The Western Governors yesterday passed a long list of resolutions, including a statement supporting Governor Leavitt as administrator of the EPA. Meanwhile, presidential candidate John Edwards, whose blog looks more like an online brochure and doesn't contain a lot of substance other than tracking endorsements, has joined Hillary Clinton in proposing to block the nomination.
The Western Governors resolutions propose a number of technology-based initiatives:
- Ask state and tribal agencies to accelerate the implementation of efficiency practices and investments in state and tribal buildings (many of these are associated with tracking and sensor technologies).
- A real-time, quality information and analysis system to provide decision-makers and market participants better information on western energy demand, supply and infrastructure;
- Encourage the creation of a centralized (electircal) grid-wide database that tracks prospective demand, and tracks generation and transmission facilities under construction, whether they are permitted, in the permitting process, or under consideration.
- Accelerate the development and deployment of promising renewable energy technologies, such as wind, geothermal, biomass, photovoltaic, and concentrating solar power (CSP), through the extension and expansion of state and federal production tax credits and state and tribal financial incentives such as system benefit charges, portfolio standards, recovery of utility costs in rates and/or creative new incentives.
- Creation of an independent, regional generation tracking system to provide data necessary to substantiate the number of megawatthours generated from renewable energy sources and support verification, tracking and trading of RECs.
- The Western Governors believe that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies are important components of successfully and efficiently addressing the forest health issue. GIS can help facilitate the collaborative planning processes related to the 10-Year Strategy at the community level as well as respond to and mitigate the effects of wildfire. States, federal agencies, and local governments must work together on efficiently and economically developing and using these tools to deliver valuable information to decision makers and stakeholders through data dissemination, application development, and training efforts.
- As one means to utilize material that will be produced as a result of increased forest treatments, WGA will participate in the National Biomass State and Regional Partnership representing the States in the Western Region, to work cooperatively with the DOE Office of Biomass Programs and to facilitate the increased use of bioenergy and biobased products and to coordinate regional and state policy issues and programs.
- Western Governors support and encourage the groups developing courseware and learning content standards including, but not limited to: Advanced Distributed Learning Initiative, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Learning Technology Standards Committee, IMS Global Learning Consortium, MIT led Open Knowledge Initiative, Schools Interoperability Framework, Japanís Advanced Learning Infrastructure Consortium, and Europeís Alliance of Remote Instructional Authoring and Distribution Networks and Dublin Core Meta-data Initiative.
- Western Governors encourage private developers and vendors of content authoring tools, learning management systems (LMS) and learning content management systems (LCMS) to embrace and adopt the open standards developed by the groups identified above.
- Support of agricultural biotechnology
- WGA is directed to work with state law enforcement agencies to compile, maintain and disseminate data on the number and type of methamphetamine labs in the Western United States and the costs of enforcement and cleanup activities.
- Western Governors believe the collection, integration, maintenance and distribution of digital geographic data representing the legal land subdivision from the PLSS, land ownership, appraisal, and other related information is vital to effectively managing public lands, developing resources in a responsible manner, and protecting the public. To this end, Western Governors encourage BLM, member states, local governments, tribal entities, and the private sector to engage in a coordinated effort that will lead to standardized best practices and land record modernization as well as a solid digital cadastral infrastructure.
Additional recommendations for technology initiatives can be found by carefully reading the resolutions. The successful implementation of these recommendations will require a lot of work and coordination by technologists in the member states. I actually think it is exciting to see the governors come forward with solid list of substantive recommendations that provide a real opportunity for new egov applications.