From: CSG West
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: CSG West Regional Roundup
Date: Wed Jul 16 20:28:35 MDT 2014


The Council of State Governments West



July 16, 2014   

In This Issue
Nominations Open for CSG West & National Vice-Chairs
Supreme Court Decides Greenhouse Gas Case
Regional Economic Competitiveness Forum
2014 CSG & CSG West Annual Conference 

August 9-13. 2014
Anchorage Alaska
Upcoming Webinars 
Innovations in Water Treatment and Conservation
July 17, 2 p.m. EDT
More info...

Supreme Court Review
CLE Webinar
July 18, 1 p.m., EDT

Making Sense of Economic Modeling Tools: Foreign Direct Investment and Export Attraction
July 23, 2 p.m., EDT

State Facts
Number of Bridges 
per State

New Mexico

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CSG West
1107 Ninth St. 
Suite 730
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916.553.4423
Fax: 916.446-5760
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Nominations open for CSG West Vice Chair 

and CSG National Vice Chair
Nominations for 2015 CSG West Vice Chair Position


The CSG West Nominating Committee will convene in Anchorage, Alaska to consider applicants for the 2015 CSG West Vice Chair position (who will succeed to the position of chair in 2017). Pursuant to CSG West Rules, only legislators that are members of the CSG West Executive Committee are eligible for election as officers. As required by the Rules, in order to maintain party balance among the officers, this year the nominating committee will be interviewing Democratic legislators who are interested in serving as an officer of CSG West.


Additional information about the election of 2015 CSG West Officers, including nomination process and deadlines, will be forthcoming in the following weeks.


Nominations for 2015 CSG National Vice Chair Position


The CSG West Nominating Committee will also be considering nominations for the position of 2015 CSG National Vice Chair (to rotate to the position of CSG National Chair in 2017). The regional nomination to the national leadership position occurs every four years in accordance to the CSG Articles of Organization.


CSG Articles of Organization allow for any member of CSG West to apply for the CSG National Vice Chair position.


Click here for Notice of 2015 Officer Election. 

Click here for information on how to apply for a position.


If you have any questions or require additional information, please feel free to contact Edgar Ruiz at (916) 553-4423 or via email at     
Supreme Court decides Stationary Sources 
Greenhouse Gas Case
by Lisa Soronen


In Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, the Court held 5-4 that EPA cannot require stationary sources to obtain Clean Air Act permits only because they emit greenhouse gases. But, the Court concluded 7-2, EPA may require "anyway" stationary sources, which have to obtain permits based on their emissions of other pollutants, to comply with "best available control technology" BACT emission standards for greenhouse gases.  


The Court reasoned that permitting all newly covered stationary sources for greenhouse gas emissions "would place plainly excessive demands on limited governmental resources is alone enough reason for rejecting it."  EPA's regulations would increase the number of permits by the millions and the cost of permitting by the billions. To avoid the result described above, EPA issued the "Tailoring Rule," which increased the permitting threshold for greenhouse gases from 100 or 250 tons per year to 100,000 tons per year initially. The Court concluded EPA "has no power to 'tailor' legislation to bureaucratic policy goals by rewriting unambiguous statutory terms." 


Finally, The Court held if a stationary source is already being regulated because of its emissions of other pollutants it may be subject to BACT emission standards for greenhouse gases. "Even if the text [of the Clean Air Act] were not clear, applying BACT to greenhouse gases is not so disastrously unworkable, and need not result in such a dramatic expansion of agency authority, as to convince us that EPA's interpretation is unreasonable."  


Read more about this case at CSG's Knowledge Center.



Texas-Tamaulipas-Nuevo Leon-Coahuila Regional Economic Competitiveness Forum 


On July 1, the Border Legislative Conference (BLC), in conjunction with the Office of Congressman Henry Cuellar, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars - Mexico Institute, and the North American Research Partnership, convened the Texas-Tamaulipas-Nuevo Leon-Coahuila Regional Economic Competitiveness Forum in Laredo, Texas. The forum, which was the third of four Regional Economic Competitiveness Forums (RECF) along the U.S. - Mexico border region, was hosted by Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) and the University's Binational Centerwhose mission is to enhance relationships between the United States and other countries within the Western Hemisphere.


The forum brought together regional, state and federal government officials, as well as leaders from academia and the nonprofit sector, to discuss and solicit ideas to promote economic competitiveness for this particular region.  

The forum was initiated by Congressman Henry Cuellar, whose district includes Laredo and TAMIU. Congressman Cuellar was one of the founding members of the Border Legislative Conference when he served in the Texas House of Representatives. He welcomed all attendees and highlighted the opportunities that exist for economic growth, especially in light of the numerous reforms being undertaken in Mexico. A short article appeared in the Mid-Valley Town Crier and various Spanish publications.


The forum consisted of panels focused on increasing workforce and competitiveness through binational state and federal exchanges, challenges and opportunities to move people and product securely and efficiently along the border region, and the future of energy in the border region. Each panel included expert speakers and knowledgeable moderators. TAMIU President, Dr. Ray M. Keck, shared what TAMIU is doing to help prepare a strong workforce for the region. Additionally, Ms. Stephanie Miley, Minister Counselor for Economic, Environment, Science, Technology and Health Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, participated as a keynote speaker. She expressed the United States' commitment to the border region and of the shared priorities of the U.S. - Mexico High Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), including collaboration in innovation and identification and development of economic clusters.


The most valuable part of the forum was the simultaneous breakout sessions which provided attendees an opportunity to interact and brainstorm ideas with knowledgeable facilitators. The ideas and suggestions from each break out session will be compiled and will form part of a comprehensive, border-wide document that will be launched this September in Washington, D.C. at the Wilson Center.


The RECFs, which are made possible by the financial support from the U.S. Agency for International Development/Mexico, build upon the work of the BLC's Economic Development Committee, including efforts in 2005-2006 that led to the development of a white paper entitled A New Vision for Trade along the U.S. - Mexico Border Region which contained recommendations to enable secure and efficient trade in the region. The next forum is tentatively scheduled for September 12 in El Paso, Texas and will focus on the border region encompassing the Western portion of Texas, along with the states of Chihuahua and New Mexico. For more information about the RECF's, please contact Martha Castañeda, Luis Tapia, or Alma Lopez at (916) 553-4423. 

The mission of CSG West is to facilitate regional, nonpartisan cooperation and exchange of information, and to strengthen legislative institutions among our 13 member states. These services are achieved through a variety of programs and services offered to legislators and their staff, including the convening of policy forums, professional development training, international relations opportunities, publications and institutional links with other political entities in the West.   


CSG West serves the Western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam. 

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