Tom Steyer Reviews CA Wildfire Response From Biden, Trump

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By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

President Donald Trump came to California on Monday and was briefed on California’s wildfires, but he got some polite pushback from Gov. Gavin Newsom on climate change.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden gave a speech of his own earlier Monday on the wildfires and climate change, elevating that to a central issue of the campaign, which it really hasn’t been until now.

There was no mention at all about climate change at the Republican National Convention and very little at the Democrats’ convention, and it’s been overshadowed by the coronavirus pandemic, the recession caused by COVID-19, and the unrest and conversation about race since the killing of George Floyd.

Now, it is front and center.

Biden’s vice-presidential nominee, Kamala Harris, intends to keep it that way when she comes to California for a fire briefing Tuesday.

"Joe Biden has done a terrific job on climate," said Tom Steyer, long-time San Francisco environmentalist and former Democratic candidate for president. Steyer now co-chairs Gov. Newsom’s task force on economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Steyer himself has pursued effective action on climate change for years.

"If you look at the plan, his climate plan, it is very progressive, it is very aggressive," Steyer told KCBS Radio’s "The State Of California" Monday. "He understands this issue. I’ve talked to him personally numerous times about it. He really gets it. He really cares about it.”

President Trump, meanwhile, has painted a darker picture of Biden’s climate plan, saying rolling blackouts seen across California would continue and even amplify if the Democrat were to win the White House.

"I would say to the people who say that they actually don’t know about where the technology stands," the billionaire said. "Because, in fact, what we’ve seen the technology of batteries, the cost of wind and solar, is that it is way ahead of where people expected or even dreamed it could be now."

Steyer believes American engineering and ingenuity could transform the way the country deals with climate change, referencing the extremely active hurricane season in the Atlantic.

On the governor’s seemingly cozy relationship with the president and criticism of that, Steyer didn’t hold back.

"I believe Mr. Trump needs a dose of truth and reality in his face," Steyer said.

President Trump had a contentious exchange with state officials on the reality of climate change Monday during a visit to Sacramento for a briefing on the state’s disastrous wildfires.

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