Gov. Jay Inslee today unveiled a 12-year, $12 billion plan to overhaul Washington state’s transportation system. Nearly one-third of that price tag, he proposed, should be underwritten by major carbon polluters who would pay for the right to release these emissions.
The governor said he anticipates the state will bring in $400 million a year from the state’s worst polluters. Other expected revenue streams, he envisions, would include $4 billion in tolls and other fees, plus more than $3 billion in construction bonds.
The details of the carbon-pollution fees, reports the Associated Press, are scheduled to be released Wednesday, but an aide to Inslee said they are part of a proposed program that would put a hard cap on the state’s carbon pollution and then allocate permits to major polluters.
“The money would be raised through the sale of permits, rather than a tax on fossil fuels,” said Chris Davis, Inslee’s adviser on carbon markets.
Inslee chose Medina as the venue to roll out his transportation plan in Medina, at a news conference overlooking the new Highway 520 floating bridge, under construction on Lake Washington.
The governor says the bridge will be completed with $1.4 billion in state dollars. Another $1.3 billion will be invested nearby on Interstate 405 between Bellevue and Renton.
The transportation budget items for the next 12 years the governor plans to propose to the Legislature include the following, according to AP.
• Completing the bridge on state Route 520 with $1.4 billion in state dollars.
• Spending another $1.3 billion on Interstate 405 between Bellevue and Renton.
• About $278 million for Interstate 5 improvements near Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
• About $432 million for work on U.S. 395 from Francis to the Spokane River.