SACRAMENTO, CA — Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood), Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), and Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) announced today that they will introduce a bill to place on the ballot a bond of one billion dollars to fund port infrastructure improvements crucial to offshore wind projects planned along the California coast. Offshore wind is an essential part of the strategy to provide the electrification that California needs to meet its ambitious climate goals. While providing just a fraction of the necessary funding to upgrade in-state port infrastructure, the bond is intended to signal the state's commitment to offshore wind and catalyze strategies for both the public and private investment that will be required to fully fund the multi-billion dollar estimated costs to improve ports for offshore wind.
"California will not meet its ambitious climate goals without offshore wind, and we need to invest in our ports to make offshore wind a reality," said Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur. "In order to meet our climate goals, the state must produce more than double the amount of electricity that we're producing today. Offshore wind is a key part of what we must do to save our planet. To meet our climate goals, we need to produce enough offshore wind energy to power up to 25 million homes by 2045. The cost of improving our ports to enable them to assemble these massive turbines is a multibillion-dollar effort. This one-billion-dollar bond sends the signal that the state is committed to offshore wind and seeks to spur the public and private investment necessary to fund these port improvements fully."
"Seaport infrastructure is absolutely foundational to accomplishing offshore wind energy projects in California," said Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg). "It is critical that we prioritize and support offshore wind now, not later, because it is essential to meeting California's energy needs and our clean energy goals."
"Offshore wind is a unicorn for the men and women disproportionately impacted by the oil economy and horrific air quality in my community," said Assemblymember Josh Lowenthal (D-Long Beach). "Not only does it help meet the state's aggressive climate goals, we leverage our port infrastructure to transition to good-paying, clean energy union jobs that will drive the greatest economic growth engine in the region."
Last year, Assemblymember Zbur introduced AB 3, the California Offshore Wind and Jobs Advancement Act, which was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on October 7, 2023. AB 3 requires the California Energy Commission to study and recommend strategies for developing seaport infrastructure while maximizing in-state job opportunities and achieving our climate change goals through offshore wind energy while protecting cultural and natural resources.
On January 19, 2024, the California Energy Commission (CEC) released its draft AB 525 Offshore Wind Strategic Plan, which includes, among other things, a plan to develop ports to support a range of floating offshore wind energy development activities, including turbine assembly, construction and fabrication of parts and foundations, and operations and maintenance. In order to meet the CEC's 2022 offshore wind planning goal of up to 5 gigawatts (GW) by 2030 and 25 GW by 2045, staging and integration sites must be built as soon as possible. The report estimated that $11 billion to $12 billion is needed to upgrade existing port infrastructure at Humboldt and Long Beach to meet the 2045 goals.
Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the California State Assembly and represents the 51st Assembly District, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and portions of Los Angeles.
CONTACT: Vienna Montague, (916) 319-2051, Vienna.Montague@asm.ca.gov