Help Create Over 17,000 Jobs and Power 3.5 Million Homes with California Offshore Wind
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Honorable Governor Gavin Newsom
1303 10th Street, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814

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Dear Governor Newsom,

We, the undersigned elected officials, support the responsible development of offshore wind for California to create jobs, lead America’s clean energy transition, and protect our state from the worst impacts of the climate emergency.

California’s current dependence on dirty and dangerous fossil fuel production is making our state and planet less safe. From ever-worsening droughts and wildfires that are devastating our communities to the estimated 34,000 Californians who die each year from fossil fuel pollution, the urgency for ending the era of fossil fuels is clear. In the wake of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, we must act on the scale and speed that science demands to address the escalating climate emergency, protect public health, and end systemic environmental racism caused by fossil fuel pollution.1

Responsible development of California’s offshore wind resources is imperative to reach our statewide goal of 100 percent of clean power by 2045, while creating thousands of high-skilled jobs, reducing demand for polluting fossil fuels, and protecting our marine resources and coastal communities.2

Thank you for your leadership in proposing an additional $45 million for investments to prepare waterfront facilities in California to support floating offshore wind energy development in federal waters off the coast. We encourage you to support and implement the recommendations within California Energy Commission’s (CEC) May, 2022 report issued in response to the offshore wind law AB 525, which you signed into law after it passed with nearly-unanimous bipartisan support. The goals set out in the report, including generating 3 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind by 2030 and 18 GW to 20 GW by 2045, which would enable California to reach 100% renewable power by 2045.3

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimates California’s technical potential for offshore wind power at well over 100 GW.4 NREL estimates that building 10 GW of offshore wind power in California would support thousands of jobs, supply competitively priced power5 for at least 3.5 million homes, and generate $20 billion in GDP by 2050.6

California can become America’s offshore wind powerhouse by exporting clean, renewable wind power to other states. A report by Environment California Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group, found that California could provide 157 percent of our state’s 2019 electricity usage with offshore wind alone.7

By meeting our electricity needs through clean, pollution-free offshore wind energy, California can deliver air quality improvements to frontline communities. About 78 percent of our gas power plants reside in communities identified by CalEPA as having the state’s highest burden of poverty and cumulative environmental health burdens.8 Typically these are Black and Brown communities that suffer from fossil fuel production and factories that spew toxins, which have been strategically located in their communities because they were redlined decades ago.

California has an incredible opportunity to create more than 17,500 good-paying jobs by 2045 and improve air quality in frontline communities due to the Biden administration opening up roughly 399 square miles off the central coast region, northwest of Morro Bay, and advancing the Humboldt Call Area as a potential Wind Energy Area for offshore wind.9,10,11

Support for offshore wind development in California is growing rapidly, with wide support among labor unions, industry, and environmental groups.12To ensure the economic benefits of offshore wind are shared equitably, frontline communities must be included in the manufacturing, development, and generation of offshore wind power. Thousands of shovel-ready union jobs will be created, as well as port revitalization, which alone can add up to 6,000 local, full-time equivalent jobs per port right away, according to a report from Brightline Defense.13

Investing in offshore wind will generate thousands of additional jobs in construction, manufacturing, turbine demonstration, and transmission line projects as well as create a pathway for some oil workers to transition to this new vibrant industry. Apprenticeship training programs will add new career pathways for trade workers. These opportunities will also prepare the state’s workforce to build, operate and maintain a 100% clean energy electricity grid.14

To avert the most catastrophic effects of the climate emergency, we must heed the International Energy Agency’s report warning that governments must immediately stop new oil and gas production.15 Responsible offshore wind development is crucial to transitioning California to 100 percent clean energy.

California can lead our nation in developing America’s offshore wind power, which has the potential to meet 90% of total U.S. energy demand by 2050.16

We’re at the vanguard of a new clean, renewable energy industry that will generate thousands of jobs, create prosperity for our communities, improve our health, and help protect our coastlines.  Offshore wind is essential for a prosperous, healthy, and just future for California.

Sincerely,

Members, Elected Officials to Protect America (EOPA) California

James AguilarElizabeth AlcantarMelanie BagbyBarry BeckKristi Becker
School Board TrusteeVice MayorCouncilmemberAssessorCouncilmember
San LeandroCudahyCloverdaleBridgeportSolana Beach
     
Jovanka BecklesEli BeckmanAlma BeltranCatherine BlakespearMike Bonin
DirectorCouncilmemberMayorMayorCouncilmember
OaklandCorte MaderaParlierEncinitasLos Angeles
     
Phil BrockMartha Camacho RodríguezXilonin Cruz-GonzalezJustin CummingsSerge Dedina
CouncilmemberDir. Central Basin Municipal WaterBoard MemberVice MayorMayor
Santa MonicaCommerceAzusaSanta CruzImperial Beach
     
Shanthi GonzalesJose GurrolaMarcia GuthrieHeidi HarmonLaura Hernandez
Board MemberFormer MayorCouncilmemberFormer MayorCouncilmember
OaklandArvinPismo BeachSan Luis ObispoPort Hueneme
     
Alison HicksLindsey HorvathSudhanshu JainDianne JonesSydney Kamlager-Dove
Vice MayorCouncilmemberCouncilmemberTrusteeState Senator
Mountain ViewWest HollywoodSanta ClaraFremontLos Angeles
     
Rebecca KaplanAndy KatzPaul KoretzRey LeonAndrew Lewis
Vice MayorBoard MemberCouncilmemberMayorCouncilmember
OaklandOaklandLos AngelesHuronLos Angeles
     
Sally LieberMina Loera-DiazEduardo MartinezLauren MeisterSalvador Melendez
CouncilmemberCouncilmemberCouncilmemberMayorCouncilmember
Mountain ViewVallejoRichmondWest HollywoodMontebello
     
Devin MurphyBryan OsorioFelipe PerezGabriel QuintoCarmen Ramirez
CouncilmemberMayorCouncilmemberMayorSupervisor
PinoleDelanoFirebaughEl CerritoOxnard
     
Sofia RubalcavaMeghan Sahli-WellsRebecca SaltzmanLaura SantosDon Saylor
MayorFormer MayorBART DirectorTrusteeSupervisor
VenturaCulver CityOaklandWalnutWoodland
     
Ryan SegovianoChristopher SmithSalvador Solorio-RuizColette SuchKara Taylor
TrusteeMayor Pro TemCouncilmemberCouncilmemberCouncilmember
PattersonOakdaleDelanoSonoraPlacerville
     
Jennifer Torres-OcallaghanChris UngarKatie ValenzuelaFelicia WilliamsDas Williams
CouncilmemberTrusteeCouncilmemberCouncilmemberSupervisor
LathropSan Luis ObispoSacramentoPasadenaSanta Barbara

*Titles reflect elected position at the time of signing.

References

1. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). 2002. “Sixth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.” https://www.ipcc.ch/report/sixth-assessment-report-working-group-ii/

2. California Energy Commission. 2021. “SB 100 Joint Agency Report.” https://www.energy.ca.gov/sb100

3. California Energy Commission. May 2022. “Draft Commission Report: Offshore Wind Energy Development off the California Coast.” https://www.energy.ca.gov/publications/2022/offshore-wind-energy-development-california-coast-maximum-feasible-capacity-and

4. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. October 2020. “2020 Offshore Wind Resource Assessment for the California Pacific Outer Continental Shelf.” https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/77642.pdf

5. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. November 2020. “The Cost of Floating Offshore Wind Energy in California Between 2019 and 2032.” https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/77384.pdf

6. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. 2016. “Floating Offshore Wind in California: Gross Potential for Jobs and Economic Impacts from Two Future Scenarios.”  https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy16osti/65352.pdf

7. Environment California Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group. March 2021. “Offshore Wind for America: The promise and potential of clean energy off our coasts.” https://environmentamerica.org/sites/environment/files/reports/AME_Offshore-Wind-For-America_2021.pdf?_ga=2.170387237.424246226.1653340209-1568289227.1651504516

8. Lost Coast Outpost. May 2021. “Newsom’s Budget Includes $11M for Port of Humboldt Bay Development to Support Emerging Offshore Wind Industry.” https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2021/may/19/newsoms-budget-includes-11m-port-humboldt-bay-supp/

9. American Jobs Project. February 2019. “The California Offshore Wind Project: A Vision for Industry Growth.” http://americanjobsproject.us/ajp-state/california

10. Call Matters. March 2021. “California could lead the nation in offshore wind energy.” https://calmatters.org/commentary/my-turn/2021/03/california-could-lead-the-nation-in-offshore-wind-energy/

11. The White House. May 2021. “FACT SHEET: Biden Administration Opens Pacific Coast to New Jobs and Clean Energy Production with Offshore Wind Development.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/05/25/fact-sheet-biden-administration-opens-pacific-coast-to-new-jobs-and-clean-energy-production-with-offshore-wind-development/

12. San Francisco Chronicle. March 2021. Offshore wind can give California more renewable energy and well-paying jobs.” https://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/Offshore-wind-can-give-California-more-renewable-15998376.php

13. Brightline Defense. December 2020. “California Offshore Wind: Winding Up for Economic Growth & Environmental Equity.” https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f434962cbc7a227a863c879/t/5fd959830384a13720d3d61e/1608079766544/Brightline-OffshoreWind-Report-12-6-2020.pdf

14. Call Matters. March 2021. “California could lead the nation in offshore wind energy.” https://calmatters.org/commentary/my-turn/2021/03/california-could-lead-the-nation-in-offshore-wind-energy/

15. IEA. May 2021. “Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector.” https://www.iea.org/reports/net-zero-by-2050

16. Lexology. April 2021. “Offshore wind can meet 90% of US energy demand by 2050 says study.” https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=66443b67-2e7d-4290-9ae4-ae4d9f7da5a9