Hi, it’s us — Matthew and Janelle, the co-executive directors of Coltura. We wanted to share the story of how Coltura got started. We each have kids, and we love them fiercely.
As climate change became a full-blown crisis, we each felt compelled to devote our lives to ensuring a healthy climate and livable planet for children — and your children, and all children. We wanted to address the climate crisis in the most impactful way possible. It only took a little research to learn that burning gasoline for transportation is the single biggest source of carbon emissions, and our cars and trucks are the main culprit. In California, this is really easy to see:
Across the whole US as well, gasoline is the #1 source of human-caused carbon emissions.
We were surprised to find that almost no one was talking about the harms of gasoline and the need to stop using it. Some organizations were putting excellent effort into stopping the supply of oil by blocking new oil pipelines and running anti-fracking campaigns. What was missing was effort to stop the demand for oil to power our internal combustion engine vehicles.
Our work was cut out for us! We decided to focus on this one thing, the biggest lever in reducing carbon emissions: moving beyond gasoline to cleaner alternatives.
We knew that stopping gasoline use one person at a time was not going to get the necessary results fast enough. Broad policies were needed make the switch away from gasoline at speed and scale. We started by focusing on state and local policies to reduce gasoline use. We knew we couldn’t advance these policies alone, so we organized coalitions of truly fabulous environmental, health, environmental justice and electric vehicle nonprofits, utilities, labor organizations and others.
To make these policy changes, we realized, would also require changing the 100+-year culture around the acceptability of gasoline. After all, why would people support policy to cut gasoline use, if they weren’t aware of the harms of gasoline, and the ease of switching to cleaner alternatives like electric vehicles? So we also started raising awareness of the harms of gasoline through art, music, and social media.
In the few years Coltura has been around, it has already made an impact in moving beyond gasoline (see below). And we’ve only just begun. We’re fighting for our lives and the lives of our children, and we’re determined to Move. The. Needle. With your support, we can speed the switch away from gasoline, and advance climate, health and equity for all. Let’s do this!
Matthew and Janelle
Mission and Vision
Our Mission: To improve climate, health and equity by accelerating the switch from gasoline and diesel to cleaner alternatives. Our goal is phase out sales of new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030. Our vision is a gasoline-free America, by 2040 or sooner.
WE DEVELOP NEW STRATEGIES that open legal and political pathways for accelerating the transition away from gasoline
WE LEAD COALITIONS pushing to enact gasoline reduction and vehicle electrification policies
WE ARM LEADERS AND ADVOCATES with policies and tools to reduce gasoline use at local and state levels
WE RAISE AWARENESS of the harms of gasoline through art, music, and social media. Just as the no-smoking movement highlighted the dangers of second-hand smoke, the no-gasoline movement raises awareness of the health, climate and equity impacts of gasoline and diesel use, and mobilizes opposition to gasoline and demand for a cleaner standard.
In 2019, Coltura has:
Worked with our California coalition to advance legislation that passed as a California budget bill including $1.5 million to study strategies to transition to zero emission vehicles
Worked with our Washington state coalition to advance legislation that passed as a bill budgeting $450,000 to study phasing out sales of new gasoline vehicles for public fleets starting 2025
Advanced a bill to enable Washington state to join the ZEV Program (requiring automakers to stock a certain percent of zero emission vehicles). The bill passed the state senate and will be revisited next year.
Coltura has led the transition off gasoline in additional ways, including:
Published the first op eds calling for California and Washington to phase out sales of new gasoline vehicles
Formed the first coalitions in Washington and California dedicated to phasing out gasoline.
Hosted the first US gathering of leaders from around the world to discuss global gasoline vehicle phaseouts
Wrote the first law review article on a path for states to get past federal legal hurdles to pass vehicle electrification laws
Wrote the first report in Washington on the status of public fleet vehicle electrification
Created the first music video about breaking up with gasoline
Hosted the first webinar on citizen advocacy for city fleet electrification
Coltura's name is a mashup of CO2 and culture, and reflects its desire to conjure a cultural movement away from gasoline.