Joint Transportation Committee
Development of Tools to Evaluate Expenditures from the Carbon Emissions Reduction Account (CERA)
In 2021, the Washington State Legislature passed the Climate Commitment Act (CCA), which establishes a comprehensive program to reduce carbon pollution and achieve greenhouse gas limits set in state law. The CCA creates a market-based “cap-and invest" program that sets a cap on overall carbon emissions in the state and requires businesses to obtain allowances equal to their covered greenhouse gas emissions. These allowances are obtained through quarterly auctions hosted by the Department Ecology or bought and sold on a secondary market. The quarterly auctions generate substantial revenues that are deposited into three specified accounts and then invested into climate projects throughout the state. The Carbon Emissions Reduction Account (CERA) is for projects that reduce emissions from the transportation sector and increase access to public and alternative transportation. The 2023-25 Transportation Budget allocates revenues from the CERA and other CCA accounts.
The 2023-25 Transportation Budget (Sec, 204 (7)) directs the JTC to oversee the development of tools and methodologies to ensure efficient investment of CERA funds. The tools will evaluate program delivery for CERA funded initiatives. The JTC plans to issue an RFP in September to hire a consultant to assist in developing the required tools and methodologies. A report is due to the Transportation Committees of the Legislature by October 1, 2024.