Western Governors Focus on Energy Issues

The Associated Press
Monday, June 12, 2006; 7:48 AM

SEDONA, Ariz. -- Western states must work together to reduce greenhouse gasses in the fight against global warming, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Sunday at the annual meeting of the Western Governors' Association.

"We are long past the time when we can just talk about this problem," said the Republican, who is running for re-election. "We must take action."

The governors adopted three resolutions regarding energy issues. The first approved a two-year report that recommends ways to achieve a more clean and diversified energy portfolio in 10 years, including calling on Congress to pass federal tax credits for energy efficiency investments.

The second calls for more investment in ethanol, biodiesel, electricity, natural gas and the transmission grid needed to support it. That resolution was designed to call to attention the country's dependence on foreign oil as a national security risk and environmental concern.

The third resolution calls on Western states to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The resolution urges federal agencies to invest in climate change research and support coordinated international research on the issue.

The Western Governors' Association is a coalition of governors from 18 states and three U.S.-flag Pacific islands. The group is meant to identify Western interests, form policy and promote regional concerns at the federal level.

The governors are scheduled to discuss growth and conservation strategies for the West on Monday, and immigration reform and preparedness for a possible pandemic on Tuesday.

© 2006 The Associated Press