Representative Judy Clibborn recently spoke with participants at the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable regarding recent developments in transportation and the outlook for the upcoming 2017 legislative session.
Clibborn reflected on her decade long history of speaking to the group and the progress that has been made on identifying funding to complete the transportation projects and programs that keep people and freight moving.
Despite the passage of transportation revenue packages in the Legislature, there are still significant challenges and unmet needs for new transportation investments as well as for maintaining and preserving the current transportation system. Advancements in technology are leaning more towards alternatives to fossil fuels, which has implications for the dependence on the gas tax as the main source of revenue for transportation projects. Rep. Clibborn also discussed the increasing pressure on the transportation system in areas of the state that are experiencing growth, and that these are new challenges that need to be taken into consideration.
Additionally, the Roundtable heard from Ashley Probart of the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board, and Chris Herman of the Washington Public Ports Association regarding the update to the Washington State Marine Cargo Forecast. Findings are still in draft format, but this data will help decision makers to better understand the movement of freight in the state and the region. The final study will be made public prior to the 2017 legislative session.
Bill Drumheller of the Washington Department of Ecology provided a presentation covering the new Washington State Clean Air Rule, which applies to fuel refinery activities for fuel consumed in the state. This rule is intended to reduce the state’s carbon footprint for the transportation sector, and make progress towards meeting the greenhouse gas reductions outlined in state law back in 2008.
Presentations from the meeting are available on the Regional Freight Mobility Roundtable website.