This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
PHILADELPHIA - Governors from across the country agree that it will take bold leadership to confront the nation's energy crisis.
But they couldn't come to a consensus position on climate change or nuclear expansion or the future of coal.
The best they could do was a letter calling on Washington to extend solar and wind energy tax credits for five years.
The conclusion of the four-day National Governors Association conference in Philadelphia may have fallen short of the hopes of people like Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., but he calls the tax credits that will phase out without congressional action vital.
"Continuing the renewable tax credit legislation is critical for the nation's energy security, economic prowess and making progress in reducing carbon emissions," he said in a statement Monday.
Huntsman met behind closed doors with dozens of other governors on Sunday, hoping to reach a broader agreement on energy policy, culminating months of negotiations.
But not every governor agreed that new nuclear plants should be built or that carbon emissions should be taxed.
The association's natural resources committee, of which Huntsman is a member, took a lead in drafting the consensus letter, which has not been released publicly. The committee of 14 governors, many from Western states such as Utah, Wyoming and Montana, backed new nuclear plants and a push for clean coal technology. A second letter they drafted including those initiatives was shelved after they failed to get a consensus among all governors attending.
At the end of the summer meetings, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell took over the reins of the governor's association from Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and will shift the focus away from energy policy to the need to rebuild the nation's roads, mass transit and bridges.
Rendell's initiative will try to encourage more financial support from the federal government, while pushing states to develop projects with climate change in mind.