Energy Perspectives Come Into Focus

EconAlliance hosted ~100 policymakers, community and industry leaders and Northern Santa Barbara County stakeholders at the Craft House at Corque on April 26 2023 for the Evolving Energy Alternatives Forum featuring a keynote on how to reach California’s “net zero” carbon emissions, as well as snapshot updates on key regional energy projects.

Emcee was Bill Macfadyen, Founder/Publisher, Noozhawk, who started the program at 9:00 a.m. Welcome remarks from Sam Cohen, Board President, EconAlliance, Gov’t/Legal Specialist for SY Band of Chumash as well as from Ben Oakley, Energy Co-Lead for EconAlliance, Manager, CA Coastal Region of Western States Petroleum Association kicked off the program. The event’s keynote presentation followed at 9:25 a.m.

Sarah D. Saltzer, PhD, Manager of the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage and the Stanford Carbon Removal Institute (photo, right), served as keynote presenter, sharing how each technology available (and some not yet available) might play a role in the energy portfolio and steps to reaching the Governor’s carbon emission goals.

2023 Energy Forum Fuses Views

Dr. Saltzer emphasized that every technology is needed to bring emissions down. Without a cohesive, concerted effort, the goal of Net Zero by 2045 cannot be achieved. She noted that as it moves forward, California must build more electrical capacity, referencing power plants in conjunction with transmission and distribution systems.

Dr. Saltzer’s in-depth presentation (see PDF Presentation in EconAlliance Document Library) was very well received.

Following the keynote, presentations were given by industry representatives at the forum.

Project Status “Snapshots”

PG&E presenter Tom Jones, Sr. Director of Regulatory, Environmental, Repurposing and Recommissioning, provided an update on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant; Jeff Railsback gave an overview of Central Coast Community Energy; area off-shore wind projects were described by Robert Collier, External Relations Director for Cierco US Energy Corporation and Floventis Energy and Regulatory Business Manager Megan Silva and Hydrogen Blending Research Manager Blaine Waymire explained how Southern California Gas is investigating hydrogen as an alternative fuel.

Most of these presentations are included in one PDF available in the EconAlliance Document Library).


A 501c3 nonprofit organization, EconAlliance drives positive impact through strategic initiatives, unique partnerships and creative programs. The organization champions Northern Santa Barbara County communities and the key industry sectors that fuel these communities and inspire regional economic vitality.