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Sierra Club Calls for Transportation Plan With Less Global Warming

The only way to seriously reduce our vehicles' contribution to climate change is to reduce vehicle miles traveled

Letter to Shawn Bunney, Chair of Executive Board of the Regional Transportation Investment District and John Ladenburg, Sound Transit Board Chair:

The Sierra Club urges you to consider addressing the public's concerns over global warming, land-use and fiscal responsibility in the draft "Blueprint for Progress" roads package you are developing. As we've communicated in our prior comment letter*, we support a fully-funded Sound Transit 2 plan and a regional transportation road package that prioritizes "fix-it-first" highway spending and projects that improve roads for transit and HOV use.

Sierra Club Releases Vision of RTID Highway Building Plan

A reduced package prioritizes moving goods and people, making infrastructure safer and addressing global warming pollution

In a letter to the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) Board, the Sierra Club released an outline to illustrate how leaders could refocus the RTID funding package to address the serious issues of global warming, fiscal accountability and regional mobility. It highlights projects that enhance transit reliability on major highways, improve local grid mobility and prevent a ballooning of carbon dioxide pollution in the region.

“There’s still time for our public officials to ramp down the exuberant funding on highway spending in the draft package,” said Mike O’Brien, the Cascade Chapter Chair. “As gas prices soar, it is wrong to lock us into a highway-building program that doesn’t help our region’s mobility. We cannot sacrifice Sound Transit by weighting it down with an overreaching, fiscally irresponsible highway spending bill that digs the global warming hole deeper.”

Comments On the Regional Transportation Investment District

The Sierra Club is providing comments on the joint Roads & Transit investment package proposed by the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) and Sound Transit (ST).  We evaluate and comment on the proposals of the two regional agencies together since they are being presented to the public as a regional transportation plan, and the vote is presently structured to produce an all up or down outcome.  We sense--as others in the region do--the need to address transportation planning and investments in a comprehensive and holistic manner.


We first summarize the Club’s position on the joint ballot proposal.  The important criteria by which the Sierra Club evaluates the transportation projects is described, followed by specific assessments of the RTID projects, and then the ST Phase 2 projects.  We offer recommendations for alternative projects, and suggest alternative ways of structuring a regional transportation plan.  

2007 Student Environmental Leadership Training Programs

These week-long training sessions in organizing skills led by the nation's top student organizers. Learn to develop effective groups that can tackle serious environmental issues, and network with other activists to build your region's student environmental movement. Then take what you've learned and put it to into action at your high school, on your campus and in your community.

APPLY NOW online at www.ssc.org/sprog

For more contact: Jon BarrowsSSC Trainings Directorjon@ssc.org

Wild Sky Bill Introduced at Last!

After six years of bi-partisan efforts led by Democrats Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Rick Larsen, the Democrats’ re-taking of the Congress in Nov. 2006 was the breakthrough needed to get the Wild Sky Wilderness Bill moving through Congress. With Rep. Pombo (R-CA) out of office, finally Senator Patty Murray (for herself and Sen. Cantwell in the Senate) and Rep. Rick Larsen (for himself, Rep. Inslee, and Rep. Dicks in the House) were able to introduce “The Wild Sky Wilderness Act of 2007”! Although the Senate had passed the Senate version of the bill three times, Pombo had kept it blocked for years in his House Resources Committee. What a legacy for all who made it happen – 106,557 irreplaceable acres in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests for present and future generations to cherish and enjoy! It’s difficult to imagine a more gratifying piece of legislation for those responsible. A few features of the bill are these:

Ask Gov. Gregoire to Be a National Leader On Clean Energy Solutions and Smart Transportation Choices

Please send the following to Governor Gregoire by email or at:

Governor Chris Gregoire
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002

Please send a quick email to jessica.eagle@sierraclub.org to let her know that you've taken action!
Be Cool! Protect Washington’s Climate and Communities

  • Harness wind and solar power
  • Save on gas and energy bills
  • Reduce global warming pollution

HB: 2139 Addressing Transportation Policy Goals

  • In Washington, transportation accounts for nearly 60 percent of our greenhouse gas emissions, compared to about 40 percent in California.
  • Requires the Department of Transportation to assess the greenhouse gas emissions of potential transportation projects over the project’s entire life cycle;
  • Requires the Department of Transportation to include in a list of project alternatives projects that have lesser carbon emissions;
  • Requires the Department of Transportation to prioritize projects that have a lower carbon emission output and encourage a reduction in the number of vehicle miles traveled.

Status: Awaiting a public hearing in the House Transportation Committee.

Sierra Club Priority Legislation to Combat Global Warming Passed!

Landmark state climate change bill has passed – Senate Bill 6001 establishes standards to reduce global warming pollution

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Gov. Chris Gregoire signed Washington’s historic climate change bill, setting the stage for dramatically reducing the state’s global-warming pollution over the next four decades while building a strong clean energy economy.

Senate Bill 6001, introduced by Vancouver Sen. Craig Pridemore, puts into law Governor Gregoire’s initial timeline for reducing global warming pollution from sectors including transportation, industry and power production. Scores of Washingtonians representing a wide variety of interests have been drafted by the Governor to design a plan for achieving those goals, with legislative action to accomplish the goals expected beginning in 2008.

Be Cool—Protect Our Climate and Communities

by Aaron Robins, Energy Committee Chair and Jessica Eagle, Associate Regional Representative

We have made great strides in the global warming debate—from over 350 cities signing onto the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, to President Bush’s recognition of “global climate change” in his State of the Union Address, to GE and DuPont’s new commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 60-80% of current levels by 2050. The train is moving and the Cascade Chapter is driving our state towards clean, safer and smarter energy solutions.

Movie/discussion House Parties

Sign up to host a movie/discussion night at your home with friends and neighbors you’d like to get to know. For more information call 206.378.0114 x308 or email fordk2@u.washington.edu
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