With a flourish of pens and handshakes, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger made it official that the Beehive State is now part of the Western Regional Climate Action Partnership.
Other partners include New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. The agreement is designed to set standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions under a market-based program.
At a news conference in the Governor's Mansion, both Huntsman and Schwarzenegger were highly critical of the Bush administration's failure to take significant action to reduce greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, which are blamed for global warming.
"Governor Schwarzenegger's leadership on this issue, where the federal government has failed, is instrumental," Huntsman said. He added that a regional approach is the best way to take action now.
"We are leading the charge. We are not waiting for Washington any longer," Huntsman said.
Schwarzenegger said the agreement is "huge" and it sends a clear message to the federal government that "we are creating this partnership because of lack of leadership there."