Sonoma should act to fight gas price hike

Posted on March 24, 2022 by Sonoma Valley Sun
In the face of the emerging global energy crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has issued a 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use in advanced economies by 2.7 million barrels a day over the next four months. Many of these actions can be implemented and/or supported at the local level, but only if local elected officials have the courage to act quickly.
IEA has made it clear there is much local leaders all over the world can do to support the people of Ukraine, as well as the many in our own countries who are struggling to pay war-inflated prices at the gas pump.
IEA’s ten recommended actions, recently endorsed by US Energy Secretary Granholm, include:

  • Reduce speed limits
  • Work from home up to 3 days/wk
  • Car-free Sundays in cities
  • Switch to public transport, walking and cycling
  • Alternate car access to roads in cities
  • Increase car sharing and reduce fuel use
  • Promote efficient driving for trucks
  • Use existing trains instead of flying
  • Reduce business flights
  • Accelerate the shift to EVs and more efficient vehicles

In addition to IEA’s recommendations, a “Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act” (S.3802/HR7061) has been introduced in the US Congress. The bill would require rebates of the tax collected to be paid to individual taxpayers. Polls indicate widespread bipartisan support, and the bill recently gained the support of our own CA State Senator Alex Padilla. If high gas prices are of concern to this City Council, you should speak up and send a letter to our leaders in Washington DC to indicate our City supports this bill.

I hope you will take immediate action and direct your staff to report back at the next meeting on which of these actions the City of Sonoma is prepared to initiate or accelerate within the next 30-90 days. City residents on fixed incomes are struggling to pay these punishing gas prices, as are the members of our workforce who must drive long distances to work here. And we must not forget the people in our Sister City of Kaniv, Ukraine who are suffering too.

What will the people of Sonoma do to help them? It is up to you to decide.

— Tom Conlon, Sonoma

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA