Seven Governors Urge President To Lead On Energy

WASHINGTON – Governors from the Midwest, West, and Northeast today urged President Bush to lead a national project to achieve energy independence within a decade in an open letter to the White House. The letter was released the day after the long-awaited members of the complete House-Senate energy bill conference were named. Lawmakers are under pressure to send the president an energy bill before the congressional recess in August because of soaring gasoline prices.

The signatories believe that the nation’s security and energy needs provide a mandate to rejuvenate our nation’s economy. In the letter, seven governors pushed for creating a new generation of American jobs, as advocated by the Apollo Alliance, a new coalition of national security, labor, environmental, civil rights and business leaders who are fighting for energy independence from foreign energy sources.

“America needs to think big, and rise to our potential by tapping the can-do spirit core to our shared history,” said Gov. Christine Gregoire, D-Wash. “In Washington state we are working to create alternative energy solutions to meet future needs, and we encourage support for similar measures at the federal level.”

Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., noted that both the House and Senate versions of the energy bill do little to stop rising gas prices.

“We need an energy bill that delivers relief to everyday people who work hard to make ends meet,” said Blagojevich.

In addition to Gregoire and Blagojevich, signatories included Governors Jim Doyle, D-Wis.; Ted Kulongoski,, D-Ore.; Janet Napolitano, D-Ariz.; Bill Richardson,, D-N.M.; and Brian Schweitzer, D-Mont., who all noted that energy efficiency policies have already been implemented in their states and urged President Bush to extend them to the federal level.

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**NOTE: A copy of the governors’ letter can be found at www.apolloalliance.org.**