Newsom and Trump Have Heated Exchange Over California Fires And Climate Change

Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at his gubernatorial campaign's primary night watch party in San Francisco, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Flames flare up from a wildfire near Placenta Canyon Road in Santa Clarita, Calif., Sunday, July 24, 2016.(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

You know California Governor Gavin Newsom has a problem controlling the fires in his state when he begins praising President Trump as a “partner” battling them.

Of course, that happened several days ago, and the tone has changed in the last 24 hours, with Trump and Newsom sparring online over what Trump sees as Newsom’s incompetence and Newsom sees as Trump’s apostasy when it comes to the religion of climate change.

But Newsom has been clearly overwhelmed by the wildfires that have ravaged his state, exacerbated by environmental policies that forbid the removal of underbrush and growth that can act as kindling should a fire break out.

Last week the governor was offering heartfelt thanks to the Trump administration for its help in battling the blazes.

Just last week California Gov. Gavin Newsom lauded President Donald Trump as a “partner” in California’s efforts to fight wildfires.

“Every request we made of the Trump administration has been granted, and I just want to thank them again for moving expeditiously as they have to support our efforts here,” Newsom said Wednesday.

Cut to Sunday, when Trump took to Twitter to criticize California’s fealty to environmentalists which, Trump said, made Newsom of adequately staving off the threat of devastating fires in his state. He also noted that the governor tended to come running to the federal government for help instead of figuring out how to handle the spread of deadly fires in his state.

What changed appears to be a series of tweets earlier Sunday by the president, kicked off with this: “The Governor of California, @GavinNewsom, has done a terrible job of forest management. I told him from the first day we met that he must ‘clean’ his forest floors regardless of what his bosses, the environmentalists, DEMAND of him.”

Newsom took umbrage and “dismissed” Trump from the conversation for not “believing” in climate change.

Following the devastating fires of 2018, Real Clear Politics reported that environmental policies were actually contributing to the deadly fires in California.

Californians were warned of this impending inferno. Earlier this year, a bipartisan state panel, the Little Hoover Commission, reported that for over a century state and federal forest managers have mistakenly put out small fires instead of allowing them to burn naturally to rid woodlands of dense underbrush and deadwood. The Little Hoover panel condemned this “century of fire suppression.”

In 2006, the Western Governors’ Association cautioned about another contributing factor: failure to thin the forests. After the spotted owl was added to the list of threatened species in 1990, President Bill Clinton imposed limits on timber harvesting, which fell by 80 percent, and halted new road building in federal forests.

Newsom and Trump continue to set themselves up as opposites in the environmental debate and it looks like the verbal war is heating up. Meanwhile, California has already caught fire and continues to burn.