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Governing the Gasoline Spigot: Gas Stations and the Transition Away From Gasoline

January 2021

Citation: 51 ELR 10054

Issue: 1

Author: Matthew N. Metz and Janelle London

Gas stations are America’s largest carbon spigot, a leading source of neighborhood-based pollution, and a sacred cow. This Article takes a comprehensive look at gas stations through the lens of the climate crisis and the rise of electric vehicles, and proposes steps to improve and shrink the country’s gas station network in an environmentally and fiscally prudent manner. It argues that state and local government should regulate gas stations to advance their climate goals, reduce pollution of air, soil, and groundwater, improve public health, and save taxpayers money. They should require them to clean up their contaminated soils, install modern tanks and piping, and abide by strict limits on carcinogenic benzene emissions. They should also halt construction of new gas stations and eliminate subsidies for existing ones.

Matthew N. Metz is the founder and Co-Executive Director of Coltura, a nonprofit working to accelerate the switch from gasoline and diesel to cleaner alternatives. Janelle London is Co-Executive Director of Coltura.

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