Governor Gary Locke’s Remarks
Energy Conservation Press Conference
March 12, 2001

Good afternoon.

Thank you for joining us here today, and thank you for inviting me to say a few words. I am so pleased to be here. Pleased that the important message of energy conservation is going to reach even more eyes and ears -- thanks to the three companies represented here today.

Tesoro Petroleum recognized the vital importance for Washington state citizens to save energy, which in turn will save water. The company is placing signs, called "pump toppers" in each of its 28 Western Washington gas stations. And, as you'll see in just a minute, those pump toppers direct people to go inside the stores and pick up a brochure full of tips on energy conservation.

That's where Puget Sound Energy comes in. This utility has provided hundreds of brochures in each station.

The people of Western Washington will also see this conservation message on the road. AK Media has partnered with Tesoro in placing eight billboards all over Western Washington. And NO, these billboards will NOT be lit up at night.

These three companies are certainly doing their part to make a difference and set the example. All three took my conservation call to heart.

These calls for conservation are not falling on deaf ears. Since I made that call two months ago, people have not only listened, they've taken action. Seattle City Light tells me their customers cut power usage by 6 percent last month. Tacoma City Light is reporting a 10 percent reduction last month. And Puget Sound Energy reports a 4 percent reduction in demand.

So it's working.

We are doing our part to conserve too. Government buildings have cut down their use by 11 percent.

We have a good legislative package that includes sales tax exemptions on the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and lighting, and tax incentives for renewable energy, like solar and wind power -- and co-generation of electricity from energy produced to heat a building or run machines.

I have been working closely with companies to bring new generation on line in upcoming months with extraordinary benefits to the environment. The environment has been at the forefront of these discussions. These companies agreed to take the necessary steps to make sure there is no increase in air pollution as temporary power plants generate electricity.

Bottom line: We need to keep up our conservation efforts as we build new power plants whether from wind, solar, or natural gas.

Remember, energy is money. Think before you spend it.

I'd like to invite Joe Sparano of Tesoro, Frank Podany of AK Media, Tim Hogan of Puget Sound Energy to say a few words. Then we'll unveil our pump topper/billboard design and take questions.
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