by Anne C. Mulkern
E&E News Reporter

A pact formed by West Coast leaders to team up on climate action has been caught up in the tempest that forced the resignation of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber (D).

Kitzhaber and California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark in 2013 committed to multiple green moves as members of the Pacific Coast Collaborative (PCC). The foursome said they’d attach a cost to carbon dioxide emissions, coordinate long-term goals for shrinking greenhouse gas pollution, and create or maintain mandates for lower-carbon fuels and advanced electric vehicles…

Meanwhile, there have been questions about how PCC members worked to promote the multi-state pact.

The Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a conservative advocacy group, last week circulated a string of emails from aides to California, Oregon and Washington governors in late 2013 and early 2014. The institute’s attorney, Chris Horner, obtained those through a Freedom of Information Act request that referenced messages containing certain words, including the name of environmental activists and billionaire Tom Steyer.

The emails show the governors’ aides discussed their desire to promote the PCC concept to other states. They talked about potentially asking environmental donors to “support the hiring of a ‘grown-up’ in each state” to advance the PCC idea. The emails further proposed bringing together Steyer, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) “and a couple of other major environmental donors” along with governors, senior White House officials and environmental activists.

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