Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
West Coast Diesel CollaborativeNews Conference
September 30, 2004
Thank you Linda [Strout, Deputy CEO for the Port] for that kind introduction.
It is great to be here today on the Seattle waterfront. Our waterways represent a great opportunity for both recreation and commerce here in Washington. We have container ships sending overseas Washington products. And we also have cruise ships docking with passengers from all over the world who have a chance to shop at our stores and restaurants and visit our state.
But with this great opportunity also comes challenges. Challenges to keep our environment clean and our residents safe from harmful pollution.
Harms of Pollution
Marine vessels are significant contributors of two pollutants, nitrogen oxides, or N-O-X, and diesel particulate matter, or soot. Diesel soot leads to increased asthma attacks and hospitalizations, bronchitis, cancer, heart disease and premature death. NOx contributes to smog and acid rain.
Air pollution is a major health concern in our state. And global warming is a major concern for our entire planet. Transportation sources contribute more than 50 percent of our state’s total carbon dioxide emissions, the main cause of global warming.
Here in Washington we have taken some significant steps to address this pollution. In May we announced the Ferry Clean Fuels Initiative. Washington State Ferries will eliminate 412 tons of sulfur dioxide and 75 tons of diesel soot from entering the air we breathe by using very low-sulfer fuel.
Earlier this year, we received an $85,000 EPA grant to help fund new idling reduction equipment for diesel trains operated by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad in Vancouver, Washington. This new engine technology is particularly exciting because it was developed by a Spokane company – Kim Hotstart Manufacturing – and could eventually be used in locomotives across the country.
Over the last year and a half we have spent $5 million to retrofit school buses. So far, more than 1,500 of the state's 9,340 public school buses have been fitted with modern emission controls. A retrofitted bus emits from 30 to 90 percent fewer toxic emissions and fine particles than an older bus.
So we have taken some important steps. But there is still much more to do.
The West Coast Diesel Emissions Reduction Collaborative is another important action we are taking to address air pollution. It is also a key component of our efforts to reduce our contribution to global warming.
The West Coast Clean Diesel Collaborative includes national government agencies from the U.S., Canada and Mexico. State and local governments and non-profit and private sector partners from California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia are also involved.
The goal of the collaborative is to promote voluntary diesel emissions reductions.
As part of the Diesel Collaborative, today we are announcing two significant steps toward addressing the problems of air pollution and global warming.
The Princess Shore Power Project is a great example of a public/private partnership to improve our environment. This project will enable cruise ships to plug in their ships and receive electric power instead of having to run their turbine engines while at the dock.
Princess Cruises is putting up 1.8 million dollars for the shore power retrofit. Princess has already paid $500,000 per ship to retrofit both their ships that sail out of Puget Sound. This large financial investment signifies the commitment of Princess Cruises to be an industry leader in environmental protection. Thank you, Dean [Brown, VP of princess], for your leadership and dedication to keeping our state clean and healthy.
The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency and the Port of Seattle have also made key contributions to this project. And I also thank EPA for committing $50,000 in funding to Seattle City Light to further support this endeavor.
This project really highlights the benefits of cooperation between business like Princess Cruises and the public sector on maritime policy issues, including the environment.
This is something we really focused on at last year’s Governor’s Maritime Summit. Another example of this came in April when we signed a groundbreaking memorandum of understanding with the cruise industry to stop discharging wastewater into Puget Sound and our oceans. Both initiatives will have immediate environmental benefits.
I am also happy to announce a $100,000 grant from EPA for truckstop electrification in Washington. The concept is very similar – if trucks can plug in at truck stops instead of running their diesel engines, the amount of emissions put into our air will be reduced.
Reducing unnecessary idling improves air quality, saves fuel and saves companies money. By 2012, we hope to reduce between 33 - 66 million metric tons of CO2 emissions and up to 200,000 tons of NOx emissions per year. This will also save up to 150 million barrels of oil annually.
These two projects, combined with our current initiatives, will make a real dent in the emission of pollutants in our state.
But there is still much more to be done. I am working with the governors of Oregon and California on a West Coast Global Warming Initiative. In the coming months we will be looking at even more significant actions to address this monumental threat. Our state is committed to doing its part, and to getting started as soon as possible. We cannot continue to wait.
The West Coast Clean Diesel Collaborative is committed to making real progress in protecting our environment. I thank all the partners involved in this initiative, and especially Princess Tours for making such a strong commitment to keeping our air clean.