Repost from The Seattle Times
[Editor: For details, see the Governor’s website: Inslee announces slate of proposals to curb pollution, transition Washington to cleaner sources of energy. This week saw dramatic action on the part of two US governors. See also NY Gov. Cuomo bans fracking. – RS]
Gov. Jay Inslee proposes a 12-year, $12 billion transportation plan, saying fees on the state’s biggest polluters will help fund improvements.
By Mike Lindblom, Dec. 16, 2014
After two years of watching gas-tax increases tank in the Legislature, Gov. Jay Inslee proposed Tuesday to take a new approach: Charge major polluters for the right to emit carbon.
Inslee’s plan, featuring a “cap-and-trade” system, would generate $400 million a year, he said, to cover nearly 40 percent of his $12 billion, 12-year transportation improvement plan. The remainder would come from bond debt, existing gas taxes, tolls and an assortment of vehicle fees.
The new six-lane Highway 520 bridge would be completed all the way to Interstate 5, using $1.4 billion, while the state would abandon the idea of tolling the I-90 Mercer Island floating bridge. An additional $1.3 billion would widen Interstate 405 from Bellevue to Renton.
Several projects have been on the drawing board for years, and even failed in a regional ballot in 2007.
Ferry riders would see a two-year freeze in fares, while a fourth ferry would be built to join the new Tokitae and two others under construction.
“We can clean our air and water at the same time we are fixing our air and our roads,” Inslee said in Medina, overlooking the 520 construction site. “It is indeed a twofer.”