Gas pump labels in SF 11/25

Please join us at the San Francisco Department of the Environment Commission hearing this Tuesday, November 25, at 5 pm, to get their support to put warning labels on gas pumps!  Supervisor John Avalos has introduced legislation (see draft ordinance here) that is pending before the Land Use and Economic Development Committee of the Board.  A positive response from the Environment Commission is vital to gain the support of the Board Committee.

The "Greenhouse Gas Information Labels" is item #6 on the agenda and should come up fairly soon after the start of the meeting.

6. Discussion and Possible Action to Make Recommendations to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) on BOS File No. 141094 [Environment Code – Greenhouse Gas Information Labels for Gas Pumps]: Ordinance amending the Environment Code to require service station operators to place labels on gas pumps advising the public of the amount of carbon dioxide generated by burning a gallon of fuel and making environmental findings. (Explanatory Documents:  Draft Ordinance and Legislative Digest) Sponsor: Deborah Raphael, Director; Speaker: Jeremy Pollock, Legislative Aide to Supervisor John Avalos (20 minutes) (Discussion and Possible Action)

Based on the wording proposed by the City Attorney, below is a draft of a possible 4" x 6" label (graphic by Ray Pajek):


One comment we may want to make at the hearing is that the proposed language is a bit wordy.  We could ask the Commission to consider language such as:

"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that burning gasoline contributes to global warming.  To learn about San Francisco's efforts to combat global warming go to:"  [note that this website has not been set up]
We also need the Commission to direct staff to make their web link more user friendly.  It should suggest ways for people to reduce their gas use.  For example, the Environment Commission has a page with many tips for reducing toxics in the home.  Their link to the gas pump label could list ideas such as the following for people to reduce gas use:

1.  Walk

2.  Bike

3.  Take the bus or BART

4.  Carpool--with three people in the car you've cut your CO2 by 2/3!

5.  Drive more slowly--driving 10 mph slower on the highway can save 12% or more on fuel consumption.

6.  Accelerate and decelerate more gradually-- Avoid that great sucking sound of gas guzzling.

7.  Inflate your tires to the proper level

8.  Combine trips to reduce total miles driven

9.  Make sure your next car gets better miles per gallon than your present car, ideally make it an electric car, and better yet power it with solar panels on your roof if possible. (32% of Californians who own electric vehicles also have solar panels on their roof!)

10. Next time you move or buy a house, find a place close to transit, and closer to your school or workplace to reduce total miles driven.

But the main thing is to get the Commission's support for the concept of consumer information labels, and ideally on the gas pump hoses (see suggested designs here).  We should ask the Commission to urge the Board of Supervisors to adopt the ordinance.  If San Francisco does so, it will be the first city in the U.S. to require accurate and informative climate change labels on gas pumps.  On November 18, Berkeley voted in favor of climate labels on gas pumps, and directed their city attorney to draft appropriate language, so the two cities are both racing ahead!

We hope to see you Tuesday!  Please call Jack at 626-806-6683 or Jamie at  510-402-8407 for more information.

--350 Bay Area Beyond the Pump Team


November 25, 2014 at 5pm - 7pm
San Francisco City Hall
1 Dr Carlton B Goodlett Pl
Room 416
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
Google map and directions
Jack Fleck ·
Anne Donjacour

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