WASHINGTON – Democratic governors called for an ambitious jobs and energy plan today at a news conference sponsored by the Apollo Alliance at the National Press Club. Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N.M., Gov. Edward Rendell, D-Pa., and Gov. Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont., participated in the event with Apollo Alliance President Jerome Ringo and United Steel Workers President Leo Gerard.
The governors used the occasion to tout a plan devised by the Apollo Alliance that would develop renewable power, create oil savings, promote energy efficiency and support smart growth. Gov. Richardson endorsed the plan citing the need for state-level initiatives when there’s inaction at the federal-level.
“We need a ‘Man on the Moon’ effort to end our reliance on foreign energy,” said Gov. Richardson. “The Apollo Alliance’s four-point plan for a new energy future is a solid roadmap to get this done. It is focused on state efforts because states are the incubators of innovation, especially when there’s an absence of leadership at the federal level.”
When asked what role energy will play in the 2008 presidential election, Richardson responded, “It is the top issue in the presidential race, the top challenge facing America because it deals with national security.”
Governor Rendell, a leader in clean energy alternatives, called for the federal government to adopt a diverse, clean-energy portfolio like the one outlined by the Apollo Alliance and adopted in his home state of Pennsylvania.
“You’ve heard about Pennsylvania’s advanced energy portfolio standards. We are the 21st state to have those advanced standards and we believe ours are the most comprehensive. However, we need national advanced energy portfolio standards, and the Apollo Alliance energy plan calls for that.”
Citing the nation’s precarious dependence on foreign oil, Gov. Schweitzer identified the Apollo Alliance plan as a roadmap for promoting national security while creating good jobs.
“Today, 65 percent of our energy – the lifeblood of this entire country – is imported, and most of it comes from unstable regions around the world,” said Gov. Schweitzer. “We face a huge challenge today, and that’s why I applaud the Apollo Alliance because they recognize that we can get this right. We could create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the heartland using less energy. We could produce a billion barrels of biofuels, and we could do it during the next 10 years.”
The Apollo Alliance aims to end America’s dependence on foreign oil. It was inspired by President Kennedy’s original Apollo mission, and has received endorsements from major labor unions, business leaders and leading environmental organizations. Ringo, president of the Apollo Alliance, praised the governors for leading the country toward energy independence.
“Governors have the power to create thousands of good jobs while making us all more secure and protecting our environment,” said Ringo. “Our plan captures the best and brightest ideas of these governors.”
Gerard, a co-chair of the Alliance, said the public understands the tremendous potential for job growth when a commitment is made to the manufacturing of renewable energy products.
“Many of our nation’s new governors campaigned on the idea that states could create good jobs by promoting clean energy,” said Gerard. “This plan outlines how to breathe life into that commitment.”
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**NOTE: Media representatives interested in a copy of the Apollo Alliance plan, can obtain an electronic copy at www.apolloalliance.org.**