Northwest NEWS

August 3, 1998


Government needs to understand the importance of clean transportation

   Transportation has always been a hot issue in Washington. Proposition 49, a measure which would encourage sprawl by putting funds toward roads to serve single occupant vehicles, is one of the latest controversies. Another timely example of pitting uncontrolled fossil-fuel use against petroleum conservation is the Olympic Pipe Line Company's proposed 230-mile Cascades pipeline. The pipeline would carry petroleum across our state to already saturated markets endangering two national forests and over 400 waterways. Burning petroleum ruins our atmosphere and nourishes our reliance on a fuel source that will inevitably run dry. Yet, lately proposals abound which will encourage and even facilitate this kind of pollution.
   In King County we have made our position in mass-transit clear. We have voted for the RTA; we have voted for extended monorail service. Local and national groups like the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, who have signed a resolution against a new pipeline and Seattle Car Sharing are concentrating on proposals that directly address ways to reduce dependence on petroleum in our region. Expending time and money, whether it be public or private, to build up an infrastructure that encourages petroleum dependency is counter-productive to our stated goals. Those who oppose Proposition 49 should plan to go to the polls and reject this measure. Citizens who oppose the pipeline must act quickly; the state's review of the pipeline proposal will soon be underway. Governor Locke has the power to approve or reject the pipeline, and he must be told in no uncertain terms that Washington doesn't want or need this project. I urge the media to pay close attention to both of these issues, and I ask all concerned citizens to tell state government that we need clean transportation programs and policies.
   Leah Weathersby, Seattle