Mar 18 2011
SALT LAKE CITY - Today at noon at the University of Utah, Governor Gary Herbert unveiled his 10-year Strategic Energy Plan, "Energy Initiatives and Imperatives." Flanked by energy industry leaders, academics and advisors, the Governor said, "If I were to reduce the 42 pages of Utah's Energy Plan into one simple equation, it would be this: Innovation plus initiative equals energy independence."
"No other state can offer what Utah can. We are uniquely positioned in the Western Energy Corridor, which stretches from Canada on the north to New Mexico on the south," Governor Herbert said. "Utah has a rich abundance of diverse natural resources, both in terms of traditional fuels, and renewable and alternative energies."
True to the Governor's leadership style of bringing people together and locking them in on a common goal, the plan represents months of collaboration and planning among an impressive array of stakeholders in the energy arena. Those stakeholders officially comprised the Governor's task force, which included industry, academic, environmental and government leaders who gathered public input statewide.
Former Salt Lake City mayor and environmental activist Ted Wilson chaired the group and Dept. of Environmental Quality and Energy Advisor Amanda Smith helped finalize plan content. For months the task force met with subcommittees and focused on issues such as energy development, the environment, transportation, workforce development, transmission, infrastructure and science.
The plan released today is the final product of their work. It is available online at http://www.utah.gov/governor/docs/energy-10year-plan.pdf. More than a to-do list, the plan is an invitation to and framework for a meaningful public conversation about the future of energy in Utah. It includes guiding principles, goals, models and real-world examples, laced with Herbert's optimism about Utah's unique entrepreneurial spirit and innovative minds.
"Our greatest advantages are the minds-and the mindsets-of the people of Utah," said the Governor. "We must harness the innovation that comes from scientists and entrepreneurs, the industry that comes from a skilled, educated workforce, and a pioneer heritage that values the hard work and initiatives of the past while innovating the solutions of the future."
The Governor concluded his remarks with a challenge to the people of Utah to engage in this dialog. "Energy independence is everyone's business. The quality of life we enjoy simply cannot be put at risk because we lacked innovation, or because we failed to take initiative," he said.
Today's event took place at the state of the art Frederick Albert Sutton Building, home of the Department of Geology and Geophysics on the University of Utah campus. The distinctive building features a modern design, complemented by the use of stone, light and metal.
Read Governor Herbert's speech, "Utah's 10-Year Strategic Energy Plan" (pdf)