Sen. Cantwell Showcases Port of Seattle’s Clean Energy Progress and $2.25 Billion to Expand Green Clean Ports in Senate-Passed Infrastructure Bill

SEATTLE, WA – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Polly Trottenberg visited Terminal 5 at the Port of Seattle to see how the Port is cutting maritime emissions, and electrifying and decarbonizing operations to tackle climate change, and increase economic competitiveness. Sen. Cantwell secured an additional $2.5 billion in funding to expand the Port Infrastructure Development Program (“PIDP”) in the Senate-passed infrastructure bill to fund decarbonization and climate resilience activities, such as acquiring electric vehicles, locomotives, cargo handling equipment and shore power.  

“From 2005 to 2016 carbon emissions at the Port of Seattle declined 27%. That’s a big start, and we need to do a lot more to meet the investments of the future so that we can get to this goal of zero emissions. We need to address not only the emissions from cargo ships, but also trucks, trains, and smaller vessels, and that is why we fought so hard for the $2.25 billion that is in the infrastructure bill in the Port Infrastructure Development Program,” said Senator Cantwell. “We hope that Seattle can continue to show the nation how we can continue to reduce maritime emissions and still be competitive. We know that trade is the backbone of our economy, and we also know that we need to do everything we can to reduce emissions.”

“What we’re all talking about here today is how we can create infrastructure jobs for men and women in the maritime industry. We have a chance now to rebuild that maritime infrastructure, and we’re very excited to do so,” said Deputy Secretary Trottenberg. “The bill we’re talking about today is the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which passed the Senate last week and is on its way to the House, thanks to the leadership of Senator Cantwell and so many others.”

Key components of the IIJA that support ports and maritime infrastructure include:

  • Ports and Maritime: The bill includes a $2.25 billion increase in funding for the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program which will be used to award grants for projects to modernize the nation’s port infrastructure including improved resiliency against climate change and natural disasters, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. There is also a $25 million increase for the Marine Highway program which will encourage the use of waterways for the movement of people and cargo to reduce road congestion and carbon emissions.
  • Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program: This program, created by Senator Cantwell in the FAST Act of 2015, provides financial support to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects. $8 billion will be allocated to the INFRA Grant Program.
    • Since the program’s creation in 2015, the State of Washington has been awarded over $243.8 million.

Cantwell has a long history of advocating for decarbonization. Cantwell’s legislation, the FAST Electricity Act, would create a landmark new 30% federal tax incentive to help build the market and spur the adoption of electric powered vehicles. The FAST Act would include incentives to electrify marine and port vehicles. In 2008, Senator Cantwell partnered with former Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) to author the current $7,500 tax incentive for electrified passenger vehicles. This credit is often cited as a key catalyst for growing the electric car and truck market from essentially nothing 15 years ago to the hundreds of models that consumers will be able to choose from in the next year or two.

The full text of the infrastructure package is available HERE.