Good Morning. I am delighted to be here for this discussion of emerging markets, sustainability and the global economy.
I am pleased to share with you that while the U.S. has had a fragile recovery, the plan I put into action in my state has resulted in a solid Arizona Comeback.
When I took office in 2009, my first order of business was to institute a moratorium on new state regulations. Together with the Legislature, we cut spending and reformed some of our largest programs -- like Medicaid.
We followed that with legislation that encourages job growth through tax reductions and targeted incentives designed to spur capital investment.
We designed an environment to encourage expansion among existing Arizona companies, while establishing Arizona as an attractive location for businesses worldwide.
We created the Arizona Commerce Authority and enacted the Arizona Competitiveness Package, so that we can aggressively compete to attract high-growth industries, expand existing businesses, and advance Arizona in the global economy.
And, the plan worked.
Our unemployment rate has fallen nearly 3 percentage points since 2010.
Arizona has recently been ranked the nation's best state for entrepreneurs and one of the top 10 for business owners.
Forbes magazine ranks us number two for business growth prospects.
And, we rank among the top 10 states for our competitiveness factor.
When it comes to Energy - Arizona remains focused on next generation advances.
Arizona has a long history of providing a balanced set of resources to generate electricity, including nuclear, coal, natural gas, hydro and solar. For example: We have the largest nuclear power plant in the United States.
Arizona's tribal nations have significant coal reserves.
Our hydro-electric dams have been critical to the development of the state.
And we have plenty of sunshine! Industry trackers dub Arizona the 'Solar King' - with an ideal climate and thriving environment for renewable energy generation, technologies and manufacturing.
We clearly have a diverse energy portfolio.
With time and continued technology improvements, I am confident the solar industry will continue to grow even stronger.
This is why Arizona is focused on solar energy's still-promising future.
Arizona is positioned to benefit economically as these technologies mature. New incentives I signed into law will allow Arizona to compete globally for years to come as we attract investment from solar manufacturers and secure quality jobs.
Also, interest in Arizona among renewable energy firms remains high.
One year ago, I met with several companies while on a trade mission in China.
Discussions with those companies continue today. Similar meetings occurred this past summer in Europe, in Berlin, Munich and Paris.
And, just this month the Arizona Commerce Authority completed strategic outreach and company meetings during Solar Power International - the industry's premier global gathering.
My belief in solar energy isn't just lip service. I've used the Arizona sun to help power my home since the 1970s, so I know from personal experience the potential of renewable energy in our state.
And, I know that with an "all of the above" energy plan that takes advantage of all available resources; we can secure the energy necessary to power a growing economy.