During his tenure on the California State Water Resources Control Board, Max Gomberg witnessed the state’s struggle with two devastating droughts and the accelerating effects of climate change.

“Gut-wrenching” inaction from Governor Gavin Newsom. Those words from a former climate change mitigation strategist with leftist views who calls it quits while Newsom is in a campaign for reelection.

Gomberg resigned via a note posted at On The Public Record.org this month. In his letter, Gomberg wrote watching “the agency’s ability to tackle big challenges nearly eviscerated by this Administration has been gut-wrenching,” adding that it’s difficult to watch some on the board just roll over in acceptance.

In an interview with the LA Times, Gomberg says his criticisms come from seeing the resistance to a “long list” of proposals to strengthen water regulation and management. Gomberg’s resignation comes during historic drought conditions.

Invoking a wish list of progressive policies, Gomberg lamented:

“[s]adly, this state is not on a path towards steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions reductions, massive construction to alleviate the housing crisis, quickly and permanently reducing agriculture to manage the loss of water to aridification, and reducing law enforcement and carceral budgets and reallocating resources to programs that actually increase public health and safety.”

He claimed that all of the listed policies “and more” are needed “for an equitable and livable future.” He added, “you convince yourselves that inhabiting the middle ground between advocates and industry (and other status quo defenders) makes you reasonable. But it does not. It makes you complicit.”

The main focus of Gomberg’s ire, however, was directed at Newsom’s administration, along with some of his colleagues.

“Witnessing the agency’s ability to tackle big challenges nearly eviscerated by this Administration has been gut wrenching,” he wrote. “The way some of you have simply rolled over and accepted this has also been difficult to watch.”

Of course, Newsom spokesperson Erin Mellon pushed back on Gomberg’s attacks. Here’s what Mellon told the Los Angeles Times:

“The Governor has worked with the legislature to invest $8 billion to implement the strategies in the Water Resilience Portfolio, which focuses on diversifying our water supplies, enhancing ecosystems, improving infrastructure and ensuring California is better able to manage hotter and drier weather.” 

Gomberg also said that he has been unhappy with the Newsom administration since the governor took office and removed Felicia Marcus as water board president.

Gomberg said his withdrawal marked “a withdrawal from the use of the council’s regulatory authority” after Marcus led the council’s efforts to have cities and irrigation districts divert less water from heavily used tributaries. of the San Joaquin River.

“This governor, this administration doesn’t like having independent regulatory agencies. They kind of want to control everything,” Gomberg said. “The direction comes from the top.”

Sources: TheDailyWire, Los Angeles Times, onthepublicrecord.org

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