February 26, 2024 Meeting Highlights

The February meeting, our first of the year and the first with our new Commission Chair, State Controller Malia Cohen, took place virtually and in Sacramento. We welcomed a new Commissioner, Michelle Perrault, who is representing the Department of Finance. The Commission also recognized former Commissioner Miller’s extraordinary contributions during her years of service. The staff reports from our meeting are available on the Commission’s website. The Executive Officer’s Report has information about initiatives and projects the Commission is leading or involved in, including seminal oil and gas decommissioning projects and offshore wind energy development. Below are highlights from our meeting.


  • Authorized 60 leases for the use of public lands and resources.
  • Authorized four lease amendments, eight lease assignments, and three rent or bond revisions.
  • Nineteen of these actions included public access provisions, including one action to accept a public access easement.

Draft Strategic Plan for Offshore Wind Energy Development

Floating offshore wind energy is a new technology on the horizon for the Pacific Coast, and California is six years away from its first offshore wind energy target. The Chair of the California Energy Commission and staff briefed the Commission about the recently released offshore wind energy draft strategic plan. The Energy Commission’s presentation highlighted how California is on the front lines of new cutting-edge innovation when it comes to this type of clean energy. Chair Hochschild emphasized that procurement, ports, permitting, and transmission are the key elements of California’s path to offshore wind energy. The Chair also thanked the Commission for its contributions to the draft plan and for its ongoing work to support bringing offshore wind energy to California.

Draft State of California Sea Level Rise Guidance

The Ocean Protection Council briefed the Commission about its 2024 science and policy update to California’s sea level rise guidance, which was recently released for public comment. The update reflects the best available science on sea level rise and coastal impacts and suggests ways for using the information in planning and decision-making. Commissioners appreciated the focus on nature-based solutions and emphasized the importance of true equity as a component of the updated guidance.

Port of San Francisco

The Port Director of San Francisco, Elaine Forbes, and staff briefed the Commission about the Port’s new Waterfront Flood Study, an enormous milestone in efforts to adapt this major urban waterfront to sea level rise. The study, a partnership between the Port and the US Army Corp of Engineers, sets out a path to build coastal flood defenses along the Port’s 7.5-mile shoreline between Aquatic Park and Heron’s Head Park. Commission staff played a key role in the development of the draft plan through its participation in the Port’s resource agency working group. Public feedback on the draft plan is underway.

State Legislation

The Commission adopted a support position on two legislative resolutions, AJR 12 and SJR 12,  intended to help ameliorate the Tijuana River transboundary pollution crisis and ensure that oil and gas operators that file for bankruptcy uphold their well plug and abandonment and decommissioning responsibilities. AJR 12 (Alvarez) urges Congress to support President Biden’s $310 million funding request for crucial infrastructure upgrades to address the Tijuana transboundary pollution crisis. This dovetails with a letter the Commission sent last December urging Congress to approve the funding and emphasizing the gravity of the public health and environmental crisis resulting from the sewage and other pollution flowing into southern California. SJR 12 (Min) would urge Congress and the President to change bankruptcy laws so that an oil or gas operator cannot file for bankruptcy to circumvent their well plug and abandonment and decommissioning responsibilities. This resolution would help protect the state and taxpayers from incurring a lessee’s costly decommissioning and environmental restoration obligations and make it less advantageous for an operator to pursue bankruptcy to shirk decommissioning and restoration obligations.

Future Meetings and Ways to Stay Informed

The Commission’s next meeting will be on April 4 in Southern California. You can sign up on our website to receive updates about future Commission meetings or follow us on Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and YouTube. You can watch a webcast of the February meeting and past meetings on Cal-Span.