Comment from Steffen, Alex

Our region's commitment to clean energy and limiting greenhouse gas emissions are laudable, but we need to go farther. We need to become the nation's leader in greenhouse gas reductions in the energy sector, both by generating more clean energy and reducing our energy use through efficiency and new grid technologies. To that end, I encourage you to plan a complete phase-out of coal-generated power over the next 20 years. We should go farther, though, and seek to be world leaders in energy efficiency, vehicle electrification, smart grid technologies, home energy mortgages and regional building, land use and design standards. We should also seek to attach a stable regional price to carbon, and to set ambitious targets for the energy intensity of our economy. Finally, I encourage you to raise the 5-year Action Plan's conservation targets considerably. The future will be climate neutral. The regions that get there first will have a gigantic economic advantage, while those who get there later will suffer in lost competitiveness. For our economy, for our planet, and for our children, I urge you to do everything in your power to see that we cross the finish line first. Yours, Alex Steffen