Sacramento — Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire’s ground-breaking legislation to expedite offshore wind development to help meet the Golden State’s long-term electricity demand and extraordinary climate goals passed Tuesday with bipartisan support in the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
“If we’re serious about bringing on desperately needed new power generation facilities and meeting the state’s nation-leading climate goals and energy needs – we must move heaven and earth to deploy new green power. This bill will expedite the state-side offshore wind permitting process eliminating 3 years off of the permitting timeline all while protecting California’s coastal environment and storied fishing fleet, it will deploy resources for offshore wind infrastructure in local communities and help get folks to work through new career training programs,” Senate Majority Leader Mike McGuire said.
SB 286 – the Offshore Wind Expediting Act – will accelerate the state-side offshore wind permitting process through the State Coastal Commission and State Land Commission. At the same time, it will ensure environmental safeguards will remain in place, California’s storied fishing fleet interests are protected, and the bill will advance resources that benefit communities and develop family-sustaining careers through workforce education programs.
In addition to desperately needed streamlining, this bill also mandates state agencies and key stakeholders come together to collaborate and develop the long-term game plan to deploy offshore wind infrastructure.
SB 286 requires the Coastal Commission to bring the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the State Lands Commission, the Ocean Protection Council, representatives from the commercial fishing industry, representatives from the offshore wind industry, federal agencies, labor, Native American tribes and other stakeholders together over the next two years. This stakeholder group will create a statewide standard to ensure offshore wind development is expedited and will develop data-driven strategies to avoid and minimize impacts to ocean fisheries and to the maximum extent possible, mitigate for unavoidable impacts.
SB 286 was approved by a 9-0 vote in Senate Natural Resources Committee and will be heard next in the Senate Energy Committee.