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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

September 20, 2016: British Columbia and Washington State to Create Cascadia Innovation Corridor to Promote Regional Economic Opportunities in Tech Industries
Premier Christy Clark and Governor Jay Inslee today signed a memorandum of understanding affirming their shared interest in creating regional economic opportunities for innovation in the technology sector.

June 3, 2016: West Coast Climate Agreement video
View video of excerpts of the West Coast climate agreement announcements on June 1 here.

June 1, 2016: West Coast Leaders Convene to Sign Comprehensive Agreements at Global Clean Energy Ministerial
June 1, 2016: San Francisco - On behalf of a region of 53 million residents, three U.S. governors and the B.C environment minister joined the mayors of six major West Coast cities to announce the Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) today. Leaders from the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC)— PCC)—a partnership between California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia—teamed up with mayors from Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, and Vancouver—all members of the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance—to approve the pact to move the region’s clean energy economy forward. With a combined GDP of USD $2.8 trillion, the Pacific North America region represents the world’s fifth largest economy.

May 27, 2016: West Coast Governors and B.C. Premier Make New Commitments to Address Climate Change at Global Clean Energy Ministerial
On June 1, California, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia will make new commitments through their Pacific Coast Climate Leadership Action Plan, updating pledges made in 2013 with increasingly bold objectives to reflect the need for swift, decisive climate action to match the bigger commitments to greenhouse gas reductions reflected in the COP21 global climate change talks in Paris in December.

May 27, 2016: West Coast Governors, Premier, and Mayors to Sign Comprehensive Agreement at Global Clean Energy Ministerial
Following through on pledges and declarations forged during the COP21 global climate change talks in Paris last December, West Coast jurisdictions are joining forces on a regional level by signing the Pacific North America Climate Leadership Agreement at the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM7) in San Francisco, demonstrating their commitment and leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

February 16, 2016: Governors Announce Bipartisan Accord for a New Energy Future
Washington DC – A bipartisan group of 17 governors today signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future - a joint commitment to take action to promote clean energy, clean transportation choices, a modern electrical grid, and plan for a new energy future.

December 7, 2015: Governors and Mayors Commit to Deep Emission Reductions in Drive to Forge a Global Agreement on Climate
PARIS – In a high-profile drive to get national leaders to come together on a meaningful agreement addressing climate change this week, nine of the world’s carbon-reduction champion states, provinces and cities joined together today, redoubling their commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 2 tons per capita, or 80-95% below a 1990 benchmark by 2050.

LOS ANGELES – As the COP 21 global climate conference gets underway in Paris, leaders from four jurisdictions of North America’s West Coast—British Columbia, California, Oregon, and Washington—are holding up a new report as evidence that the region’s collective leadership on climate change is bringing positive changes to the area.