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Berkeley Approves Plan For Global Warming Labels On Gas Pumps

BERKELEY (CBS SF) – The city of Berkeley has long had a history of being environmental-friendly and now, drivers will be able to see it at the gas pump.

Late Tuesday night, by a 7-2 vote, the City Council approved a recommendation requesting that the City Manager draft an ordinance to require climate change labels at fuel dispensing facilities, in compliance with applicable laws. The draft will be reviewed by the Community Environmental Advisory Commission and Energy Commission.

The program is believed to be the first in the nation to address global warning at the gas pump and is expected to be rolled out early in 2015. San Francisco is also drafting a similar ordinance which could be voted on early next year.

The idea was developed by 350 Bay Area, the local chapter of a national advocacy group fighting against climate change, and is now part of its "Beyond the Pump" campaign.

The group said the campaign is designed around both education and solutions, as they are aiming to inform consumers about the dangers of burning gasoline. Among the solutions – telling drivers to keep their cars maintained and tires fully pumped, driving slower on the freeway, commuting to work one day per week using carpool, bus transit, walking or biking, and consolidating errands.

In a letter to city officials, The Western States Petroleum Association, an oil-industry lobbying group, said the proposal directly violates the First Amendment "by forcing businesses to advance the State of California's policy position that global warming caused by greenhouse gases poses a serious threat to the economic well-being, public health, natural resources, and the environment of California."

The labels are part of a larger voter-approved city plan to reduce emissions by 33 percent between 2000 and 2020.


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