TAKOMA PARK, Md. — Takoma Park – deemed the 'Berkeley of the East' – is working toward a total reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035, which includes phasing out such things as heating, water heating, lawn care equipment and cooking equipment that are fossil-fuel based.
The city of nearly 17,000 in Montgomery County that voted back in 1983 to become a 'nuclear-free zone' is considering an overall ban on fossil fuels, all originating from a nationwide effort by local governments to address what they see as a lack of federal action on climate change.
The resolution, which was first raised in a new climate resolution, would ban all gas appliances, close fossil fuel pipelines, and even move gas stations outside the Takoma Park city limits by 2045.
The new plans are spelled out in resolution proposed by the Takoma Park City Council, which officials say are not mandatory.
The resolution, which is expected to be adopted on March 4, lays out how Takoma Park plans to move toward the elimination of all fossil fuels – including adding to the tree canopy, making current houses and all new structures more energy-efficient and even convincing residents to walk and use public transportation rather than purchase or use cars.
Additionally, Takoma Park is aiming to set up a Sustainability Assistance Reserve Fund that will be used to help pay for improvements and updates by low or middle-income residents and business owners.
One business in particular in the Takoma Park area has already adapted to the change of eliminating gas – as they switched over to electric power.
Back in October 2019, RS Automotive in Takoma Park became the first gas station in the country to completely switch to electric power. First opening up in 1958, the former gas station has had a long-standing history in the Takoma Park community. But after owner Depeswar Doley's daughter convinced him to ditch gas and embrace electric power instead, the business saw a good response to the switch.
"We've had quite a good response," he said. "Quite a few people came here. We had this morning a young man from Columbia, Maryland. And I got an email from somebody who said he's coming all the way from Maine. Just coming to celebrate the station."