Thursday, September 24, 2009

Schwarzenegger Tells Commonwealth Club California Must Lead on Energy, Never Follow

In his third appearance at The Commonwealth Club of California in 13 months, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger told a room of nearly 500 attendees that the state must always be a leader on fighting climate change and on generating economic growth from environmentally friendly activity.

Though his appearance focused on the third anniversary of AB32 -- legislation that set California on a path of being a national and global leader in green economics -- Schwarzenegger also touched on a wide array of topics, particularly during his question-and-answer session with Greg Dalton, director of The Commonwealth Club's Climate One program. When he was asked by a member of a fourth-grade class that was in attendance what advice he gives to his own children regarding the environment, the governor related his own upbringing in postwar Europe, where his family lived in a home without running water. As a result, he closely monitors the length of his children's showers and threatens to cut off the hot water after five minutes. He also makes his children make their own beds and do their own laundry.

From Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman's recent comments about rescinding some of his green policies, to discussing his desire to do anything possible to make the Obama administration (and future administrations of either party) successful, the governor shied away from no topic. He gave an impassioned explanation about the necessity of painful across-the-board budget cuts when an audience member questioned reductions in higher education funding.

To end the program, he was asked if, after he leaves the governor's office, he would consider holding a post in the Obama administration, being an international ambassador for green issues, or starring in a TV series about a California governor (" West Wing, only better..."). Schwarzenegger said he was open to all three.

We'll post the full video of the program here when it's available.
(Photos by John Zipperer)


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