REACH CEO Melissa James joined California Natural Resources Agency Secretary Wade Crowfoot, California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild, Sen. John Laird, Offshore Wind California Executive Director Adam Stern and several others for a webinar on the future of offshore wind power in the state.
“The question for us now is how is it going to be built out, how are local communities like the Central Coast and Humboldt going to be a part of benefiting from what this looks like,” James said. “We’re excited that we’re seeing a big priority from both our federal government and the state government to prioritize community benefits and we’re really advocating for that to continue though the siting of infrastructure to the development of training programs.”
Since the December lease auction, REACH has been collaborating with key Central Coast government and community stakeholders on shaping the region’s role in this emerging industry and starting to build relationships with the three prospective developers.
“It really has to be an all-of-community process and partnership,” James said, with government, industry, tribal communities, fishing industry, any affected community “being a part of shaping what it looks like into the future and making sure we avoid this paradigm of winners and losers.”
The panel, which also included tribal, labor, and environmental representatives, was part of Crowfoot’s Secretary Speaker series, a monthly discussion with leaders and big thinkers to discuss emerging natural resources issues.
Watch the Jan. 23 event and find links shared by the panelists here.