California can go big on offshore wind

Today, Environment California testified in support of AB 525 by Asm. Chiu, which would set California on track to tap into tremendous offshore wind potential. 

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Laura Deehan
State Director, Environment California

Author: Laura Deehan

State Director, Environment California

(415) 420-4710

Started on staff: 2002
University of California at Davis (1997-2001)

Laura directs Environment California’s work to tackle global warming, protect the ocean and fight for clean air, clean water and open spaces. Laura has served on the Environment California board for the past two years before stepping into the State Director role. Most recently, she directed the public health program for CALPIRG, another organization in The Public Interest Network, where she led campaigns to get lead out of school drinking water and toxic chemicals out of cosmetics. Laura ran Environment California citizen outreach offices across the state and as the Environment California Field Director, led campaigns to get California to go solar, ban single use plastic grocery bags and go 100% renewable. Laura lives with her family in Richmond, California where she enjoys hiking, yoga and baking.

My name is Laura Deehan and I am the State Director at Environment California and we are proud to co-sponsor AB 525. 

One of the best natural resources available in the state is the wind blowing off our coast. In fact, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the Dept of Energy, Northern California is one of the hot spots for offshore wind, where the wind blows fastest and hardest compared to anywhere else in the US.

In the recent Env CA research and policy center report, Offshore Wind for America, we found that we have the technical potential to meet more than 1.5 times our entire state’s entire electricity needs from 2019, just from offshore wind. 

While California has been a world leader in tackling many aspects of the climate crisis, other parts of the world have jumped ahead in tapping into offshore wind.  E.g. my native country, Scotland was 97% powered by renewable energy last year, and the biggest source was from offshore wind. 

Now is the time to catch up! Offshore wind technology has improved so that we can now place floating turbines nearly the size of the Eiffel tower twenty five miles away, where a single turbine can power 15- 20K homes. 

AB 525 will catalyze California’s offshore wind energy production, by directing the California Energy Commission to coordinate with all the relevant state agencies and to set a goal and create a plan to go big on offshore wind, while protecting our critical marine ecosystems and our state’s biodiversity. 

The climate crisis is wreaking havoc on life on earth, and the faster we can move to deploy clean energy instead of burning fossil fuels, the better chance we have for the future. I respectfully ask for an aye vote. 

Laura Deehan
State Director, Environment California

Author: Laura Deehan

State Director, Environment California

(415) 420-4710

Started on staff: 2002
University of California at Davis (1997-2001)

Laura directs Environment California’s work to tackle global warming, protect the ocean and fight for clean air, clean water and open spaces. Laura has served on the Environment California board for the past two years before stepping into the State Director role. Most recently, she directed the public health program for CALPIRG, another organization in The Public Interest Network, where she led campaigns to get lead out of school drinking water and toxic chemicals out of cosmetics. Laura ran Environment California citizen outreach offices across the state and as the Environment California Field Director, led campaigns to get California to go solar, ban single use plastic grocery bags and go 100% renewable. Laura lives with her family in Richmond, California where she enjoys hiking, yoga and baking.