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Washington Governor Jay Inslee Preserves Transit and Street Safety Funding

11:45 AM PDT on July 30, 2015

Washington Governor Jay Inslee isn’t taking the pill.

Jay Inslee
Jay Inslee
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Last week Inslee signaled he would go ahead with a low-carbon fuel standard for the state, which would have triggered a legislative “poison pill” -- a concession to Republican lawmakers -- to eliminate billions in funds for transit and street safety initiatives.

It was a Faustian bargain that put some transit and safe streets advocates at odds. But Tom Fucoloro at Seattle Bike Blog reports that Inslee found another way.

Inslee announced Tuesday that he’s going a different direction on reducing carbon emissions. Rather than a clean fuels standard (already in place in Oregon and California), he’s going to develop a regulatory carbon cap. Though it would not be a complete cap-and-trade system (that would take an act of law, not just executive action), it “would force a significant reduction in air pollution,” according to an official statement.

“In talking about the terrible choice the Senate imposed on the people of Washington -- clean air or buses and safe sidewalks -- I heard broad agreement that we need both clean transportation and clean air,” Inslee said in the press release. “I appreciate the commitment I heard from many to work with me to ensure our state meets its statutory carbon reduction limits.”

Also on the Network today, Greater Greater Washington finds that empty bike-share stations don’t necessarily mean long waits.

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