By Don Thompson
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Governors from 17 states said Tuesday that they will work together to develop cleaner energy and transportation as they look to lead a national shift to renewable fuels.
The states vary widely in their approach and sources of fuel, but the bipartisan group said its goal is to cooperate on planning and policies.
The pact — known as the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future — calls for embracing new energy solutions to expand the economy and protect the health of communities and natural resources.
“We believe that this is a robust driver of economic growth, not a brake on economic growth,” Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee said in a conference call with reporters.
The governors purposely avoided mentioning the divisive issue of climate change and instead concentrated on how states can cooperate, California Gov. Jerry Brown said.
He said that includes building more sophisticated, energy-efficient regional electrical grids; pooling buying power to get cheaper clean-energy vehicles for state fleets; and lobbying the federal government for more research and development on energy storage, clean fuels and the electric grid.
Other participating governors are from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
Senior advisers of the governors expect to meet soon to discuss the initial steps to meet the goals.