Burning gasoline in our cars and trucks is the biggest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for most cities and states. Many local jurisdictions are working to reduce transportation GHGs. Most are using metrics that don’t necessarily correlate to gasoline use, such as electric vehicle adoption, vehicle miles traveled, transit ridership and bike lane additions. All these metrics are interesting, but for climate (and air quality) they are only relevant to the extent they displace gasoline use. If gasoline use doesn’t decrease sharply, we’re not winning on climate. Across the US, gasoline use is going up, not down:
In California, pre-pandemic, gasoline sales had plateaued:
CITIES MUST SET GASOLINE SALES REDUCTION GOALS:
For cities to bend the gasoline sales curve down, they must track and publicize gasoline sales within their borders, and set goals to reduce gasoline sales. And yet, very few cities even know how much gasoline their gas stations are selling.
As the saying goes, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” It’s critical for cities to obtain annual gasoline sales volume data to measure progress toward greenhouse gas reduction goals, and improve the effectiveness of their gasoline reduction strategies.
Knowing the correlation between localized gasoline volumes and local investments in measures such as alternative mobility, EV charging infrastructure, EV purchase incentives and public education campaigns would enable more effective use of these funds.
Gasoline sales volume data can also help cities better understand how gasoline consumption is affected by factors such as population, transit ridership, commuting, urban planning, EV adoption rates, gas station closures and openings, and gasoline sales in adjacent cities. And it could be used to optimize co-location of EV charging with the highest-volume gas stations, or to build EV charging near them.
The CEC requires every gas station to submit an annual report of its total gasoline sales. At the urging of Silicon Valley city and county officials and Coltura, the CEC in 2021 for the first time published annual city-level gasoline sales. Coltura has obtained from the CEC a broader data set — gasoline sales data at the city and zip code level from the CEC for those cities with 4+ gas stations. Gas stations are subject to fines of $500 to $2,000/day for failing to report, yet for various reasons (such as the opening or closing of a gas station), not all gas stations submit a report each year. The list of all gas stations that DID report for a certain year is available here or by clicking the button below.
CALIFORNIA CITY-LEVEL GASOLINE SALES VOLUMES FROM CEC
For the CEC’s published list of gasoline sales for 372 cities through 2019, click here. For the more complete list provided to Coltura by the CEC of gasoline sales by city and by zip code for 523 cities, along with number of gas stations in each city, click here.
Coltura also obtained gasoline sales volume data (also called “throughput”) for many individual gas stations from California’s Air Quality Management Districts and Air Pollution Control Districts. Cities can use this data to analyze the demographic, health and environmental impacts of the gas stations with the highest gasoline sales on the surrounding communities.
Cities need accurate annual city-level and gas station-level gasoline sales data to:
NOTE: Taxes from gasoline sales are allocated to cities based on population and # of registered vehicles — NOT on how much gasoline is sold from gas stations in the city. Even cities with no gas stations receive gas tax revenues.