If I sound like a broken record, it’s only because I’m obsessed.
Putting a firm, enforceable, and declining cap on transportation carbon may be the single most important climate policy now before the Western Climate Initiative. But what’s remarkable—almost astonishing—is the chorus that supports putting a cap on the transportation sector. There’s essentially unanimity among public interest groups, a surprisingly deep bench of support from business and utilities, and a growing movement from local government.
- As a local, I’m proud to say that Seattle‘s Mayor Greg Nickels was among the first to stake out a public position in favor of a comprehensive carbon cap for WCI.
- Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams, who oversees transportation policy for Portland, has also come out in support. Also in Oregon, Douglas County commissioner Joseph Laurance is on board with a comprehensive economy-wide cap.
- In Utah, now you can add Salt Lake City‘s mayor, Ralph Becker, and Salt Lake County‘s chief, Peter Corron to the list of folks who say that “all major sources of global warming pollution should be included.” (Salt Lake City is hosting a big WCI meeting this week.) Plus Dave Sakrison, mayor of Moab, Utah. And Dana Williams, mayor of Park City, Utah.
Am I missing anyone? If so, send ’em my way and I’ll post ’em up here.
It’s not surprising that local governments want a cap on transportation emissions. A huge number of cities and counties have set responsible and sincere climate targets, but they mostly lack the authority to tackle the biggest emissions problem of them all—transportation. If they’re successful in urging WCI to step up to the plate, local governments have a real chance at making a big difference.