King County Metro bus

GORDON WERNER

Zero emissions: this is the bus for us

The “tyranny of oil” may get a new foothold in our nation’s foreign policy, if Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is confirmed as Secretary of State. But it’s losing its grip on our transportation systems, as more electric vehicles hit the mass market. And we’re not just talking golf carts anymore; King County Metro has announced plans to purchase over 100 battery-powered electric buses by 2020, making it the largest electric bus fleet in the country.

Electric vehicles are just better... Cleaner, quicker, simpler, easier to maintain, and best of all, oil-free. European countries are already moving to ban petroleum-fueled transportation altogether. Already, the lifetime cost of driving an electric vehicle is lower than its dinosaur-fueled counterpart. As prices continue to fall and batteries improve, it won’t be long before strapping ourselves to a 2-ton exploding power plant to get our decreasingly skinny butts from point A to point B—and fueling the trip with oil that simultaneously destroys the climate and democracy—is going to seem as lame as, y’know, it is.

Twenty state Attorneys General and the Securities and Exchange Commission are currently investigating Exxon-Mobil for defrauding consumers and investors by knowingly deceiving us about the lethal dangers of their product. Asked whether the investigations might undermine investor confidence, Rex Tillerson said “People are always going to need what we sell.”

The day we stop believing that is the day we start winning our best and only viable future, free of fossil fuels. The route to that future will be served by electric buses. Climb aboard.

KC Golden's picture

Senior Policy Advisor

, Climate Solutions

KC shapes policy and communication strategies, with the goal of changing what's "possible" so we can do what's necessary. "Cynicism," he insists, "is capitulation."

He has served as a special assistant to the Mayor of Seattle for clean energy and climate protection initiatives and as an Assistant Director in Washington's Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development, where he directed the state's Energy Policy Office. From 1989 to 1994, he was Executive Director of the Northwest Energy Coalition, a regional alliance working for a clean, affordable energy future.

KC is a leader in the national climate movement, serving on the boards of 350.org (where he is Interim Board Chair) and the US Climate Action Network. He has also been active in the utility industry, helping Seattle City Light become the first major carbon-free electric utility in the late 1990s, and as a Governor's representative to the Executive Board of Energy Northwest, a regional public power consortium. 

KC was one of Seattle Magazine's "Power 25" most influential people, and its #1 "Eco-Hero." In 2012, he received the Heinz Award for Public Policy for his lifetime achievement as a climate advocate and policy architect.

KC earned his Bachelor's Degree at the University of California, Berkeley, and was a Kennedy Fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where he received a Master's in Public Policy.