Gubernatorial Candidate Jay Inslee Gets Specific about Transportation & Climate Change

Former Congressman Jay Inslee, Democratic candidate for Washington State Governor. Image: Inslee for Governor.

Washington State gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna (R) and Jay Inslee (D) recently talked about transportation, climate change, and energy issues.

The candidates spoke individually via video a few hundred people at the “Beyond Oil: Transforming Transportation in Century 21″ conference. The day-long meeting focused on “how advances in batteries, information technology, communications, lightweight materials, and electric vehicles are enabling safer, faster, more affordable, and greener transportation.”

Below (and linked here) is Jay Inslee’s video talk. We thank the Inslee campaign and the Beyond Oil conference organizers for allowing us to post the video. We published Rob McKenna’s video yesterday. The latest poll shows Inslee leading by 5% with 7% undecided.

Inslee begins by discussing climate change and jobs issues, and (at 3:43) offers

“four ideas that will grow our economy, create jobs and help move Washington beyond oil: Encouraging energy efficiency, especially in building construction; unleashing the innovative power of our research institutions; developing our advanced biofuels industry; and investing in light rail and electric vehicle infrastructure.”

Here’s the money quote on transportation, coming at 8:30 after he discusses the first three ideas in detail:

“If we’re serious about creating jobs and we should be, we have to get serious about transit options like increased light rail. New businesses want to locate in areas with sustainable and affordable transportation options. And employees want to spend less time stuck in traffic and more time at work [and] with their families. Unfortunately there’s only one candidate in this race who supports moving forward on light rail. And I fully support the expansion of light rail across Lake Washington. It is a major step forward in clean energy and we should move forward in that regard.

Sustained support and advocacy for light rail will be necessary to build out a system that help meets our region’s needs. We can’t repeat past mistakes and pass up opportunities to build a light rail system that will ease congestion and commute times and allow other regions of the country to attract businesses away from…Washington due to high commute times and costs.”

Inslee goes on to talk about the importance and potentially positive impacts of investing in electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Learn more about the two candidate’s positions on transportation issues from our earlier stories.

The Seattle Times’ Mike Lindblom wrote a good review of the Beyond Oil conference. Conference organizer Steve Marshall provided these recommendations to the gubernatorial candidates and published this op-ed. Videos of each presentation at the conference is available the “Content on Demand” tab below the show window at