Committee takes up state’s new transportation initiatives on climate change

The state transportation department outlined its role in addressing the Governor Inslee’s Executive Order on climate change in Yakima this week

Joint Transportation Committee

Committee reviews role of transportation in limiting greenhouse gas emissions

The legislature’s Joint Transportation Committee included at least one skeptic and others who expressed concern over economic impacts.

WSDOT’s presentation focused on the “Clean Transportation” elements of the state’s initiative, including: electric vehicles, technical assistance to local governments, the state’s next transportation plan, and transportation grants administered by state agencies.

“Consider me a skeptic.” said Representative Ed Orcutt of Kalama, ranking member of the House Transportation Committee, who was interested in the legislature’s oversight of statewide planning and grant making.

Senate Transportation Co-Chair Curtis King of Yakima raised concerns about possible new clean fuel standards and their costs.

“How can you implement these things without negatively impacting economic development,” King wondered, and asked that any new efforts consider economic development impacts.

WSDOT’s Assistant Secretary Amy Scarton reminded the committee that all of the new work is implementing state laws limiting greenhouse gas emissions enacted in 2008. 

Development of a new statewide transportation model is part of the planning effort.

The state hopes to complete the first statewide transportation plan incorporating limits on greenhouse gas emissions by December, 2016.

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