Governors sign energy pact to cut use, build new resources

Thursday, November 15, 2007

From an Associated Press story by Emily Fedrix in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The region's governors signed an agreement Thursday to work together to reduce energy consumption, focus more on renewable energy and limit greenhouse gas emissions.

The noon signing was part of a regional summit on energy and climate change hosted by the Midwestern Governors Association.

The office of Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, chairman of the 12-member group, said the Midwest can lead the nation in renewable energy.

"Our strong manufacturing base and rich agricultural industries, along with the wealth of resources in our vast northern forests and our world-leading research universities, position the Midwest to become the Saudi Arabia of renewable energy," he said in a statement released by his office.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, co-host of the summit, said the agreement could serve as a national model.

"We're a little bit smaller and more nimble than the federal government," Pawlenty said.

The plan calls for a reduction in carbon emissions of between 60 percent and 80 percent. The group will work together to determine limits for each state, Canter said. . . .

The agreement calls for a number of other changes by 2015, including:

- Reducing energy consumption by 2 percent, with a 2 percent reduction each year after that.

- Offering the ethanol-based gasoline known as E-85 at 15 percent of gas stations, up from the current 3 percent.

- Generating 10 percent of the region's electricity from renewable resources. By 2030, that portion should be 30 percent.