Decarbonizing the West initiative report

Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon, Chair of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA), launched the Decarbonizing the West initiative in 2023 to examine how decarbonization strategies can position western states at the forefront of innovation and reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. The initiative explored a wide range of engineered decarbonization approaches as well as natural sequestration through enhanced land and agriculture management practices, all of which present enormous opportunities for western states.  

This report is the culmination of an extensive stakeholder process that engaged experts from across a range of states, industry sectors, and levels of government.  This process was facilitated by the leadership and support of other Western Governors, who, through hosting a series of regional workshops, highlighted the growing need and diverse set of approaches to decarbonize the West. 

The initiative examined federal policy recommendations in three focal areas that offer the greatest opportunities for near-term deployment of strategies to reduce the CO2 in the atmosphere: 

•     Carbon capture, utilization, and storage and engineered carbon dioxide removal;
•     Natural sequestration; and
•     Cross-cutting and regional opportunities.

“I am very happy to say that today America has demonstrated, yet again, that innovation will trump regulation and that we can move forward in a future which is beneficial to all of us,” Governor Gordon said when he released the report at the 2024 Annual Meeting in Olympic Valley, California. “If we can continue to work together, there is so much that we can accomplish.”   

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