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New report finds California’s San Joaquin Valley can uniquely benefit from the clean energy transition

April 23, 2024

Fresno, CA – A new report from Clean Air Task Force (CATF) finds that California’s San Joaquin Valley is in a unique position to benefit from the clean energy transition given its existing industry, land, skilled workforce, and clean energy resources. The report, titled An Exploration of Options and Opportunities for the San Joaquin Valley’s Clean Energy Future, is the culmination of a year-long effort engaging local government leaders, community leaders, subject matter experts, and state agencies on what a clean energy future might look like in the region. 

Recent federal legislation, such as the Inflation Reduction Act, and state initiatives, such as the California Jobs First, are driving substantial investment in clean energy and manufacturing, stimulating economic growth and job creation. Leveraging these existing policy and funding levers can create lasting benefits for the San Joaquin Valley, including thousands of good-paying jobs. 

“For decades, communities in the San Joaquin Valley have been the backbone of California’s agricultural and energy sectors, yet they’ve seen too little benefit for their contributions to the state,” said Alex Breckel, Director of Clean Energy Infrastructure Deployment at CATF. “Now, with massive federal and state funding made available for the clean energy transition, the region stands to benefit enormously from its role in a clean energy economy. By prioritizing investments that build on the region’s strengths, the clean energy transition has the power to revitalize these impacted communities.”

The report, supported by modeling an analysis from RAND Corporation, underscores that beyond spurring investments in clean electricity and clean fuel production, funding for the clean energy transition can catalyze a range of benefits, including a cleaner local environment, improved community welfare, and new economic opportunities for disadvantaged communities across the San Joaquin Valley. Establishing a Valley-wide community benefits agreement framework and fostering regional coordination are identified as crucial steps towards ensuring the success of the energy transition.

“The San Joaquin Valley, known for its rich agricultural heritage, faces unique challenges today as more agricultural land is fallowed or becomes unusable,” said Ashley Swearengin, the President and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation and former Mayor of Fresno. “But with incoming support from the state and the federal government, the Valley is uniquely positioned to harness clean energy investments that poise the region for immense economic growth, while also significantly benefiting local communities, farmers, and the environment.”

In response to these findings, the report calls for the development of a region-wide clean energy transition roadmap, shaped by local leaders and informed by additional analysis of opportunities and trade-offs. Successful implementation will ultimately hinge on broad community engagement, aligned political support, innovative policy and financing mechanisms, and seamless coordination with state agencies such as the Energy Commission, the Department of Conservation, and the California Independent System Operator.

Read the full report here

Contact presse

Natalie Volk, Communications Manager, [email protected], +1 703-785-9580

À propos de Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With more than 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit and follow @cleanaircatf. 

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