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For the Pacific Coastal region to remain competitive, we need transportation systems that will facilitate the movement of people and goods north to south while reducing the number of vehicles on our highways. Rail, particularly high speed rail, can deliver significant benefits to the region including advancing climate change goals, energy conservation, congestion reduction, and job creation for the citizens of the region.

Regional Best Practices:

  • Since 1994, the states of Washington and Oregon have partnered with the Province of British Columbia, Amtrak, railroads, and others to provide fast, reliable, and more frequent intercity passenger rail service along the 467 miles of the Interstate 5 corridor. Ridership on the Amtrak Cascades has been growing an average of 9.5 percent per year for the last 17 years and 2011 ridership grew to nearly 850,000 passengers.
  • Washington State Department of Transportation is investing nearly $800 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail funds to deliver critical rail infrastructure improvements that will expand travel choices, preserve the ability to move freight, and foster economic growth across our state. There are a total of 20 major capital rail projects.
  • In November 2008, the citizens of California voted in favor of Proposition 1A to build a state-wide high speed rail system. Funded through public-private partnership, the 220-mile-per-hour electric high speed train system will reduce the state's dependence on foreign oil by more than 12 million barrels per year and reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming by 12.7 billion pounds annually. The high speed train project will draw upon and expand California's skilled workforce, creating nearly 160,000 construction-related jobs to plan, design and build the system. An additional 450,000 permanent jobs are expected to be created by 2035 as a result of the economic growth the train system will bring to California.

Photo credit: Bruce Ikenberry


 News From the Region

June 30, 2014: British Columbia achieves greenhouse gas reduction goal
VICTORIA – British Columbia has reached its first greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 6% below 2007 levels by 2012 as set out in the Province’s Climate Action Plan.

The leaders of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia today applauded the Obama Administration’s newly released proposal for reducing carbon pollution as a welcome sign that the federal government is stepping up as a partner in the fight against climate change. The three West Coast governors and the Premier of British Columbia, representing the Pacific Coast Collaborative, said the proposal would achieve meaningful greenhouse gas reductions from existing power plants, the nation’s largest source of heat-trapping emissions.

April 30, 2014 - B.C. congratulates Washington State for climate action
VICTORIA – “British Columbia congratulates Washington State Governor Jay Inslee for his April 29, 2014, executive order

April 29, 2014 - Gov. Inslee announces executive action to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy
SHORELINE, WA - Gov. Jay Inslee today signed an executive order outlining a series of steps to cut carbon pollution in Washington and advance development and use of clean energy technologies.

March 26, 2014 - B.C. Congratulates Mexico, France for Putting Price on Carbon
VANCOUVER – Environment Minister Mary Polak today congratulated Mexico and France at GLOBE 2014 for putting a price on carbon

December 18, 2013: Action on Ocean Acidification
Further to the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy they signed on October 28, 2013, the leaders of British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington have sent the following joint letter to President Obama and Prime Minister Harper seeking enhanced federal coordination, monitoring, and research support to address ocean acidification on the Pacific Coast of North America.

October 28, 2013: British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington join forces to combat climate change
SAN FRANCISCO - The leaders of British Columbia, California, Oregon and Washington signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy today committing their governments, and a region that represents the world’s fifth largest economy, to a comprehensive and far-reaching strategic alignment to combat climate change and promote clean energy.

August 27, 2013: California Ocean Protection Council Announces West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Science Panel
SACRAMENTO -- The California Natural Resources Agency, on behalf of the California Ocean Protection Council (OPC), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state of Oregon to jointly sponsor a high-level science panel to help address the issue of ocean acidification and hypoxia.... The science panel consists of a team of 20 experts from California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia...