Last week, Governor Brown signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to renew and expand a joint commitment to develop more renewable power, including offshore clean energy. Under the agreement, California and the U.S. Department of the Interior will coordinate the environmental review of potential marine renewable energy projects, such as offshore wind and wave energy, continue to identify offshore areas for potential projects, and update permitting guidance for these projects. This MOU builds on the creation of the California Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force launched earlier this year. The Natural Resources Agency, California Energy Commission and the Department of Fish and Wildlife, along with other partners at the state and federal level, will be reaching out to constituents in the fishing community in 2017 to address questions, comments or concerns regarding the MOU and the action items outlined in it. The public will be notified of these meetings in early 2017.
In addition to the MOU, Governor Brown also outlined two other important actions to combat climate change and to help protect California’s oceans. First is a request to President Barack Obama to use his authority to permanently prohibit offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters off California’s coast. Second, he joined global leaders to launch the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification to protect coastal communities and economies from the threat of rising ocean acidity.
For more information on Governor Brown’s recent actions to protect oceans, please read the Governor’s press release issued on December 13, 2016.
post by Brian Owens, CDFW Environmental Scientist