A suburb of Denver, Colorado, has voted to cap the number of gas stations within the city limits to help “address” so-called climate change. However, some in the community, including one councilmember, admit the measure likely won’t help much.
On Tuesday evening, the City Council of Louisville, about 20 miles northwest of Denver, voted unanimously to pass Ordinance 1851, which would basically cap the number of city gas stations at six. There are currently five gas stations and a sixth has already been approved for construction. All future gas stations would be forbidden unless the gas station were “part of a new, large single-user retail center,” presumably such as Costco.
Should such a retail center ever be approved for a seventh service station, that service station would have to offer at least two electric vehicle charging stations and would have to be constructed at least 1,000 feet from its nearest service station competitor. These regulations were ostensibly introduced to help “address” local environmental concerns.
“We have an obligation to take every step possible to address the changes to our climate that are ravaging our planet and directly impacting the health, well-being and livelihoods of the constituents we represent in Louisville,” claimed Councilmember Maxine Most.
However, Most herself hedged her language and admitted at the meeting on Tuesday that the ordinance won’t necessarily combat “changes to our climate” so much as possibly prevent further damage. “We should be taking whatever incremental steps to not create additional fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Most, who is also a member of the city’s Economic Vitality Committee.
Resident Joshua Cooperman agreed. “Let’s do anything and everything we can, and to do all as best as we can,” he said.
Louisville is not the first municipality to cap service stations in an effort to change the world’s climate. It is following the path forged by Petaluma and Santa Rosa, California, which have each passed limitations on gas stations in the last two years.
Eric Lund, executive director of the Louisville Chamber of Commerce, argued against the measure, claiming that it would affect the city’s economic growth. However, the Louisville Sustainability Advisory Board countered that the effect would be “negligible, perhaps even nonexistent compared to the health, safety and environmental concerns of additional gas stations.”
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