Governors Lead Efforts to Conserve Energy
Despite diverse climates, geography and energy resources, governors across the country are coalescing around a number of “best practice” policy mechanisms when implementing new energy policies in their states, according to a new report released by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center).
The Issue Brief, Recent State Actions Promoting Alternative Energy reviewed energy programs throughout the states to identify how they promote, administer, finance and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy policies. The report highlights numerous approaches and tools governors are adopting to help conserve existing energy resources while promoting expansion of renewable sources of energy in their states. Common attributes include:
* Setting renewable portfolio standards;
* Establishing renewable fuels standards for transportation and heating;
* Setting efficiency standards for government buildings and fleets;
* Establishing financing mechanisms for advanced energy technology programs; and
* Measuring and monitoring energy savings and environmental benefits.
“Governors are helping lead America to a smarter energy future that is good for the environment, good for rural economies, good for national security, and good for consumers,” said Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, chair of the NGA Center. “In Minnesota, our farmers helped lead the ethanol revolution and we’re proud to have the highest per capita use of renewable energy and the nation’s most aggressive renewable fuels standard.”
“The need for energy policy reform is firmly at the forefront of Americans’ consciousness, and the nations’ governors are leading the charge towards a more sustainable energy economy,” added Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. “We practice what we preach in Pennsylvania: because of progressive energy policies that we are putting in place right now, by the year 2020, 18 percent of the electricity sold in our state will come from renewable and other in-state sources such as landfill and farm methane.”
In their 2007 State of the State addresses, 92 percent of governors highlighted policies on the environment, energy and natural resources, with 39 specifically mentioning new proposals to pursue alternative sources of energy.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy provided support for the development of this Issue Brief. DOE provides financial and technical assistance to states to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and technologies.
“States are an essential element of any policy strategy to meet our nation’s energy challenges,” said Alexander Karsner, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at DOE. “Leadership by governors, state legislators, public utility commissions, and energy offices is critical to spur increased investments in efficiency and clean energy technologies that will improve America’s energy security, mitigate global climate change, and help communities prosper.”
In addition to identifying universal themes among various state energy programs, the Issue Brief documents the impact and influence of State Energy Offices through case studies for six states: Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.
For more information and to download a copy of the report, visit www.nga.org.