stations.

Or, at the very least, newer ones.

Black and white image of a car being refueled at a gas station
Refuel the car

According to the North Bay Business Journal, two cities are considering a new plan that would ban new stations.

If the vote goes through, Santa Rosa and Windsor would join Petaluma, Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, and Cotati, who all currently have similar bans.

North Bay Business Journal quotes Suzanne Smith, director of Climate Programs at the county’s Regional Climate Protection Authority:

The main impetus for this is it’s an opportunity for local governments to clearly state a policy related to fossil fuels, and the importance of transitioning away from fossil fuels.

No new gas stations in Sonoma County

Currently, Sonoma County has approximately 138 gas stations.

The new plan will not change that number.

They just won’t build stations in the future.

Woody Hastings, co-coordinator of the Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations, explains that underground tanks at these stations pose a toxic risk to local groundwater.

And with new legislation going into effect this decade, some of the existing infrastructure for stations will be phased out.

The Business Journal quotes Hastings:

This is not symbolic, this is not a statement… There are four gas station proposals pending in Sonoma County right now — two in Santa Rosa and two in unincorporated county… We’re stopping something.

Environmentally Friendly Options

ChargeHub notes that there are approximately 24 electric vehicle charging stations in Sonoma County — with 83% of those being free.

Sonoma county is certainly moving in a more environmentally friendly direction, with bus and transit options.

Windsor Mayor Sam Salmon agrees with the proposed ban, and explained:

The real question is why would we need more gas stations when we’re trying to move toward electric cars, and for me, trying to get people to drive less?

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