Western Governors Call for More Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

April 21, 2004

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson kicked off the North American Energy Summit on April 14th with a proposed "clean energy" initiative for the West. Governor Richardson and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recommended that the Western Governors' Association (WGA) create a broad-based task force to explore clean energy and energy efficiency opportunities and the policies needed to "make them happen." In a letter to the energy summit attendees, the governors proposed setting objectives to develop 30,000 megawatts of clean energy in the West by 2015 and to increase the efficiency of energy use 20 percent by 2020. Governors Richardson and Schwarzenegger specifically listed renewable energy resources such as solar, wind, and biomass energy as clean energy sources, and also included zero-emission coal plants. The governors intend to create a set of western energy policy proposals for presentation to the WGA by June 2006. WGA represents the governors of 18 western states and three Pacific islands. See the WGA press release (PDF 93 KB) and the governors' letter (PDF 141 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

The three-day North American Energy Summit, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was organized by WGA. The summit featured the release of a new report that finds energy efficiency, renewable energy, and distributed generation are critical to meeting future energy demands along the U.S.-Mexico border. The report focuses on the border regions of Matamoros, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana, and Baja California, and claims that new conventional generating capacity will not come online rapidly enough to meet the border area's burgeoning energy needs. The WGA is also participating in a project to track renewable energy generation in the West, called the Western Renewable Energy Generation Information System (WREGIS), which is on schedule to begin operating next year. See the reports and related press releases on the WGA's North American Energy Summit Web site, and for additional information, see the WGA's "BorderEnergy" and WREGIS Web sites.