As we draw ever closer to National Clean Energy Week (NCEW) September 24-28, we want to begin recognizing those who are helping this celebration grow across the country. Notably, the governors of a number of states have helped raise awareness by issuing proclamations and letters of support aligned with NCEW. Some of the most enthusiastic support so far has emerged across the entire Mountain West region, as the governors of Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Wyominghave all lent their support during these first two years of NCEW.
Collectively, the region has incredibly diverse resources and is a microcosm of the “all of the above” philosophy, with each state ranking in the top ten in the country in at least one clean energy resource:
- Idaho ranked first overall in the nation in overall renewable energy
- Nevada ranked second in the nation in geothermal energy and fourth in solar energy
- Montana ranked fifth in hydropower
- Utah ranked sixth in solar energy
- Wyoming ranked sixth in cleaner-burning natural gas
- Colorado ranks ninth in wind energy
Of course, the region is flush with traditional energy resources as well. Wyoming is notable for producing the most coal in the country by far, and Montana actually holds the nation’s largest recoverable coal reserve. However, these states are working hard to lead the way in reducing emissions from coal; earlier this year, the Wyoming Integrated Test Center opened, one of only a handful of such facilities worldwide that is fully integrated into a working coal plant in order to host real-world demonstrations.
As you can see, the Mountain West is key to our nation’s overall energy portfolio and energy independence. These states know that, so it is not surprising that most of these governors participated in the Western Governors Association Annual Meeting in June and worked hard to established a new “Energy Vision for the West,” which prominently features the development of clean energy resources.
These leaders aren’t just passively backing clean energy initiatives, either—they are actually getting out there to raise awareness. For example, Utah Governor Gary Herbert has just been confirmed as a speaker for the NCEW Symposium on September 26, and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval hosted last year’s National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.
NCEW is about elevating the discussion about clean energy around the country, so it is essential that individual states and communities take the time to participate. That is why we would like to thank all of the governors who have recognized NCEW, but especially the governors of the Mountain West states for leading the way. We hope the residents of these states will take the opportunity to learn more about clean energy in their region.