As I confessed to you last week, my Nevada sensibilities get tested when examining the news for Battle Born Media newspapers in Northern California. For example, last week I sat in on a public hearing on whether to allow Costco permission to put in a 16-pump gas station.
Environmentalists shook in anger that the town of Novato would even consider allowing this. The county of Petaluma, just a few miles to the north, had already banned new gas stations there. You see, cheap gasoline stations prolong the conversion to electric vehicles, which is the planet’s only hope of staving off certain doom from climate change. This was the argument.
As one person said: “There is a high price for cheap gas. A cheap gas station will encourage people to buy gas cars. Gas cars bought today will have little value in 5 years.”
To cut to the chase, Novato’s leaders gave the green light to the gas station but stipulated that Costco must also include 10 EV quick-charge stations.
I have no doubt that everyone will drive electric cars one day. But, I seriously doubt it will happen anytime soon. Certainly not soon enough to ban new gas stations in 2021.
The switch from fossil-fuel cars to electric cars won’t be like, pardon the play on words, flipping an electrical switch. It will be a gradual shift. Battery storage will have to vastly improve and the cost of EVs (electric vehicles) must become cheaper than gasoline cars. And even when that happens (still a few years away, experts say) there will be decades in which the roads will feature electric and gas-powered vehicles. To paraphrase that old bumper sticker about confiscating guns, you’ll have to pry the steering wheel of that ‘65 Mustang from the owner’s cold, dead hand before it is mandated to a government scrap pile.
Look, I’m not smart enough to tell you how this is all going to play out, but Tesla’s brainchild Elon Musk is, and he says that America doesn’t even produce enough energy right now to accommodate a wholesale switch to electric cars. So, that must change.
Those who think this switchover will happen in the 2020s — and therefore we need to artificially jack up the price of gasoline to facilitate the change — are just kidding themselves. That’s what my inner Nevadan tells me.
ONE MORE THING
— Procrastireading is the art of reading instead of doing whatever else you should be doing.
— They should make an alarm clock that makes the sound of a dog about to puke. Nothing gets you out of bed faster.
— You can’t expect to be old and wise if you were never young and crazy.
With that, I’ll pick up my knitting and let myself out. Thanks for reading. Be safe, be kind and mask-up. Please subscribe to Marin’s most interesting newspaper. See details on Page 3A.
(Sherman R. Frederick is the founder of Battle Born Media, a newspaper company dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. You can follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/sherm.frederick/. He may be reached at email@example.com.)