BOSTON, Mass. /Massachusetts Newswire/ -– Governor Deval Patrick today announced the formation of the Governors’ Energy and Climate Coalition, a bipartisan group of state chief executives from across the country, which has come together to promote a comprehensive federal policy on clean energy and climate change recognizing the key role states must play in creating the green economy of the future. Governor Patrick is among the founding members of the coalition, which is united by two broad principles – a need for a comprehensive energy strategy on the national level and recognition of states as critical partners in carrying out that strategy.

Governor Deval Patrick“Now is the time for decisive action on greenhouse gas emissions and clean energy jobs,” said Governor Patrick. “In Massachusetts, we are already seeing jobs grow in industries like renewable power and energy efficiency as a result of our strong policies and incentives. We stand ready to work as partners with the federal government to create a clean energy future for the United States and the world.”

The forming of the Governors’ Energy and Climate Coalition, which is housed at the Georgetown University Law Center, takes place as Congress considers the American Climate and Energy Security (ACES) Act, the comprehensive climate legislation sponsored by U.S. Representative Henry Waxman (D-California) and U.S. Representative Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts). That bill would create a cap-and-trade mechanism for reducing greenhouse gas emissions over time and promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. Such legislation would reduce the threat of global climate change but also steering investment toward clean energy technologies and jobs.

The coalition, which includes 30 states and territories, represents the broad interest of signatory states in comprehensive federal action on energy and climate policy and active state participation in shaping and implementing that policy, but does not imply positions on specific elements of pending federal legislation. The coalition states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, as well as the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Signatories to the Governors’ Energy and Climate Coalition agreement subscribe to the following broad principles:

• The United States urgently needs a comprehensive energy strategy that will generate millions of clean energy jobs, break our dependence on foreign oil, and reduce the threat of global warming. Therefore we support and will lend our voice to Congress to pass legislation that invests in using energy more efficiently and producing more clean energy at home, and sets a cap on greenhouse gases to reduce emissions to levels guided by science to avoid dangerous global warming.

• States are where the green economy is being built. States are critical to implementing the clean energy policies necessary to help workers, consumers, businesses, and manufacturers prosper in this new economy by accelerating the deployment of energy-efficient and low-emission technologies, assisting industry to retool and workers to retrain, mitigating costs to consumers and businesses, engaging natural solutions from farms and forests, and preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Therefore we pledge to work with Congress and the Administration to develop a strong state-federal partnership to create and preserve our jobs and industry, keep the United States competitive abroad, and at the same time address climate change threats.