Letter to President-elect Obama focuses on affordadble, clean energy to sustain economy, stimulate efficiency, stengthen energy security, reduce greenhouse gases
WASHINGTON — In a letter to President-elect Barack Obama, Western governors today urged swift action in adopting and implementing a national energy plan and proposed a number of measures that would transform the country’s energy infrastructure and economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Governors Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Chairman of the Western Governors’ Association, and Brian Schweitzer, Vice Chairman, discussed the WGA’s bipartisan recommendations with John Podesta, co-chair of Obama transition team.
“The transformation we are talking about is broad based and will require new policies, incentives, market mechanisms and private-public partnerships to be in place by the end of next year,” Huntsman said. “We plan to work with the new Administration and Congress in addressing the multitude of energy challenges ahead.”
The governors’ letter outlines policies and incentives that would help states and the country move more aggressively to develop clean and renewable energy resources that include wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage.
“Western states are the country’s energy breadbasket, but energy efficiency has also got to play a much bigger role,” Schweitzer said. “That includes everything from manufacturing more fuel-efficient vehicles to changing regulatory structures so they reward utilities for achieving reduced energy usage among their customers.”
In their letter, the governors said a national energy policy must promote energy efficiency; reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a scale necessary to contribute to climate stabilization; maximize the economic development opportunities offered by clean energy; ensure energy costs are affordable and support a sustainable, growing economy; increase the proportion of energy supplies that come from domestic resources and friendly trading partners; and minimize adverse environmental impacts.
The governors’ recommendations include:
Creation of a substantial, long-term national public investment on the scale of tens of billions of dollars annually will be needed, along with a similar investment from the private sector, to support the kind of basic and applied research and deployment of clean energy technology and infrastructure that will result in:
Additional information on WIH Resource Group’s energy solutions and programs can be found on the Web at www.wihresourcegroup.com.
The Western Governors’ Association is an independent, nonprofit organization representing the governors of 19 states and three U.S.-Flag islands in the Pacific. Through their Association, the Western governors identify and address key policy and governance issues in natural resources, the environment, human services, economic development, international relations and public management.