Trump lights a fire under Governor Gavin Newsom to enact meaningful wildfire prevention policies.
When Governor Gavin Newsom took office this week, he rebuked President Donald Trump through a series of statements and policy proposals.
Now, the #Resisitance-minded Governor is facing #Counter-Resistance. President Donald Trump tweeted that he’s ordered FEMA to cut off money to California over his criticism of forest management.
An estimated 86 people died in the Camp Fire in Butte County north of San Francisco. The fire burned 153,000 acres in November, destroying 14,000 homes, 528 commercial buildings and 4,300 other structures. That includes the entire town of Paradise.
Trump’s announcement comes three days after California Gov. Gavin Newsom was sworn in and, with one of his first acts, signed new legislation that modernizes the way the state responds and prepares for natural disasters.
Billions of dollars are sent to the State of California for Forest fires that, with proper Forest Management, would never happen. Unless they get their act together, which is unlikely, I have ordered FEMA to send no more money. It is a disgraceful situation in lives & money!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
As of now, the administration has not published an order to end FEMA funding for the state.
How much money could be involved? At least enough to build the border barrier!
$118.7 billion Total FEMA grants since 2005 for fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance, and public assistance in the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Since 2005, California has received $6.3 billion in FEMA grants for fire, preparedness, mitigation, individual assistance, and public assistance, according to agency records. Only three states have received more – Louisiana New York and Texas.
Newsom, of course, responded quickly via social media.
Disasters and recovery are no time for politics. I’m already taking action to modernize and manage our forests and emergency responses.
The people of CA — folks in Paradise — should not be victims to partisan bickering.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 9, 2019
California’s new governor also touted new plans to address wildfires.
Appearing at a Cal Fire station on his first full day in office, Newsom said the new funding would come on top of $200 million already earmarked for forestry management by the Legislature last fall, bringing the total to $305 million in new spending.
Newsom, flanked by Cal Fire employees and emergency services officials, said he’ll ask the Legislature for funds to cover a wide variety of fire safety needs. He wants more helicopters, remote infrared cameras that can help detect fires, better alert systems and new technologies for tapping satellite images.
He also wants funding for mental health services for first responders, and more dollars to hire more Cal Fire firefighters.
I will simply point out these plans focus on fighting the fires, not preventing them. Policies that could actually prevent fires (sensible water policies, brush-clearing allowances, and restriction on new developments) would require state officials to push-back on green justice warriors and bureaucrats that want the tax dollars from new residences in the California coffers.
Therefore, Trump has just lit a fire under Newsom to enact meaningful wildfire prevention policies.
ProPublica, hardly the bastion of conservative politics, recently published a damning analysis that asserts every level of government understood the fire dangers and took few, if any, of the steps to prevent the historic Carr Fire catastrophe.
The government failure that gave the Carr Fire its first, crucial foothold traces to differences in how California and the federal National Park Service manage brush along state highways. Transportation officials responsible for upgrading Route 299 had appealed to Whiskeytown officials to clear the grass, shrubs and trees lining the often superheated roadway, but to no avail.
At the federal level, the park service official responsible for fire prevention across Whiskeytown’s 39,000 acres of forest had been left to work with a fraction of the money and staffing he knew he needed to safeguard against an epic fire. What steps the local parks team managed to undertake — setting controlled fires as a hedge against uncontrollable ones — were severely limited by state and local air pollution regulations.
And both the residents and elected officials of Redding had chosen not to adopt or enforce the kind of development regulations other municipalities had in their efforts to keep homes and businesses safe even in the face of a monstrous wildfire.
Newsom may want to acquaint himself with this review, and find more “experts” outside the climate change promoters in his contingent.DONATE
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