Move Ahead Washington is the most-environmentally sustainable transportation investment package in our state’s history. With the support of funding from Washington’s new climate emissions reduction law, the Climate Commitment Act, and recent robust federal infrastructure and relief funding, Sen. Marko Liias and Rep. Jake Fey, with many others, shepherded a package that invests in existing roadways over expansion. It will make public transit widely available and affordable, create robust bus, train and create walking connections, and initiate funding for large scale decarbonization projects. This transportation package strikes directly at the state’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
In support of the transportation package, the state Legislature invested over $100 million to support the transition to electric vehicles, including EV rebates and charging infrastructure.
Finally, Move Ahead Washington also includes the largest investment in treating toxic stormwater runoff pollution from roadways that harm salmon and communities. TNC successfully advocated for the prioritization of $500 million over 16 years toward retrofits of existing pollution sources, using green stormwater infrastructure clean runoff and address environmental health disparities and salmon recovery.
Climate Change Resilience and Mitigation
Buildings are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas pollution in the state, and meaningful action on climate change means curbing this source of pollution. That includes reducing our reliance on greenhouse gas pollution from buildings. Sen. Joe Nguyen’s bill, SB 5722, will require performance standards for energy systems in existing buildings and decarbonization of building heating and cooling loads.
Climate-smart agriculture holds incredible potential to reduce and sequester greenhouse gas emissions while supporting farmers and ranchers, critical on-the-ground conservation partners. For the first time, the Legislature is providing funding–$2 million–for the Sustainable Farms and Fields grant program established in 2020 to tap the potential of farmers to lead on climate action.
Additionally, despite the supplemental budget year, the legislature is spending $57 million to support solar energy projects, including priority funding for “preferred-sites” for this clean energy infrastructure.
Finally, we thank state Rep. Davina Duerr, and state Sens. Jesse Salomon and Andy Billig, for their work in enacting SB 5042, which closes the sprawl loophole within the Growth Management Act.