Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

17 Governors Make Bipartisan Pledge toward Clean Energy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

17 Governors Make Bipartisan Pledge toward Clean Energy

Article excerpt

Citing the economic benefits of clean energy, 17 governors - including four Republicans - have agreed to expand clean energy programs involving solar, wind, hydroelectric, and geothermal power technologies.

Titled the "Governors' Accord for a New Energy Future," the signed document pledged the collaboration of the 17 states to make policies and build renewable power infrastructure without ever mentioning the term "climate change."

In a media conference call Tuesday, Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown of California said they had deliberately avoided the issue of climate change due to its divisive nature, instead focusing on economic incentives and protecting resources for posterity.

"There's a very sharp cleavage in the United States on this issue of climate change, and it has a lot of partisan coloration," he said to reporters. "We want to move forward. We want to get done important stuff without getting bogged down in the larger controversy."

But the contents of the pact deal with the specific consequences of climate change, such as air pollution and extreme weather.

"Extreme weather events, such as floods, droughts, wildfires and sea-level rise, can negatively impact electric reliability and the economy," the document reads. "Embracing new energy solutions can provide more durable and resilient infrastructure, and enable economic growth, while protecting the health of our communities and natural resources."

Goals listed in the pact include integrating alternative power sources into regional electrical grids, investing in clean transportation options such as biofuel and hydrogen, and cooperating with federal agencies in promoting a national shift towards clean energy.

"This is a powerful message that they're sending across the country," Todd Foley, chief strategy officer at the American Council On Renewable Energy, tells The Christian Science Monitor. …

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