Our December meeting was held in Sacramento. Outgoing Chair, Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, summarized the Commission’s many accomplishments over the past year. The Commission Chair alternates every other year, and State Controller Malia Cohen will become Chair in 2024. Our Executive Officer’s Report contains an array of updates and accomplishments over the past few months, and below are highlights from our meeting.
- Authorized 37 leases for the use of public lands and resources.
- Authorized six lease amendments or assignments and eight rent or bond revisions.
- Authorized two offshore geologic permit surveys.
- Authorized the Executive Officer to retain a consultant to guide the development of the Commission’s 2026-2030 strategic plan.
The Commission approved a report entitled Shoreline Adaptation and the Public Trust. The report is based on the best available science and informed by state policy that prioritizes nature-based solutions to minimize sea level rise impacts and climate risks for communities and build resiliency along coastal shorelines to protect public access. The report will inform the Commission’s shoreline protection structure leasing practices and its management of coastal state lands amid climate change and rising sea levels. Staff will now prepare an implementation plan for the report recommendations.
The Commission directed staff to analyze the impacts on public trust resources from existing offshore oil and gas pipelines in state waters and imposed a temporary moratorium on processing new offshore oil and gas pipeline applications and issuing new leases until the analysis is complete and considered by the Commission. The target completion date for the study is December 2026. The study will analyze (1) oil spill risks; (2) pipeline integrity; (3) climate change and greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas operations; (4) impacts on tribal and underserved communities; and (5) consistency with coastal and ocean uses, such as recreation, tourism, and maritime trade. The study will be funded by the Commission’s share of the Oil Spill Prevention and Administration Fund. This action embodies a global and stakeholder-centric approach to addressing legacy offshore oil and gas pipelines and California’s clean energy transition.
Staff presented an update on their work to develop a cost study on the fiscal impact of voluntary relinquishments of state offshore oil and gas leases. The study is required by AB 2257, which was enacted after the 2021 Huntington Beach oil spill. The preliminary study estimates (1) the expected remaining life of leases: (2) reasonably anticipated future profits and revenues: (3) state revenue to date: (4) expected remaining life of the reservoirs: and (5) decommissioning and restoration costs. The Commission is required to submit a final cost study to the Governor and Legislature by December 31, 2024.
The Commission authorized a lease amendment and endorsed a sublease to continue the operation of a vehicle triage center in the Candlestick State Recreation Area in the City of San Francisco for two additional years. The triage center serves people experiencing homelessness and in need of safe shelter and services such as restrooms, showers, food, and laundry facilities. Other services provided at the triage center include security and janitorial staff, access to social services and utilities, a picnic area, and sanitation services. The sublease includes a requirement that the City develop a schedule for resident transition and relocation and to demobilize the triage center within six months of the expiration of the sublease (in January 2026).
Future Meetings and Ways to Stay Informed
The Commission’s next meeting public meeting will be in February 2024. 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 view a webcast of the December meeting, and past meetings, on Cal-Span.