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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 17, 2015 at 3:25 PM

Transportation package needs to tackle climate change

Work continues on the Highway 520 bridge, looking westbound toward Seattle from Medina in December. (Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times)

I agree with the editorial suggesting that ideology shouldn’t trump sound transportation policy [“Don’t let ideology stand in the way of a transportation deal,” Opinion, Feb. 15]. A gridlocked Legislature serves no one.

The Senate Transportation Committee’s bipartisan package is an encouraging sign of what might be possible. But the package doesn’t clear the high bar of objectivity The Times calls for. Not when it would hold transit funding hostage if Gov. Jay Inslee uses his existing authority to move forward on a clean fuels standard.

The Times itself doesn’t steer clear of ideology by repeating big oil’s talking point that gas prices would rise under the fuel standard. Last December, Washington’s Office of Financial Management released an independent study on the standard that projected prices to rise by 2 cents in 2020 and 10 cents in 2026. This is a drop in the bucket. Gas prices spike by far higher amounts all the time. We can’t tackle global warming without cleaner transportation fuels. Plus, the standard would achieve cleaner air and create local energy jobs.

In contrast to the Senate, Inslee’s proposal would cut carbon, accelerate Washington’s pace of business innovation and fund transportation. I encourage the Legislature to put ideology aside and pass a transportation package that works for Washington.

Katherine Plimpton, Seattle

Comments | More in Transportation | Topics: climate change, global warming, Gov. Jay Inslee

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