Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Governors Call for Improving Alternative Fuels and Clean Vehicles in States

December 13, 2007

Governors Convene in Florida as Part of NGA's Securing a Clean Energy Future Initiative, Release 'A Call to Action' Report

Contact: Christopher Cashman, 202-624-7787, 202-262-6249 (cell)

WASHINGTON-As part of the National Governors Associations (NGA) Securing a Clean Energy Future Initiative (SCEF Initiative), four governors today joined together in Florida to discuss advancing alternative fuels and clean vehicles in the United States, release the first SCEF Initiative publication "A Call to Action," and announce a clean energy partnership between NGA and Discovery Communications.

NGA Chair Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty opened the summit by stating, "America is the world's leading consumer of petroleum, using more than 7.6 billion barrels of oil a year, of which more than 60 percent is imported. If we're to wrestle back control of our own energy future, America must devote serious attention to increasing development of alternative fuels and clean vehicles. As this conference demonstrates, governors are leading the way."

SCEF Task Force Member Florida Gov. Charlie Crist added, "I am honored to unite with other governors who are taking action to advance our nation's use of renewable energy. As we work together, I am confident that by increasing our use of ethanol - as well as solar power and wind energy - we move closer to making clean energy the standard of the day."

At the "Governors' Summit on Alternative Transportation Fuels and Advanced Vehicles," Gov. Pawlenty, Gov. Crist, SCEF Initiative Co-Chair Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, and SCEF Task Force Member Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer highlighted the opportunities and challenges governors face when developing and using alternative transportation fuels, infrastructure and vehicles in their states.

"Kansas is making great strides in the production, consumption, and promotion of biofuels," said Gov. Sebelius. "I look forward to working with governors across the country to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil."

At a press conference following their discussion, the governors released the SCEF Initiative's "A Call to Action," a report declaring America's current energy path unacceptable because of escalating economic risk and serious environmental consequences. The report compels the nation's governors to act now to solve America's energy challenges by:

Defining the current energy problem, including the depths of our current dependence on oil and other fossil fuels;
Painting a stark picture of the "business as usual" future;
Dispelling myths associated with increasing alternative energy sources, breaking our oil addiction, meeting surging electricity demand, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions;
Describing the integral role states will play in promoting clean energy; and
Presenting the SCEF Initiative's roadmap to a cleaner, more secure energy future for America.
"For too long myths and hearsay have prevented meaningful action on these issues," said Gov. Schweitzer. "But governors are taking action. I'm proud to be here today with my colleagues to continue our work addressing our nation's shared energy challenges."

The SCEF Initiative is not just about motivating governors to embrace clean energy policies, but also about raising awareness of the importance individual contributions can make in solving America's energy challenges. Today NGA also announced a partnership with Discovery Communications - home to the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and other notable television programming - to motivate individuals across the country to embrace clean energy in their everyday activities. At the summit,Gov. Pawlenty unveiled the first product of this partnership: a public service announcement (PSA) that demonstrates simple actions individuals can take to reduce their overall energy consumption, and encouraged his colleagues to do the same. The PSA will begin airing on Discovery's networks in 2008.

Discovery is a passionate advocate of preserving our earth and a leader in developing television programs that educate citizens about the earth's best qualities. Next year, Discovery's commitment to these issues will reach new heights when Discovery Home channel becomes Planet Green - the first 24-hour eco-lifestyle channel dedicated to making a difference by providing tools, information and content that will enlighten, empower and most importantly, entertain. Gov. Pawlenty and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley are honorary board members of Planet Green.

This is the first of three summits planned by NGA's SCEF Initiative. The SCEF Initiative is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Office of Energy Deliverability and Reliability. In 2008, the SCEF Initiative will convene summits focusing on states' role in encouraging research, development and deployment of clean energy technologies and also look at options to promote clean power generation and energy efficiency. For more information on the Securing a Clean Energy Future Initiative, please visit


Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation's governors and one of Washington, D.C.'s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit

Planet Green is Discovery Communications' global, cross-company initiative with a commitment to document, preserve and celebrate the planet, including the first-ever 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network scheduled to launch in 2008 to more than 50 million homes. Planet Green speaks to people who want to understand green living and to those who truly want to make a difference by providing tools and information to meet the critical challenge of protecting our environment. Planet Green's platforms include leading eco-lifestyle website and the recently launched solutions oriented Discovery will also launch Discovery Education Green, a K-12 service that hosts dynamic media content correlated to state standards. Discovery Education Green will help teachers integrate Green lessons into their curriculum and empowers students to make more environmentally conscious decisions.

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