Cloverdale mayor uses nationwide platform to speak out against gas station ban

Local bans on building new gas stations have become a major issue for conservatives, according to Cloverdale Mayor Todd Lands’ Nov. 1 appearance on a Fox Business broadcast.

“We’re in a low-to-middle income community, and if you pretty much ban gas stations or take out the market, it’s just going to increase demand and price,” Lands said in an interview with correspondent Neil. Cavuto on “Cavuto: Coast to Coast”.

“In my opinion, that has been a sign of absolute virtue and that’s pushed all over our state.”

Virtue signaling, the public expression of opinions or feelings intended to demonstrate a person’s social conscience, is often used to accuse someone of trying to earn praise for showing support for a cause. without taking any significant action.

In October, Windsor became the last municipality in Sonoma County, after Santa Rosa, Petaluma, Cotati, Sebastopol and Rohnert Park, to ban the construction of new gas stations.

“It’s been said that this policy is some kind of welfare policy or virtue signal and it’s not a really meaningful thing. It’s symbolic of the American landscape,” Woody Hastings, president, said on Friday. of the Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations, to The Press Democrat “But it has substance. … I call it a headache; it takes time for them to figure it out.”

Passing a similar ban had been discussed in Cloverdale but on November 9, following Fox’s interview, its city council voted 3-2 to table the proposal.

“All I can do is show statistics and facts and show how it will really affect members of our community. It is my job as mayor to pursue policies that will not burden them but will bring them real benefits,” Lands told the conference. interview with Cavuto.

Lands said he would be happy “to maintain the gas stations that we have.”

Along with Cloverdale Vice Mayor Gus Wolter, Lands said new council members elected on Nov. 8 should be able to voice their opinions on a possible ban. The council had already tabled the question on September 28.

Wolter said this week that the proposed ban was “too soon” and since neither the state nor the county backed it, he remained opposed to the move, which he said could harm to free enterprise.

“I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s ability to earn a living,” Wolter said.

“As our city and county gets more electric vehicles, gas stations will gradually close. More gas stations will not change the amount of fuel used,” Lands told The Press Democrat.

Hastings, however, said some objections to halting construction of new gas stations are not supported by evidence.

“Based on the first bans in 2021, there is no indication that people are having trouble finding gasoline or that prices are changing,” he said. “We believe there will be a decrease in the need for gasoline over time. It won’t be a problem in terms of availability or affordability.

Gas stations cause real environmental damage, Hastings said, such as groundwater contamination and air pollution.

Hastings said his coalition would contact new members of Cloverdale City Council.

Hastings had tried to contact Lands, but was unsuccessful, he said.

“There is a misinterpretation that there is a terrible rush” in creating the gas station bans, Hastings said. “It’s not a snapshot; it’s a film.

You can reach editor Kathleen Coates at [email protected] or 707-521-5209.