California Assembly votes to advance clean energy and reliability solution

Sacramento, CA — Today, AB 1373, authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), passed its house of origin, the California Assembly by a two-thirds vote. The bill would create a central procurement process by authorizing the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to direct the Department of Water Resources (DWR) to purchase the necessary offshore wind and geothermal energy resources to meet California’s energy goals. Governor Newsom voiced his support for the creation of a central procurement process in his presser announcing his plan for California’s Clean Energy Transition. 

AB 1373 will now progress to the California Senate, where it will be heard in the Senate Energy, Utilities, and Communication Committee.

“As heat waves become more and more commonplace, the state’s energy needs require a statewide, centralized response in order to ensure that Californians can keep the lights on while meeting our clean energy goals,” said bill author Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella). “AB 1373 provides our policymakers with a tool to appropriately and effectively plan for California’s clean energy future.”

AB 1373 will allow the CPUC to create a state-backed central procurement entity in DWR to specifically procure offshore wind and geothermal energies. These resources often carry higher maintenance, operation, or development costs, resulting in individual Load-Serving Entities (LSEs) – companies or agencies that provide electrical powers to everyday Californians – forgoing investment into the development of these crucial resources. With access to state support and resources, DWR will be able to coordinate and fund the development of infrastructure for long lead time energies and direct the distribution of produced power to maximize efficiency beyond what independent energy providers would be capable of. 

“In order to clean up pollution and halt the devastating effects of climate change, legislators need to do more to accelerate the clean energy transition,” commented Laura Deehan, State Director at Environment California. “AB 1373 is a step in the right direction, enabling CPUC and DWR to assess whether our energy providers are meeting the needs of the state and procuring the necessary resources to make California’s historical transition to clean energy a successful model for the rest of the world.”

AB 1373’s central procurement process would apply to the development of offshore wind and geothermal energy. Development of the infrastructure necessary for offshore wind and geothermal energy, in addition to creating clean energy, will also create thousands of well-paying jobs for workers in the building trades.   

“Central procurement focused on offshore wind and geothermal lessens the state’s reliance on fossil fuel generation and accelerates California’s clean energy future.” said Eddie Ahn, executive director of Brightline, an environmental justice nonprofit.  “While we’re excited by the bill’s inclusion of the Offshore Wind Workforce Development Fund to train and build clean energy careers, funds for community benefits and capacity-building for local communities should also be included to ensure equity on offshore wind.”



Laura Deehan

State Director, Environment California

Laura directs Environment California's work to tackle global warming, protect the ocean and fight for clean air, clean water, open spaces and a livable planet. Laura stepped into the State Director role in January, 2021 and has been on staff for over twenty years. She has led campaigns to make sure California goes big on offshore wind and to get lead out of school drinking water. As the Environment California Field Director, she worked to get California to go solar, ban single use plastic grocery bags and get on track for 100% clean energy. Laura lives with her family in Richmond, California where she enjoys hiking, yoga and baking.