Seattle/King County Climate News 1.16.22

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Robin Briggs

Jan 16, 2022, 2:46:49 PM1/16/22
to Seattle Climate News
There's a lot going on now, particularly with the State Legislative Session. The Session will move fast, and the best way to keep up and engage with it is by signing up for 350 Civic Action Team. They send helpful updates with easy to follow links for letting legislators know what you care about. I have included some links here, but may not always be doing that.

I'm also collecting policy one-pagers describing climate-related bills. If you have some, please send them back my way. I keep a list of bills & info you can consult for updates.


City Council reorganized. Debora Juarez is now Council President. Of note, responsibility for Seattle City Light has shifted to Economic Development, Technology, and City Light, now chaired by Sara Nelson. Alex Pedersen is chair of Transportation and Seattle Public Utilities. Dan Strauss  remains chair of Land Use, Kshama Sawant is chair of Sustainability and Renters' Rights, Teresa Mosqueda is chair of Finance and Housing. City Council did establish a Select Committee on Climate, we are waiting to hear more about that.


The Puget Sound Regional Council has released the draft Regional Transportation Plan, and is accepting public comments on it from Jan. 13 - Feb. 28. Click here to sign up for a planning briefing meeting or to submit your comments.

The Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board approved a new framework for allocating Federal funds (p. 22) to local projects, with new criteria for rating projects. According to TheUrbanist: "the policy was adopted in advance of a call for projects from across the region being issued next month, with a full list of projects expected to be approved by this fall." One of the big changes was strengthening equity and safety as criteria for project selection, and adding a 5% set aside for equity-focussed projects. No increased set asides were made for pedestrian or bike infrastructure. Typically the PSRC distributes $90M from the Federal Highway Administration for spending on roadway, transit, bike/ped, and other, and $200M from the Federal Transit Administration for transit-related projects. 


HB 1767/SB 5666 which would allow public utilities such as Seattle City Light to do targeted electrification incentives, is before the House Environment & Energy Committee on Jan. 18 at 8am.  The committee has scheduled a vote for it on Jan 20, 1:30pm. Hearing in the Senate Environment, Energy and Technology Committee scheduled for Jan 19 at 8am. 

Hearing for HB 1770/SB 5669 would allow Seattle to adopt a stricter energy building code for new residential construction, scheduled in the House Committee on Local Government Jan 19 at 10:00am. Committee is scheduled to vote on it Jan 21 at 8am.

Hearing for HB 1782 to allow for missing middle housing near transit stops  before the House Committee on Local Government Jan 18 at 10:00 am. 

Hearing for HB 1682 on pathway for EITE businesses to reduce emissions before the House Committee on Environment & Energy Jan 18 at 8:00 am.

SB 5543  cash for clunkers for exchanging gas landscaping equipment for electric. Vote scheduled in Senate Committee on Environment, Energy & Technology at 10:30 AM Jan 20.
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