- Policy Platforms
Decarbonizing the West is the 2024 WGA Chair initiative of Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon. The initiative will examine how decarbonization strategies and technologies, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies, direct air capture (DAC), and natural sequestration can position western states at the forefront of innovation and reduce the effects of carbon emissions on the environment. Through a series of workshops and webinars, WGA will convene federal, state, local, tribal, and industry stakeholders to explore issues and themes relevant to the development and deployment of carbon dioxide removal technologies, including statutory and regulatory barriers, technical advancements and challenges, and emerging applications for carbon. An initiative report will be released at the conclusion of the initiative in summer 2024.
Governor Jared Polis of Colorado launched The Heat Beneath Our Feet (HBOF) as his 2023 WGA Chair Initiative. The initiative will examine opportunities for and barriers to the increased deployment of geothermal energy technologies for both electricity generation and heating and cooling systems in western states, which contain the vast majority of high-yield geothermal energy capacity in the U.S.
The Chair's Initiative of Western Governors’ Association Chair and Idaho Governor Brad Little will examine the interdependent relationships between western communities, state and federal land resource management entities, as well as the role that local communities play in successful land planning and management processes.
The Chair's Initiative of Western Governors’ Association Chair and Oregon Governor Kate Brown seeks to achieve an expanded regional agreement on electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the West that will bolster current economies and create a roadmap, both literally and figuratively, to the future.
Reimagining the Rural West was the Chairman's Initiative of WGA Chair and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. The Initiative examined challenges and opportunities in rural economic development, infrastructure and quality of life. The Special Report of the Initiative offers more than a dozen recommendations to support vibrant rural communities in the West organized around three major pillars: Opportunity, Connectivity and Community.
The Western Governors’ Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative, launched in 2018 as the central policy initiative of WGA Chair Hawaii Governor David Ige, focused on the impacts that nuisance species, pests and pathogens have on ecosystems, forests, rangelands, watersheds, and infrastructure in the West. The Initiative also examined the role that biosecurity plays in addressing the risks posed by invasive species.
The Western Governors’ National Forest and Rangeland Management Initiative of Montana Governor Steve Bullock, launched in 2016, created a mechanism for states and land managers to share best practices and policy options for forest and rangeland management. The first-year’s work of the initiative developed 48 legislative and regulatory recommendations; in the following year 6 of the 18 legislative recommendations were enacted into law in addition to a solution for ‘fire-borrowing.’ The work of the initiative is now being continued in the WGA Working Lands Roundtable.