Seattle/King County Climate News 12.4.22

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Robin Briggs

Dec 4, 2022, 11:00:08 AM12/4/22
Now that the budget is over, there are lots more things going on. Here are a few:


The City released the One Seattle Climate Portal. The Portal will show key neighborhood-level emissions data based on key indicators, updated quarterly. For buildings, they show emissions from fossil gas and electricity for each census tract in the city. In addition, it shows other information about the census tract, including life expectancy, income, racial backgrounds, asthma rates, and other data. For transportation, it shows trips by mode from each census tract based on data from PSRC's regional transportation demand model. PSRC updates their model only every few years, so the city is looking into ways to get more frequent travel data, but doesn't have this yet. However, PSRC just published their model, so the current data is recent.

The Land Use Committee received an update from the Office of Planning and Community Development on feedback they received over the summer on the draft Comprehensive Plan scoping (video: 1:17:18), and their plans going forward. During discussion, CM Mosqueda pushed for  OPCD to add the "Alternative 6" that so many of the community had requested, on the grounds of both affordable housing and climate. CM Morales seconded this, and pointed out the need for strategies to prevent displacement. CM Pedersen suggested that as Seattle already has enough capacity to meet the GMA minimum requirements, that the City should concentrate its efforts on affordable housing only, and not try to allow any additional market-rate housing.

Puget Sound Regional Council

The Executive Board heard a report (video starting at 1:13:30, presentation) from staff about their effort to analyze paths to meeting PSRC's intermediate goal to reduce GHG by 50% by 2030. This analysis was the result of inputs from multiple jurisdictions, and looked at what policy choices they could make to reduce transportation emissions. Their baseline assumption about emissions includes the result of existing state and federal policies. They also assume that the State will implement a RUC that goes beyond what the State has been studying so far and would allow PSRC to impose a 10 cent/mile charge. With all of this, there is still an emissions gap of 13% that would need to be closed to meet the goals. They studied different ways to close the gap, including dramatically increasing transit, increasing work from home percentages, ending all road expansion, and increasing the RUC further to 50 cents per mile. Except for the RUC, none of these come close to closing the gap, so they are guessing they will need a combination of approaches. Next month, they are going to present again, and plan to show what it looks like if they combine some of these policies together.


Legislature committee assignments are coming out. Some highlights:

  • There is a new committee for Housing. The committee "will consider issues relating to housing, including accessibility, affordability, assistance, & supply; local land use, zoning, building & energy codes; housing impacts/GMA landlord-tenant law; homelessness; farmworker housing; manufactured housing; housing authorities; & HFC."  (Rep. Bateman). This may mean that middle housing items that previously went to Local Government will now go to Housing. 

  • Joe Nguyen will be the new chair of the Senate Energy, Environment & Technology Committee, replacing Reuven Carlyle who retired this year.

  • Joe Fitzgibbons is now the House Majority Leader (Jinkins remains Speaker).

  • Alex Ramel is now the Majority Whip.

Advocacy groups are presenting their legislative agendas. Here are some:

  • 350 Civic Action is starting, sign up for actions here. They send out action alerts two times a week during the session to help pass environmental legislative priorities.

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