The 2022 Winter Meeting, hosted by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, will feature the Western Governors and their special guests in public conversations about the most significant issues facing the region. View the agenda below (all times at MT) and register here

Check back in with WGA in the coming weeks or sign-up for WGA's weekly newsletter for announcements on Gubernatorial attendance and speaker participation. 

Day One

1:00 - 1:30 p.m.: Welcome and Opening Remarks 

  • James D. Ogsbury, WGA Executive Director
  • Governor Jared Polis, WGA Chair

1:30 - 2:00 p.m.: Keynote I –  The Honorable Deb Haaland

The Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, manages more land than any other federal cabinet official.  The Secretary will talk about how state-federal collaboration can maximize federal investments in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

2:00 - 2:45 p.m.: Roundtable I – Zeroing in on Heavy-Duty Emissions

Developing heavy duty electric vehicles (HD EV) requires addressing different challenges compared to light electric vehicles.  This panel will explore development of HD EVs in the commercial and transit sectors as well as the build-out of supporting charging and fueling infrastructure.

Panelists: Allie Kelly, Executive Director, The Ray; Carey Mendes, President, Energy, Nikola Corporation; Amanda Pietz, Administrator of Policy, Oregon Department of Transportation.

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.: Keynote II – John D. Leshy

An expert on public land policy and law, John has held key positions in the Department of the Interior and also worked for the House Natural Resources Committee and the U.S. Department of Justice.  Now an emeritus professor at the University of California Hastings College of Law, John will discuss his most recent book, Our Common Ground: A History of America’s Public Lands, which examines the key political decisions underlying these lands, so prominent in the West.

3:30 - 4:15 p.m.: Roundtable II – Desalination Solutions for Western Communities

Two decades of drought in the West has led to depleted reservoirs, restrictions on water usage, and concerns about future hydropower production.  This panel will explore water desalination and reuse as one potential solution to some of the effects of persistent drought.

Panelists: Malynda Cappelle, Facility Manager, Brackish Groundwater National Desalination Research Facility, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation; Peter Fiske, Director, Water-Energy Resilience Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Katie Ratlief, Deputy Chief of Staff, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

4:15 - 5:00 p.m.: Roundtable III – Wildfire Smoke and Public Health

Particulate matter pollution from wildfire smoke poses a severe threat to public health and quality of life in the West.  This panel will discuss the dangers of poor air quality and how to mitigate these detrimental effects and promote the public health of western residents.

Panelists: Frank Beum, Regional Forester, Rocky Mountain Region, USDA Forest Service and Co-Chair, Western Forestry Leadership Coalition; Tomás Elias Carbonell, Deputy Assistant Administrator for Stationary Sources, Office of Air and Radiation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency JoAnna Strother, Senior Director of Advocacy, American Lung Association; Laura Schweitzer, Executive Director, Council of Western State Foresters.

6:00 - 7-:00 p.m.: All Attendee Reception

Day Two

9:15 - 9:45 a.m.: Keynote III – Mitch Landrieu

White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu will discuss how states can take advantage of federal investments through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and other legislation to improve and expand a wide range of critical infrastructure throughout the West.

9:45 - 10:30 a.m.: Roundtable IV – From Mines to Magnets: Expanding Domestic Mineral Supply

Transitioning the nation to a renewable energy economy will require a 400 to 600 percent increase in the supply of minerals, the majority of which are currently imported from foreign countries.  This panel will examine efforts to increase the domestic supply of minerals to support clean energy development.

Panelists: Diana Bauer, Acting Deputy Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy; John Baza, Director, Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining; and Thayer Smith, President, USA Rare Earth.

10:45 - 11:30 a.m.: Roundtable V –Addressing Housing Challenges in the West

Western states have experienced a dramatic increase in population growth.  Despite the economic strength of the West, affordable housing remains a persistent concern in many places.  This panel will look at some of the challenges facing western communities and the innovative solutions being developed to address housing shortages.

Panelists: Ethan Handelman, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Tom Simplot, Director, Arizona Department of Housing; Jud Murchie, National Research Relationships Manager, Diverse Segments, Representation, and Inclusion, Wells Fargo; Megan Lawson, Economist, Headwaters Economics.

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Keynote IV – The Honorable Jennifer Granholm

Under the Secretary of Energy, Jennifer Granholm, the Department of Energy performs cutting-edge research at its numerous national laboratories and oversees many aspects of our nation’s electrical grid.  The Secretary will discuss some of the challenges facing the energy sector and opportunities for states and the federal government to collaborate on critical energy issues.

12:00 - 12:15 p.m.: Governors’ Business Session

Governors will offer an update on policy resolutions and other business.

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