On January 29th, twelve state governors sent a letter to President Obama, requesting "a meeting with you and your energy and environment cabinet and staff to develop a partnership that uses the positive momentum ofour states' climate leadership to build a truly comprehensive American energy and climate strategy for the new century."
The full text of the letter follows below (a PDF version of the letter is also available).
CALIFORNIA – CONNECTICUT – FLORIDA – KANSAS – MARYLAND – MASSACHUSETTS – NEW JERSEY – NEW MEXICO – NEW YORK – OREGON – WASHINGTON – WISCONSIN
Office of the Governors
January 29, 2009
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
In your message to the Governors' Global Climate Summit in November, you spoke ofa new chapter in America's leadership on climate change. You stated that "delay is no longer an option" and "denial is not an acceptable response." You offered that "any governor willing to promote clean energy will have a partner in the White House." As governors ofstates that have been proactive on climate change and clean energy issues, we welcome the opportunity to take you up on that offer. We ask to meet with you and your energy and environment leadership team as soon as possible to forge a new, dynamic partnership ofstate, local and federal leaders that will be critical to addressing climate change and leading our country toward a clean energy economy.
It is crucial that we build on our states' momentum. In the absence of federal leadership, we led the way in building an American climate change and clean energy policy from the ground up. Working with local communities and private businesses, we've pursued policies that focus on green jobs, renewable energy, alternative fuels and energy efficiency to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
We believe a successful national program will build on the work our states have done so far and will follow the same principles that guided our efforts. Specifically, it should:
- Set ambitious goals to achieve national emission reductions to avoid dangerous
interference with the climate system.
- Couple market mechanisms, such as an economy-wide cap-and-trade program, with flexible perfonnance standards and incentives for developing and deploying clean, efficient, low-emission technologies.
- Use the value inherent in emissions allowances to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and take advantage of the states' expertise in energy efficiency, renewable energy deployment, green job creation and assistance to municipalities and less advantaged, vulnerable populations so that all citizens can reap the benefits of a sustainable clean energy future.
- Preserve and enhance state and local authority to continue implementing innovative measures and programs that further reduce greenhouse gas emissions within their jurisdictions.
- Recognize the value of private investments made under existing state and regional capand-trade programs and ensure that state clean energy programs funded by the auction of allowances issued under those programs are preserved.
We applaud your call to enact a strong and effective federal climate and clean energy policy, and we are committed to helping develop a policy that harnesses the experience, efficiency and creativity of programs at the local, state and regional levels. To this end, we write to request a meeting with you and your energy and environment cabinet and staff to develop a partnership that uses the positive momentum ofour states' climate leadership to build a truly comprehensive American energy and climate strategy for the new century. We look forward to working with you.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor M. Jodi Rell
Governor Charlie Crist
Governor Kathleen Sebelius
Governor Martin O'Malley
Governor Deval Patrick
Governor Jon S. Corzine
Governor Bill Richardson
Governor David Paterson
Governor Theodore R. Kulongoski
Governor Christine O. Gregoire
Governor Jim Doyle
The Honorable Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior
The Honorable Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture
The Honorable Stephen Chu, Secretary of Energy
The Honorable Nancy Sutley, Chairwoman of the Council on Environmental Quality
The Honorable Lisa Jackson, United States Environmental Protection Agency Administrator
The Honorable Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change