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At Helm of Governors Association, Pawlenty Steers Course for Clean Energy

July 30, 2007 - Wind Energy Weekly

It’s official: a renewable energy advocate is leading the National Governors Association (NGA).

In his first act as NGA chair, at the closing plenary session of the association’s annual meeting, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) announced the foremost initiative he will undertake while holding the chair seat: “Securing a Clean Energy Future.”

“ America is at a tipping point,” said Pawlenty. “Our country is too dependent on imported sources of energy, and greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow too quickly. Governors have a tremendous opportunity to lead the country toward a cleaner, more independent, more secure energy future.”

The chairman of the governor's association has always set the group's agenda. Pawlenty said his main initiative will be clean-burning renewable fuels. The governor told reporters he'll press other states to follow the lead of Minnesota, which has already set ambitious targets for upping renewable fuels and cutting carbon emissions from traditional power plants. In February Pawlenty signed into law a renewable energy requirement for 25% of the electricity produced by the state’s utilities to come from renewables by 2025 (See Wind Energy Weekly#1229).

“I'm confident that governors and states are in a position to move aggressively on these issues,” Pawlenty told reporters Tuesday. “And there's a lot of tail wind, a lot of momentum behind these issues.”

To address the myriad energy challenges the U.S. faces, the initiative will examine ways governors and states can increase production of cleaner domestic fuels, promote advanced electricity generation, improve energy efficiency and conservation, and accelerate research and development of clean energy technologies.