Governors to Meet, Discuss Energy, Transmission, Climate Adaptation Strategies, Future of Electric Vehicles (12/14/09)

December 14, 2009

Contact:  Karen Deike (303) 623-9378 ext. 104

- Western Governors will meet in San Diego Wednesday and Thursday this week to discuss the West's energy future, the benefits and impacts of electric vehicles, transmission expansion and climate adaptation strategies.

Governors expected to attend WGA's annual winter meeting are:  Brian Schweitzer (Mont.), Chairman; C.L. “Butch Otter” (Idaho), Vice Chairman; Felix Camacho (Guam); Jim Gibbons (Nev.); Bill Richardson (N.M.); Ted Kulongoski (Ore.); Gary Herbert (Utah); and Dave Freudenthal (Wyo.). 

Meeting topics, speakers and panelists include:

Wednesday, Dec. 16th

A Resilient West: Climate Adaptation Strategies
David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior, will provide an opening keynote on climate adaptation.  Following his remarks the Governors and panelists will discuss impacts to water, energy and natural resources with David Behar, Water Utility Climate Alliance, Elliott Mainzer, Bonneville Power Administration, Steve Mealey, Boone and Crockett Club, and Del Walters, California Dept. of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The Integration of Electric Vehicles in the West

Governors will discuss with panelists the challenges of deploying electric vehicles and the impacts on demand. Panelists include Mark Duvall, Director of Electric Transportation at the Electric Power Research Institute; Pedro J. Pizarro, Executive Vice President, Power Operations at Southern California Edison; and Tom vonReichbauer, Director of Finance, Tesla Motors.

 Thursday, Dec. 17th

 The Path to New Transmission Lines
A maze of federal, state and industry practices and regulations often hamper needed investment in new transmission that will prepare the West for a clean energy future.  The Governors and invited guests will discuss these challenges and reforms that could spur investment in a clean electric power system. Panelists include Mike Niggli, Chief Operating Officer, Sempra; Bob Rowe, CEO, NorthWestern Energy; Jeff Byron, California Energy Commissioner; Jose Maria Sanchez Seara, CEO, Naturener USA; Hank Petranik, Vice President, TransCanada Corporation; Bob Anderson, Western Grid Group; and Michael Peck,  Apollo Alliance. 

Crafting the West's Energy Future

The Governors will discuss the path forward to developing future generation and transmission scenarios that will achieve clean, secure, reliable and affordable energy in the West.  The Governors will be joined by Skila Harris, Recovery Act Advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy.  In addition, Governor Schweitzer and the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks staff will demonstrate an innovative GIS-based system they are using to identify areas that should be conserved for wildlife and those that may be most appropriate for energy development.