Landmark Initiative Seeks to Modernize California’s Permitting Morass 

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California’s endless morass of costly, time-consuming and excessive permitting requirements is often cited as a major obstacle to achieving progress in addressing the state’s housing crisis and building the infrastructure necessary to increase our resilience to the growing impacts of climate change, among other things. That’s why the Bay Area Council is getting behind a landmark initiative led by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks to modernize and simplify the permitting system. And why we were excited to welcome Steve Wertheim, who is spearheading the initiative for Wicks, to our Climate Change Mitigation Task Force yesterday to learn more about what’s ahead.  

Wertheim outlined a roadmap for how the initiative will move forward in the coming months, and Council members had the opportunity to share with Wertheim directly some of the issues and challenges they face in getting permits. The Bay Area Council Economic Institute will be developing detailed research and analysis, conducting extensive public outreach and mounting a public awareness and education campaign that will help inform any legislative remedies. We extend our thanks to Assemblymember Wick for her leadership on this critical issue and look forward to partnering with her to develop solutions. To engage in this work, please contact Economic Institute Executive Director Jeff Bellisario. 

The Task Force also heard a riveting presentation by Dr. Blake Simmons, Chief Scientific and Technology Officer for the US Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) in Emeryville. Dr. Simmons detailed groundbreaking advancements in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) feedstocks, emphasizing legislative avenues to streamline regulatory processes for widespread SAF adoption. He also tied the use of SAF feedstocks as a future solution to pressing concerns regarding the proliferation of woody biomass in California, which often fuels devastating wildfires. To engage in the Council’s Climate Mitigation Task Force, please contact Policy Director Julian Lake

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