Coltura Pushes for Release of California Gasoline Sales Volume Reports

How many gallons of gasoline are pumped in your city each year? Your city officials can’t tell you, because they don’t have the data. They don’t know which of their investments to reduce transportation emissions (such as EV charging infrastructure, public transit, e-bikes and e-scooters, EV ride & drives, and education campaigns) are having an impact on the city’s gasoline sales.They also don’t know which residents living near gas stations are exposed to the highest levels of carcinogenic benzene vapors.

California gas stations are required to report annually to the California Energy Commission (CEC) how many gallons of gas they sell, but the CEC, under pressure from a gas station trade association, has so far been unwilling to release those reports.

Coltura was able to obtain from the CEC aggregated gasoline sales volumes data for those cities with 4+ gas stations, but many gas stations did not submit the required report to the CEC, and there was no way to tell which gas stations didn’t report. As a result, the CEC admits that total sales volumes have been underreported by 10% to 30% over each of the last ten years. Here are some examples of the data the CEC provided:

This data is not sufficiently reliable for cities to use in analyzing their transportation investments. The underlying gas station reports are necessary to ensure a useful dataset.

Coltura has filed public records requests and is campaigning for release of the gas station reports, so that cities can assess and better target investments in gasoline reduction strategies, and protect residents located near the most polluting gas stations.

Coltura thanks all those who have helped with this effort, including these organizations:  Plug In America, Center for Biological Diversity, Stand.Earth, Mothers Out Front, The Climate Center, 350 Bay Area, 350 Silicon Valley, Fossil Free California, Clean Coalition, Acterra, ZEV 2030, Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action, Interfaith Climate Action Network of Contra Costa County, Menlo Spark, Sunrise Palo Alto, CONGAS, Project Green Home, and Silicon Valley Climate Strike.

Learn more about the importance of this data and the quest for it here.

Read Coltura’s blog post on this topic here.


San Jose Tops California Cities in EVs

San Jose and Atherton are California’s EV leaders. Where does your city stack up?

California DMV data shows that 23,170 EVs are registered in San Jose – the most of any city in California.

For percent of total vehicles, Atherton leads the way, with EVs accounting for nearly 9% of all vehicles registered there.

Note that EV prevalence (total EVs registered) is different from EV adoption rates (percentage of new vehicles acquired that are electric). In 2018, according to a report by the ICCT, San Jose also led the entire country in EV adoption, with more than 20% of new vehicles purchased there that year being electric:

Coltura Publishes on Gas Station Strategy 

Gas stations are polluting the air, soil and water near you. Coltura’s Matthew Metz recently published an op ed explaining the environmental hazards of gas stations and how we can lighten their heavy ecological footprint. Check it out here.


Gas Station of the Month: North Seattle ARCO

The 12-pump ARCO gas station on the corner of NE Northgate Way and Roosevelt Way NE in Seattle is right next to a 38-unit apartment building and a house. Severe soil and groundwater contamination were first found on the site in 1989. Per a 2019 analysis, cancer-causing benzene is present at levels 28 times above cleanup standards in a well six feet from the apartment building next door. The station’s underground storage tank vents, which emit benzene, are located just five feet from the neighboring house. (A recent study showed benzene spewing from gas station vents at unsafe levels as far as 150 meters away.)

The station’s four underground gasoline storage tanks were installed in 1990, and are at the end of their 30-year useful life. In 2017, Atlantic Richfield Corporation (ARCO) withdrew from its voluntary agreement with the state to clean up the station, but no formal action was taken against ARCO or the gas station, and the station continues to operate without interruption

Culture Corner: Leonardo DiCaprio Film About Formula E

Formula E electric car racing is pushing EV technology forward at top speed. Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary film “And We Go Green” is a behind-the-scenes look about how Formula E has become the world’s fastest growing motorsport. The film will premiere on Hulu on June 4.


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