Governor Bill Richardson was elected Governor of New Mexico in 2002 by the largest margin of any candidate since 1964. During the campaign for Governor, Bill Richardson broke a world record. He shook 13,392 hands in an 8-hour period - shattering the record that former president Theodore Roosevelt set on inauguration day in 1907. With his wife, Barbara, at his side, Governor Richardson was sworn into office January 1, 2003 at the historic Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe - the nation's oldest seat of government.
During his first year in office, Governor Richardson made good on his campaign promises to improve education, cut taxes, build a high-wage economy, develop a statewide water plan and make New Mexico safer by getting tough on DWI, domestic violence and sex crimes. Governor Richardson is continuing to move New Mexico forward in 2004, working to improve access to quality health care, implement an ambitious school reform plan and make the state a leader in renewable energy and clean energy technologies.
By executive order, Governor Richardson has declared New Mexico the "Clean Energy State." While supporting the state's oil and gas industry, he has successfully advocated for energy measures such as a requirement that utilities meet 10% of New Mexico's electrical demand from renewable sources by 2010, and the creation of a new Clean Energy Fund that will support renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the state. Working with the Western Governors Association, he is the lead advocate for a western Clean Energy Plan that will bring significant new clean energy sources into development in the next 15 years, while sharply increasing energy efficiency. He has vocally opposed further oil and gas leasing at Otero Mesa in the Chihuahuan Desert, saying some places should be left alone and drilling everywhere is evidence of a misguided federal energy policy.
Governor Richardson currently serves as:
-Vice-Chair of the Democratic Governors' Association
-Chairman of the Western Governors' Association
-Chairman of the Border Governors' Conference, and
-Chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention
Governor Richardson served for 15 years in northern New Mexico representing the 3rd Congressional District. Governor Richardson served in 1997 as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and in 1998, he was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. Governor Richardson was nominated several times for the Nobel Peace Prize.
*Honorary Board Member
The Governor's Speech to the North
American Energy Summit 04/14/04