Washington governor Inslee wants more perks extended to those who buy electric cars.
SEATTLE — Looking for ways to boost the use of clean-fuel cars in Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee wants to extend a sales tax break for electric vehicles and explore giving them access to car pool lanes.
Unsurprisingly, EV supporters are all behind it, claiming that they reduce our reliance on "fossil fuels" and Save The Planet™ and so on, while completely ignoring the environmental effects of battery production and the power requirements involved in producing the vehicles. As has been mentioned here before, buying and driving two HumVees is more environmentally sensitive that buying and driving a Prius; the main difference is that Prius owners get the smug factor going.
And Inslee's getting a bit of push-back:
"Tell me that a person that buys a Tesla for $70,000 or $80,000 shouldn't have to pay sales tax? They can afford to pay that kind of money, why aren't they paying the sales tax?" asked Sen. Curtis King, who co-chairs the Transportation Committee, though he added that he would have to analyze the break before making a firm decision.
Maybe Inslee's thinking Nissan rather than Tesla, but it's still a good point.
Down here in Porkland, it looks almost as though Metro and Tri-Met are giving up on their dream of ramming another light rail line through southeast, as they're holding a Dec. 1 "forum" at Clinton Street Theater to discuss BRT (bus rapid transit) in the area, and light rail's not on the schedule. It seems kind of hard to believe, but it appears that a combination of factors has come into play that affect their choo-choo fantasies:
Federal money's starting to dry up, the realities of the huge operating costs associated with rail are starting to emerge, and voters have been passing ballot measures that call for a vote before any city funds are spent on light rail projects in Tigard, King City, and Tualatin. Not only is the writing on the wall, taxpayers have slapped them upside the head for good measure. So now they have to look at BRT.
As has been mentioned here before, fixed rail is just that: fixed. When one component breaks, everything stops. BRT doesn't have that issue; if there's a problem, they can divert to other streets to route around it. They don't come to a standstill.
It's taken Metro and Tri-Met too many years to grasp that reality.