Sacramento, CA — Despite differences on climate change, Governor Jerry Brown and 16 other state governors today have pledged a bipartisan accord to collaborate on clean energy initiatives.
In announcing the signing of the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future during a morning teleconference, Governor Brown, Washington Governor Jay Inslee and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval waxed enthusiastic about joint commitments and opportunities ahead for the participating states to learn from each other as well as collaborate on common interests. Those signing the accord pledged their states’ commitment to effectively collaborate towards diversifying energy generation, expanding clean energy sources, modernizing energy infrastructure, encouraging clean transportation options and securing a stronger national energy future.
Chief among the interests Brown highlighted during the call are the development of a highly sophisticated regional clean energy grid with two-way informational flow; the establishment of buying collectives to purchase high-efficiency state-owned vehicles; and lobbying together for more federal research and development dollars to explore technical advancements in areas like energy storage and grid development.
Grid Development Versus Congressional Gridlock
“I think that we are on board for something very important, very productive – and without having to wait for Washington,” Governor Brown explained. “We, out here among the states…can accomplish something very important — and that is what the Governors’ Accord is.” Further explaining his take on the initiative, Brown stated, “The key, as I see it is building resilience in our local economies, fostering the kinds of jobs that a renewable economy makes possible, and collaborating across borders.” Renewable energy development is critical, according to Brown, for numerous reasons; chief among them as it is more stable and predictable than the foreign oil markets, and already employs a much greater percentage of local people.
Queried about differing climate change philosophies as being a possible issue that might have kept some of the nation’s governors from yet coming forward to join the effort, Brown noted drily, “It does not take much research to notice that there is a very sharp cleavage in the United States on this issue of climate change…it has a lot of partisan coloration so we want to move forward — we want to get done important stuff without getting bogged down in the larger controversy.”
The other state governors who signed the initiative so far are (as listed, in alphabetical order by state): Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy; Delaware Governor Jack Markell; Hawaii Governor David Ige; Iowa Governor Terry Branstand; Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker; Michigan Governor Rick Snyder; Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton; Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval; New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan; New York Governor Andrew Cuomo; Oregon Governor Kate Brown; Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf; Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo; Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin; Virginia Governor Terence McAuliffe; and Washington Governor Jay Inslee.