BERKELEY, Calif., Nov. 19 (UPI) -- Long home to progressive politics and local policies, the Bay Area city of Berkeley is set to become the first place in the United States to feature global warming warning stickers on local gas pumps. The city council gave the plan the green light in a vote on Tuesday.
Just as cigarette labels warn would-be smokers that use of tobacco products can lead illness and death, Berkeley's new global warming alert labels will remind petroleum buyers that carbon emissions encourage the warming of the Earth's atmosphere.
Environmental groups have been vocal in their support of the local measure -- including nonprofit 350 Bay Area.
"Right now, it's normal and socially acceptable to burn fossil fuels in our society, and this is in contradiction to the science of global warming," Jamie Brooks, the group's campaign manager, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "What we're not doing a very good job of is making the connection between our own personal use and global warming."
"The goal is to connect personal consumption with the problem," Brooks added. "Who is responsible? Me."
Oil industry reps are not happy with the plan. A spokesperson for the Western States Petroleum Association, a regional lobbying group, told CBS that the labels were "unwanted speech in violation of the First Amendment."
Its backers insist the labels will stand up to any legal scrutiny. San Francisco is considering a similar measure, and will likely vote on theirs in March.