February 29, 2008
Two global-warming bills likely to pass the Legislature this session could open the door to tolls on major highways in the central Puget Sound region as a way to reduce traffic and greenhouse-gas emissions.
Environmental groups consider the bills critical to a larger effort to get people out of their cars and into public transportation. Transportation accounts for almost half of the state’s greenhouse-gas emissions.
House Bill 2815 requires the state to sharply reduce greenhouse gases between now and 2050. It also calls for slashing the number of miles traveled by vehicles in the state by half in the same time period.
The second bill, House Bill 1773, says tolls should be used to reduce greenhouse gases. It would allow tolls to become permanent and to vary in price based on the time of day.
Both bills passed the House and are in the Senate. They’re expected to become law.