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Gov. Freudenthal urges support for electric transmission lines

Jun 12, 2006 - The Associated Press

SEDONA, Ariz. - Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal says the federal government must work with Western states to improve the availability and efficiency of electric transmission lines.

Speaking at a meeting of the Western Governors Association in Arizona, Freudenthal called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to work with states to meet the country's energy needs.

"While various disputes will always exist, I believe there is plenty of common ground between FERC and the Western states in seeing that consumers are supplied with reliable electricity," Freudenthal said Sunday, according to a statement from his office.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Sunday that Western states must work together to reduce greenhouse gasses in the fight against global warming.

"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." Freudenthal's office said Schwarzenegger also reiterated California's commitment to the Frontier Line, a proposal for a high-voltage transmission line to connect Wyoming, Nevada, California and Utah.

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.