SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath’s (D-Encinitas) bill to create the position of Deputy Secretary for Climate was signed by Governor Newsom on Friday.
AB 2204 would establish the position within California’s Labor and Workforce Development Agency to coordinate with relevant state agencies and stakeholders to assist with the oversight of California’s transition to a sustainable and equitable carbon neutral economy, especially as it relates to our energy workforce. As the state moves away from fossil fuel toward renewables in support of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, the Deputy Secretary for Climate will help ensure our state has the jobs and the trained workforce necessary to support California’s carbon-neutral energy needs.
“To reach our ambitious climate goals, it is imperative that we have an appointed position in state government that can coordinate our transition to a clean energy economy,” Assemblymember Boerner Horvath said. “AB 2204 will create a key position within the Administration tasked with tracking the jobs and ensuring we have the workforce necessary to support our move toward 100% carbon-neutral energy.”
California’s climate leadership has led to unprecedented growth in clean energy industries and jobs — one out of six clean energy jobs in America in 2019 was located in the state. According to a report conducted by the Department of Economics and Political Economy Research Institute, there are about 113,000 people employed in the 14 fossil fuel and ancillary industries in California. A 50% closure of the oil and gas industry from 2021-2030 would result in total job losses of around 57,600 jobs statewide over 10 years.
One of the major hurdles in transitioning existing fossil fuel activities to clean energy ones is anticipating and mitigating the economic impact to workers and communities invested in those industries. Under AB 2204, the Deputy Secretary for Climate is tasked with monitoring and helping coordinate the progress of the state moving toward 100% clean energy. To the extent possible, the person in this position will identify the timing and location of fossil fuel facility closures as well as short-term and long-term workforce transition needs, including projected impacts on workers, businesses, and communities related to workforce development, training, job loss, and job creation.
Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath represents the 76th District, which encompasses Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and Encinitas. You can learn more about Assemblymember Boerner Horvath at a77.asmdc.org, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.