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Herbert new Western Governors' Association chairman

Published: Tuesday, June 12 2012 6:35 p.m. MDT

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Gary Herbert was elected chairman of the Western Governors' Association Tuesday during the organization's annual meeting, held in Washington state.

Herbert said his primary focus as chairman will be responsible energy development, possibly including an updated set of regional goals as part of a 10-year energy plan for the West over the next year.

"This initiative recognizes the critical role the West will play in achieving energy independence," he said. "We can develop our wealth of energy sources — from traditional to renewable — in responsible ways that will stimulate the economy and promote security, while protecting our natural treasures and cherished quality of life."

Herbert said the association's work will continue on other issues including health care, Medicaid and pension reform, education, and economic development.

He replaces Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire as chairman of the organization. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper was elected to serve as vice chairman. 

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