When oil and gas companies attack a climate campaign, activists usually focus on the obvious negative: One of the world’s biggest industries, with its wealth of resources, is trying to quash their efforts to, for instance, ban natural gas in buildings.
But in Northern California, where grassroots activists have succeeded in getting towns across Napa and Sonoma counties to prohibit new gas stations, some consider the emerging backlash a sign of validation.
The news of Big Oil’s opposition came to Jim Wilson in late January. The longtime climate activist in Napa County found a flyer in his mailbox one day with a picture of a gas nozzle next to an empty wallet, along with the message “Banning gas stations = higher gas prices.” The mailer, sponsored by the Western States Petroleum Association, the West Coast’s oil industry trade group, warned that efforts to limit new gas stations could lead to less competition and increased costs for the drivers of gas-powered cars.
“I believe that Napa County is the first in the U.S. to have... Read more