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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Word from the West

Air Date: Week of

Western governors and Canadian premiers say they hope to lead on energy policy in the new US administration, and their proposal will include participation from China.


GELLERMAN: California isn't the only state with big ambitions on climate change. Here’s Living on Earth’s Ashley Ahearn.

AHEARN: Governors from 19 Western states met in Wyoming recently and vowed to come up with a plan for just how much of the nation’s energy should come from renewable sources. Natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar and clean coal are big in their home states.

But Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer say the western states’ efforts are being undercut by those who doubt climate change is real.

SCHWEITZER: We still have groups traveling across this country right now that are financed by some energy companies, financed by utilities companies, who say well, its junk science, and so now we have legislators in each of our states who mimic that.

AHEARN: Leading the Western Governor’s effort is the group’s new chairman, Jon Huntsman of Utah. Governor Huntsman is a former US ambassador to Singapore. He speaks fluent Mandarin and brought Chinese officials to this year's meeting in Jackson, Wyoming. He says there’ll be no break in the international deadlock on climate without Asian involvement.

HUNTSMAN: It is not being done at any level. And wherever I go I am always sort of reminded by observers that it doesn't matter how far we go because you’ve always got China and India to worry about, well I'm tired of hearing that. I think its about time we engage China in some sort of meaningful dialogue, and this may be where it begins, and if it does, so be it.

AHEARN: The Western Governors say they’ll present their new energy plan to the next U.S. president. For Living on Earth, I’m Ashley Ahearn.

[MUSIC: Marc Ribot “Fuego” from ‘Ceramic Dog’ (Pi Records—2008)]

GELLERMAN: Coming up: mmmm – Strawberries …and MUSTARD? The recipe just ahead on Living on Earth.



For more on the Western Governors' Association meeting, click here


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