In the face of an escalating environmental catastrophe, the response — or rather, the lack thereof — from California’s Governor Gavin Newsom is both bewildering and deeply concerning. While the Democratic party frequently champions its commitment to the environment, their actions have proven otherwise. Governor Newsom’s tepid response to the Tijuana River pollution crisis contradicts those claims.
San Diego beaches and waters face alarming pollution levels emanating from the malfunctioning South Bay International Wastewater Treatment plant. As untreated sewage spills into the ocean, the health of the ecosystem and the safety of San Diego residents are at risk. Local leaders and environmental advocates have sounded the alarm, calling for a federal emergency declaration to quickly mobilize funds and repair the plant. But where one would expect decisive action from the state’s leader, Governor Newsom offered little more than a passive suggestion.
Imperial Beach Mayor Paloma Aguirre succinctly highlighted the situation’s urgency, stating, “When you declare a state of emergency, you can cut through all the red tape. That’s the only thing that will bring this its deserved level of urgency.” Yet, in a move that can only be described as a dereliction of duty, Governor Newsom refrained from pushing for an emergency declaration. Instead, he meekly requested President Joe Biden to consider allocating additional funds for the plant repairs in upcoming budgets.
Phillip Musegaas, the executive director of Coastkeeper, didn’t mince words, stating, “It’s a very weak request. The governor has the authority to take quick action and make a direct request of Biden, and he is still failing to do that.” This sentiment is echoed across communities and organizations alike.
For Governor Newsom to sidestep, such an immediate and pressing environmental disaster is deeply troubling. It shows the Democrat game plan of saying one thing and doing another. His inaction not only endangers the environment he claims to champion but also reveals a stark disconnect with the very communities he serves. At a time when decisive leadership is essential, Governor Newsom’s inability to confront and manage the crisis clearly indicates failed leadership. San Diego residents and all of California deserve a governor who acts, not one who remains silent in the face of adversity.
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