Leaders Forum Addresses Ocean Protection, High Speed Rail and Clean Energy

Davis, CA (November 16, 2010) — California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell met today to announce the results from action plans adopted in February that address a range of cross-border issues pertaining to the economy and the environment, and present an action plan for the coming year.

The Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC) Leaders Forum, held in conjunction with the Governors’ Global Climate Summit 3 (GGCS 3) at the University of California, Davis campus, was hosted by Governor Schwarzenegger and chaired by Governor Kulongoski. The leaders focused on collaborative efforts to improve the health of the Pacific Ocean and address sustainability issues such as developing infrastructure to support electric vehicles and laying the foundation for the future of high-speed rail along the Pacific Coast. A representative of Washington Governor Chris Gregoire attended the meeting, and Governor Gregoire sent a letter to the PCC affirming her support and commitment to continuing the good work of the group.

Established by British Columbia’s premier and the Pacific Coast governors in June 2008, the PCC’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.

The PCC’s action plan on ocean health and conservation from February 2010 included a number of recommendations for addressing marine debris, combating invasive species and monitoring the health of the Pacific. Today, PCC leaders took three actions in this area:

  • Signed a joint letter to the U.S. and Canadian governments on ocean observation systems
  •  Announced the four jurisdictions would be joining together to create a coast-wide marine debris alliance and develop a detailed marine debris strategic plan for the West Coast
  • Adopted a report in which the four jurisdictions joined together to eradicate spartina, an invasive species that causes significant damage to the wetlands along the West Coast by 2018

“I am proud to see the significant progress made so far on the action plan we adopted last winter in Vancouver,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Our four governments are truly working collaboratively to strengthen the region’s economy and protect the ocean that touches us all.”

PCC also approved reports today on the actions to date in the areas of renewable and low-carbon energy and energy conservation, developing Interstate 5/Highway 99 as a green transportation corridor and promoting the development of high-speed rail along the Pacific Coast as a result of the February 2010 action plan, “Innovation, the Economy, and the Environment,” which identified specific initiatives for multi-jurisdictional cooperation.

“The work of the Pacific Coast Collaborative is game changing. By working across state and international borders to build an efficient electric vehicle infrastructure with charging stations, common signage, maps and educational programs, we are fundamentally changing the way people travel,” said Governor Kulongoski, a forceful advocate for the development of the infrastructure required to support the nascent electric vehicle market. “We’re helping to drive market demand, we’re creating jobs and we’re pushing technology forward.”

“The joint feasibility study of high-speed rail presented to us today is a significant step forward for the citizens of the Pacific Coast,” added Governor Schwarzenegger. “Fast, reliable, sustainable transportation is critical to the growth of this region’s economy.”

As Governors Schwarzenegger and Kulongoski will be leaving their respective offices in January, they expect the work of the PCC to continue with the support of the newly elected governors. Governor Gregoire said, “All of us see this collaborative as a critical component of our administrations. Our constituents should be proud of this work: We’re aligning our efforts and our policies for the economic and environmental health of the region.”

“I’d like to thank California, Oregon and Washington for working with us in the Pacific Coast Collaborative to collectively address shared regional economic and environmental issues,” said Premier Campbell. “These are critical issues for our citizens that are not limited by borders. By working together and sharing expertise we can find solutions to these challenges.”

The complete set of action items, reports presented to the leaders and background documents pertaining to the PCC can be found at: www.pacificcoastcollaborative.org.

The next Leaders Forum will be hosted by the state of Washington in 2011.