Should roads have tolls to fight global warming?
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29 Feb 08 - "Two global-warming bills likely to pass the (Washington State) 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.
Seriously, these bills are likely to pass the legislature
"Environmental groups consider the bills critical to a larger effort to get people out of their cars and into public transportation.
"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.
"A study done last year found the state could raise up to $36 billion over 20 years by charging variable tolls on major highways from Lakewood, Pierce County, north to Everett and as far east as Issaquah.
Thirty six billion dollars! Does anyone really think
"Already, drivers pay to cross the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge, and Gov. Christine Gregoire has called for adding tolls on the Highway 520 bridge as early as next year to help pay to replace the existing span.
"There's also talk of tolls on the Interstate 90 bridge across Lake Washington. And on Highway 167, from Auburn to Renton, the state plans to let solo drivers pay a toll to use the car-pool lanes starting this spring.
"Environmentalists see these initial projects as a way to get the public used to the idea of paying to use the roads.
"Tolls also would provide the state a new source of money."
The last sentence really tells the story.
See entire article by Andrew Garber
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