Lynne Dodson on:

Protecting our Environment

We face enormous challenges from global pollution and environmental deterioration, and from the resulting threats of dramatic climate change. All of these are factors that may greatly affect public health, our food supply, our quality of life and the health of our economy. These problems cannot, obviously, be entirely solved in Olympia. But Washington State must contribute to the solution, rather than being part of the problem. I will look at any potential legislation in the context of these global environmental concerns. Pitting jobs against our land, air and water is a false choice. We can and must continue to both strengthen our economy and protect our environment.

  • Mayor Nickels has done great work in promoting the US Mayor's Climate Protection Agreement, committing cities to the Kyoto standards. I will support legislation to get Washington State to meet or beat the Kyoto standards of reducing 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by at least 7% by 2012.

  • I'll promote green buildings, construction that, by efficient use of energy, water and other resources both lowers maintenance costs and protects the health of the building users. This is particularly important in our schools, where it will shift tax dollars from inefficient energy to education, and provide a healthier environment for students.

  • Washington should join all of Europe in banning toxic flame retardants (PDBEs) - toxins that infiltrate our water supply and accumulate in our bodies - as urged by the Washington chapter of the American Academy of Pediatricians.

  • Our state has responsible land use policies to preserve both our farmlands and the livability of our urban areas. I will fight against the "Developers' Initiative", the Tim Eymann-backed I-933, which would prevent us from enacting reasonable environmental restrictions on land use.

  • We also need to protect our state forest and park lands from the developers. These are a precious resource for all Washingtonians, whether we hike, fish, camp or just enjoy the fresh air and clean water.

  • In the last session, the Legislature made progress in promoting the use of alternative fuels. We need to do more to provide tax incentives and public education to encourage fuels which reduce both pollution and our dependence on imported oil. I support I-937, which would require that electric utilities purchase 15% of their power from clean, appropriately sited renewable resources by 2020.

  • The Port of Seattle is one of our most important economic resources. We need to reduce pollution and protect the health of Port workers by limiting idling time for Port truckers.

  • Washington should use products that are both environmentally sound and worker-friendly. One way we can do that is to have the State use Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood products the only certification which involves both protection against the use of wood from old growth or endangered forests, and guarantees of respect for workers' rights.

  • I'll fight for more transportation choices. We need to promote minimally-polluting, low-cost public transportation which reduces dependence on private automobiles while providing affordable options to working families.

  • We need to develop more bike lanes, particularly in our urban areas. In doing that, we need to be mindful of other transportation needs, with bike lanes in locations that don't impede commercial shipping, trucking and rail.

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