Meeting California’s New Climate Reality: Energy Strike Force Progress Report
Sunday, June 23, 2019
Climate change has created a new reality in the State of California. It’s not a question of “if” wildfire will strike, but “when.”
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.
Wildfire prevention and mitigation have been a top priority for me since taking office. I 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. I redirected National Guard members from the border to undertake fire prevention activities throughout the state.
In my budget, I proposed $1 billion in additional funding to enhance our state’s preparedness, expand our capacity to respond to emergency incidents, utilize the most technologically advanced equipment and promote public safety. We’re making sure we have the fire engines, helicopters, trucks, personnel and technology we need to keep Californians safe. The Legislature has fully funded nearly all of these proposals.
And in my State of the State Address, I called for a Strike Force to develop a comprehensive strategy within 60 days to address the destabilizing effects of catastrophic wildfires on California electricity customers.