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Transportation and the Governor’s climate executive order: Your thoughts?

Gov. Inslee’s recent Executive Order regarding climate change has received a lot of attention most of it focused on his plans for a carbon cap-and-trade program. However there are several other elements to the Executive Order (full copy here) that could impact the construction industry including the section reprinted below titled Clean Transportation.   

AGC staff is asking members to take a look at this section and provide feedback – pro con or indifferent – on any or all parts of this proposal. Any “red flags” or questions about segments that may be unclear are also welcome. Bottom line question: How do you think this proposal will affect the industry? AGC staff has concerns about the elements regarding certain pools of transportation funding and what appears to be a shift away from road building. Plus the proposed low carbon fuel standard could affect the operation and warranties of certain heavy equipment. These elements of particular concern are in bold italics.

Please send any feedback questions or concerns to Jerry VanderWood at AGC 206.284.0061.

Gov. Inslee’s Executive Order on Carbon Reduction:
Clean Transportation Section

The Department of Transportation in collaboration with federal state regional and local partners will develop an action plan to advance electric vehicle use to include recommendations on targeted strategies and policies for financial and non-financial incentives for consumers and businesses infrastructure funding mechanisms signage and building codes. The Department will continue to build out the electric vehicle charging network along state highways and at key destinations as funding and partnerships allow.

The Departments of Transportation Commerce and Ecology will work with the Regional Transportation Planning Organizations counties and cities to develop a new program of financial and technical assistance to help local governments implement measures to improve transportation efficiency and to update their comprehensive plans to produce travel and land-use patterns that maximize efficiency in movement of goods and people and reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
The Department of Transportation in consultation with the Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board the Transportation Improvement Board and the County Road Administration Board will conduct a review of existing state transportation grant programs in order to identify and implement opportunities to increase statewide investments in multimodal transportation. The review will also identify methods of securing transportation funding for local governments that have adopted plans and performance measures to enhance multimodal transportation systems. The Department of Transportation will identify and recommend both immediate and longer-term reforms to grant making that will increase multimodal investments.

The Department of Transportation will develop adopt and implement new planning policies and guidance documents for conducting multimodal transportation corridor studies. New corridor studies shall prioritize both capital investments and operating strategies that increase transportation choices foster innovative land use and reduce transportation emissions. The Department of Transportation will identify both immediate and longer-term reforms to its corridor study work.
The Department of Transportation will develop adopt and implement the multimodal federally-compliant long-range statewide transportation plan with a renewed focus on transportation strategies to increase efficiency and reduce both costs and greenhouse gas emissions. The plan must explore alternative revenue sources to fund our transportation system including vehicle-miles-traveled fees system-wide tolling demand-management and trip-reduction strategies and other reforms such as least-cost planning transit-oriented land use freight-corridor development prioritized-project selection and similar innovative tools. This new focus will be developed based on scenario analyses of how investments in the transportation system move our state in the direction of a multimodal coordinated cost-effective safe and low-carbon transportation system. In developing the plan the Department shall utilize a multi-modal statewide model that allows for analysis of economic benefits vehicle miles traveled health greenhouse gas emissions and a least-cost planning methodology in order to develop outcomes to be achieved at five ten and twenty years from the plan’s adoption date. The Department shall develop the transportation model to reflect the current local state and national trend showing a decrease in driving and to evaluate how actions will contribute to achieving the state’s enacted limits for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

The Department of Ecology will review the State’s clean car law RCW 70.120A.010 to identify and recommend needed updates to the statute including the use of zero emission vehicles. OFM working with other state agencies and with advice from subject matter experts affected industries and public interests will evaluate the technical feasibility costs and benefits and job implications of requiring the use of cleaner transportation fuels through standards that reduce the carbon intensity of these fuels over time.

The director of LAPO will ensure that the State Legislature’s committees on transportation and environment and other interested legislative members are fully informed on the clean transportation work under this executive order and she or he will solicit their early and ongoing advice and guidance.

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