As California continues to grapple with climate change and wildfires that are increasingly dangerous and destructive, Governor Gavin Newsom today released a progress report on recommendations laid out in his Administration’s 60 Day Strike Force report.
In April, the Governor’s Strike Force charged with examining California’s catastrophic wildfires laid out five key areas where we need to focus:
- Catastrophic Wildfire Prevention and Response
- Mitigating Climate Change through Clean Energy Policies
- Fair Allocation of Catastrophic Wildfire Damages
- A More Effective California Public Utilities Commission with the Tools to Manage a Changing Utility Market
- Holding PG&E Accountable and Building a Utility that Prioritizes Safety
The progress report released today shows the state’s progress in all of these areas and provides guidance on how the state can build a safe, reliable and affordable energy future – one that continues the state’s progress towards achieving its climate change goals.
“Climate change has created a new reality in the State of California. It’s not a question of ‘if’ wildfire will strike, but ‘when,’” said Governor Newsom in the report’s introduction. “Our recent, terrifying history bears that out. Fifteen of the 20 most destructive wildfires in the state’s history have occurred since 2000 and 10 of the most destructive fires have occurred since 2015. Wildfires don’t discriminate – they are a rural, suburban and urban danger. We all have an individual responsibility to step up and step in for our communities as we confront new and growing threats.”
“My Administration has welcomed support and guidance from the Legislature in crafting a framework around issues like power company accountability, wildfire safety investments and reform of the California Public Utilities Commission,” added Governor Newsom. “In the coming days, I will continue working with the Legislature to turn this framework into a package of bills that make the changes we need.”
Governor Newsom has made wildfire prevention and mitigation a top priority since taking office. The Governor proactively declared a state of emergency to fast-track 35 critical forest-management projects to protect more than 200 of California’s highest-risk communities, redirected National Guard members from the border to undertake fire prevention activities throughout the state. The governor also included $1 billion in additional funding in the state budget to enhance our state’s preparedness and expand our capacity to respond to emergencies.
During his State of the State Address, the Governor announced the creation of a Strike Force to develop a comprehensive strategy within 60 days, to address the destabilizing effects of catastrophic wildfires on California’s energy future.
The full progress report is available here.