New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has served many elected and appointed
roles in his political career. In 1997, as the United States Ambassador
to the United Nations, he spoke to the World Affairs Council of San Diego.
I still recall the opportunity to pose a question about power grids and
hand him the GENI technical package.
Then, Mr. Richardson served as the US Energy Secretary for several years.
During this term he hosted his fellow energy ministers in three regional
summits: Latin America, Africa and Asia. GENI was given prime exhibit
exposure at each event, and we convinced the Dept. of Energy to convene
the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) Energy Summit in San Diego
in 2000. Secretary Richardson had become a strong advocate of windpower
as the costs (4-5 cents/kwh) were now competitive with fossil energy sources.
Now, as Governor of New Mexico, he is putting his words into projects.
Mr. Richardson understands that developing the optimal wind resource
requires high-voltage transmission to reach the market. As Chairman
of the Western Governor's Association, his knowledge and leadership
on this issue is seen by all. He recognizes that renewable
energy development and transmission are linked, stating "it
doesn't matter how much wind energy we have in New Mexico if we can't
send it (via transmission) to markets that need it."
The linked article
highlights this awareness and commitment. In closing, I must mention the
tragedy caused by the earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In a
few minutes, over 150,000 lost their lives and millions lost everything
they owned. By any comparison, the rest of us live blessed lives and we
need to help in any way we can. I thank you for contributing to our work
- and encourage any assistance you can give to the tsunami survivors.