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Gov. Gregoire, Pacific leaders take action on clean energy, transportation, ocean conservation

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2010

VANCOUVER, B.C. – Gov. Chris Gregoire today joined leaders from British Columbia, California and Oregon to sign onto a series of joint actions that will help create jobs, strengthen the Pacific Coast economy, advance action on climate change and clean energy, and protect the marine environment.

The actions were ratified today during the inaugural Leaders’ Forum of the Pacific Coast Collaborative. Established by British Columbia’s Premier and Pacific Coast Governors in June 2008, the collaborative’s founding agreement pledges the participating governments to forge a partnership for leadership, co-operative action, and a common voice on issues affecting the Pacific coast region.

“Those of us here today recognize the challenges of a changing climate and a changing economy,” Gregoire said. “By acting together, we can show the world that it is possible, and necessary, to embrace solutions that address both.”

The meeting was hosted by Premier Gordon Campbell of British Columbia and chaired by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California. Secretary of State Kate Brown represented the state of Oregon.

“The agreements signed today are an important step towards advancing North America’s West Coast as a global leader in the new low-carbon economy, ocean health, renewable energy and transportation,” said Premier Campbell. “I want to thank the governors for coming to British Columbia to help us celebrate the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and for continuing to work with us to build a strong economy and sustainable region for our citizens.”

“The actions we are taking today will build a stronger economy and a stronger environment for communities throughout the Pacific region and beyond,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “The Pacific Coast Collaborative has shown that by taking meaningful action and showing determined leadership, the rest of the world will follow the steps we are taking to build a better future. I want to thank Premier Campbell, Governor Gregoire and Governor Kulongoski for helping our entire region move forward through this important collaborative.”

“These agreements demonstrate our collective commitment to protecting the health of the west coast’s ocean and the ecosystems, and economies that depend on them,” said Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. “Taking strong action now means a stronger tomorrow for our coastal communities.”

Two action plans were signed by the leaders today: Innovation, the Environment and the Economy; and Ocean Conservation and Coastal Climate Change Adaptation.

The Action Plan on Innovation, the Environment and the Economy sets out a series of co-operative initiatives to promote renewable and low carbon energy and energy conservation, including developing Interstate 5/Highway 99 as a green transportation corridor. It also promotes development of high-speed rail from San Diego to Vancouver and the move to “Green Ports” through co-operation to reduce local air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.

The Action Plan on Ocean Conservation and Coastal Climate Change Adaptation focuses on co-operation on invasive species, reductions in toxins and other pollutants, promoting sustainable fisheries management and research into impacts from climate change and adaptation options.

The forum also saw the leaders consider and release for further discussion and public input a “Vision 2030” paper intended to serve as a living document for the Pacific Coast Collaborative. The paper sets out a strategic vision for the future of Pacific North America and regional collaboration. The objective is to ensure that west coast jurisdictions achieve global leadership in sustainable economic development – attracting new jobs and encouraging investment and innovation while enhancing an already unparalleled quality of life.

The leaders also unveiled a new, shared PCC website to facilitate regional sharing of information and best practices between governments and with citizens. It is online at: http://www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org. The documents signed today can also be found on this site.

Leaders welcomed the Governor of Oregon’s offer to host and chair the next PCC Leaders Forum in November 2010.