Environment Experts To Newsom: Now’s Your Moment
Speaker 1: 00:00 Environmental experts are giving mixed reviews on governor Gavin. Newsome's two years in office. Some say he's made some important steps on climate change. Others say he's largely been playing defense as part of a cap radio series on Newsome this week as rhe David Romero explains why advocates say now is the time for the governor to show where he really stands on the environment Speaker 2: 00:24 Back in September, while wildfires and the pandemic were raging Newsome captivated, the world's attention with a bold new climate goal. He ordered the new car and truck market to be zero emission by 2035. Speaker 3: 00:36 The opportunity is limitless for the state of California to compete not only nationally, but to compete globally. Speaker 4: 00:43 That really was very important. Speaker 2: 00:46 Dan Sperling with the UC Davis Institute of transportation studies says the clean car target was a big deal for the state's climate goals. Speaker 4: 00:54 That actually got a lot of attention, not only California, but internationally, and a lot of other countries are now imitating that target. Speaker 2: 01:02 While Newsome has gotten a lot of praise for a transportation goals. He hasn't exactly been known as a champion environmentalist. Katherine Phillips is the director of Sierra club, California. Speaker 4: 01:14 Mental community has been a disappointment. Initially. He wasn't talking about climate change at all. Then he started talking about it. Then he had to deal with all the fires. He says, he's going to accelerate everything and then sort of put the brakes. Speaker 2: 01:26 But some would argue that Newsome's lack of environmental progress, maybe because he was playing defense against the Trump. Administration's repeated attempts to roll back policies. 2020s record-setting wildfire season was also a major distraction. Although Newsome did help create a state federal partnership to reduce wildfire risk. He also proposed a billion dollars for wildfire prevention in a recent budget, but Speaker 4: 01:51 A billion dollars is not going to go very far. UC Speaker 2: 01:53 Berkeley forestry advisor, William Stewart says a billion dollars is chump change because so many agencies want the funds. And there are so many potential projects. Speaker 4: 02:02 We may need to do something different than kind of small scale projects that we historically know how to do. There needs to be some people with kind of a skunkworks approach. Can, can we look at doing this a different way? Speaker 2: 02:13 Another area where environmentalist's say Newsome has fallen short is in water management, says Deborah, [inaudible] an attorney with the Stanford university environmental law clinic. She says the state's fragmented water bureaucracies could be corralled into one agency and he needs to make sure farms and the cities are getting water needs met, right? Speaker 4: 02:32 That's reform water. It's hard, right? And there are a lot of entrenched interests, but if you really want to have the mantle of environmental champion, this is his time to do it. And it just feels like we're just not getting anything. Revolutionary Speaker 2: 02:44 Advocates like Phillips of Sierra club, California criticized Newsome for not taking bold action. And for being more like governor Jerry Brown, who was known for his incremental approach to policymakers, Speaker 4: 02:56 A sense among many people that incrementalist and the thing they want, they want change. They want clean air, especially young people want to stop worrying about what the future's going to bring in terms of climate change, Speaker 2: 03:08 Talking to advocates and experts. It's clear, they're more interested in what Newsome can do. Moving forward out of auto Sanchez, environmental equity director for the Greenlining Institute says Newsome needs to phase out fossil fuels faster. He says that will help meet the state's climate goals and improve life for Californians in polluted parts of the state. Speaker 4: 03:28 What I would recommend is not only to hear, but to believe what folks are saying and to really incorporate what they're asking for into our actual strategies, Speaker 2: 03:38 Presidential administration focused on equity and climate change. Sanchez says the cap is now lifted off the governor. He says, this is Newsome's time to meet the moment and be bold on the environment in Sacramento. I'm Ezra David Romero.