New Year Wishlist for Governor Gavin Newsom
The new year gave us no honeymoon period whatsoever. We have to jump right in and we're getting right back into our routine because this is the day, we talked to our friends Jamie court. Jamie court had a very nice new year. And he's back with us in our regular time schedule here, and we've got a lot to talk about right here into the new year. If you don't know Jamie court, and I trust you do go. Check out consumer watchdog dot org. Consumer watchdog dot ORG where Jamie court is the president. But he's got a lot of great colleagues than they do. Great consumer protection work and Jamie, happy new year. Thanks for coming back. As always on the Norman Goldman show up two thousand nineteen screen to be here with you for another year, nor we'll Jamie we've got a lot going on this year. Get started in California. And this has national reprecussions in California. We've got a new governor coming in in a few days man's name is Gavin Newsom America got to know him when he was. The mayor San Francisco some years ago, and he decreed that gay people should be able to get marriage licenses. And so your the county clerk to start giving them out and that put him on the national map, and it got us all talk and marriage equality. And we know where that all lead. Gavin Newsom is the governor elect he'll be the governor. He's positioned himself more as in environmentally friendly guy. More green guy, Jerry Brown. Of course, did a big PR thing. Jamie United spent a lot of time talking about Jerry Brown. But why don't we talk about a wishlist for the new governor that can kind of set the climate agenda for America? Is there things that the new governor Gavin Newsom can do that Jerry hasn't done and Jamie. That's kind of an over you. Go ahead. Yeah. There's a big there's a big list of of items that governor Brown never got to. And it's largely because you know, Brown was not a progressive round. Was you know, I think a moderate democrat. He was close to the oil industry was close to utility industry. He was close to the medical insurance establishment. He got things done. Don't get me wrong. But he certainly didn't carry out the expectations that many had when he first came into office be single payer health care or ending oil drilling and fracking in the state, or, you know, reforming our medical insurance system, and and the medical malpractice problems and quality care problems that have crept up that he when he was the governor the first time, unfortunately helped to create conditions that you know, may those areas go on because he signed laws limiting liability. Gavin Newsom has some some work cut out for him. He's he's got a lot of work to do. And it remains to be seen. You know, what what he's going to put in his first hundred days and anything beyond that. Well, jaime. I know that governor Brown did not stop fracking. I know there's still lots of oil drilling going on. I is there a realistic chance that governor Newsome new governor's going to put an end to that. Well, I think there is a chance that he would end fracking when he was speaking at a debate late in the campaign was pretty clear is going to win. He said he was going to end fracking. He was ready ten fracking. He didn't he wasn't you know, he didn't declare that he would ban it. But I I think fracking something that could happen very quickly. Maybe even with his first hundred days, if he's smart, I know he's going to head up to Santa Barbara the end of January to take part in the commemoration of the one year oil spill me more than one year. But it's an anniversary of the oil spill in re refuse you a beach. It's a couple of years now from the pipeline that burst there, and he. He has an opportunity to say, look, I'm gonna end fracking, and I'm going to come up with a plan to evaluate all the oil wells in the state and stop them and stop the oil infrastructure degree. It's possible. Green power that Jerry Brown didn't do. And after. I mean, we know Brown was wasn't green. What what can the new governor do on green power that Jerry Brown into? Well, I think the governor could first of all you got to celebrate the drive towards one hundred percent renewables, we set a to twenty forty five deadline for but that's just like saying we're going to go to the moon without building NASA. The second thing he can do. You know is make sure that we get out of any power as a state that isn't renewable. And we got plenty of geothermal. We've got plenty of solar. He can set some goals here. So that the utilities don't have gas powered natural gas, powered electric plants. That's something that by the way, you know, it's a fossil fuel we talk about natural gas. But it's a fossil fuel. We could close. Lisa canyon, which is a big fossil fuel natural gas. Reserve doesn't serve anyone's purposes and quite dangerous to the community. We can take a look. At the pipelines running through the state on natural gas. We could talk about oil willing and oil drilling excuse me, and oil wells, and he needs to put someone in charge of his agency called Dogar, which is the department of of geothermal something resources Dogar, and he could put someone in there who doesn't approve new oil wells, unless we know they're safe and who doesn't approve them unless we know they're really needed and maybe they're not needed. And that was something that, you know, under the Brown administration that agency became a rubber stamp for the oil industry approved more than twenty thousand new oil permits. I mean, I think Gavin's going to be judged in part in no small part on how many oil wells, he approves or how many wells he closes, you know, Brown approved over twenty thousand new oil wells, including offshore over two hundred off. Sure, that's not what a climbing Haug does. Right. So Gavin's gotta start on day one and say, why should we approve any oil? Well. And issued executive order toward that end. We should approve a single oil. Well, I, and we should look at getting rid of the oil and gas wells, we have that's a big, you know, that's that's a lot of regulatory function that that doesn't even need the legislative branch to implement Brown was unwilling to do it. But but gap and could at any should we're talking to our friend, Jamie court. This is our first interview twenty nineteen with our friend Jimmy court, spelled C O U R T like going to court and consumer watchdog does indeed go to court, but they do a lot more checkout. Consumer watchdog dot ORG, consumer watchdog dot org. Check them out online and you'll see right there on the front page is a big discussion about California's new incoming governor Gavin Newsom as California goes so goes America may take a few years and Jamie. There's an issue here. That's been kind of a burn my saddle is about his western as I get. We have been paying neighboring states to take. Excess renewable electricity off our hands because we apparently have been really good at creating a renewable energy. But we are lagging way behind in a feeding it into the grid. Apparently. So they get used by everybody or alternatively making batteries work. So that we can store the stuff for later use. And it seems to me a folly. I get it that there's a mismatch and a disconnect we've been rushing to do renewable energy, man. I want to be so harsh about it. I can understand that there can be temporary mismatch between creating the capacity creating like trinity and having a capacity use it or store it. But Jamie, we gotta do something about that is there's some chance that we can become the leader California can become the leader and battery storage technology, which I think is got to be something that clean green renewable energy has got to contend with. What do you think? Well, I think look we we are building batteries, and we have. Incentivize, the building of batteries to how to store renewable resources, and that's got accelerate. I mean, what's marketable is like even LA DWP has three coal plants. They're thinking about bringing online there was this story that broke about how PacifiCorp which is Warren Buffett utility is charging people in California for three of its coal plants. I mean, we should be a hundred percent off coal, and we often talk as a state about being one hundred percent off coal. We're not really a hundred percent off colts. And there's a move to go to a western regional energy market. Where a lot of these coal barons can bring back their coal powered electricity to California. There have been challenges at the Federal Energy Regulatory commission, which is now controlled by Trump to our green power standards. So the next governor has gotta gotta say, look, we're going to keep California as a renewable island and not. Play into these ideas that many of the corporate environmentalist groups have been pushing that we need to have a western regional electric market, which first of all be based on speculation, which is a really bad idea. We learned this from the Enron age. And that was where the idea came from we defeated it and legislation last two years, but it's bound to come back, but second of all it opens our state loss, which are very strong on preference for new -able power in getting away from coal getting away from fossil fuels. It opens them up to challenges in federal regulatory arenas were other companies like Pacific or can say, hey, no, you California's you gotta pay for those coal plants because you're using our energy. We have a very small market with the other regions. It's called an energy imbalance market our laws largely protected because it's a small market, if we'd be if it becomes a dominant part of the market are environmental ours will go away and the legislature almost fell for that. Last two years. Gavin Newsom gotta say not on my watch. I'm Jerry Brown. So he's got to do a lot to say. Say you know, Gavin is green he's not Brown. And I think without saying it his actions can show that he is truly green governor. Well, Jaime, let's move over to Medicare for all because California we've been talking about Medicare for all for a long time. Arnold schwarzenegger. Your old, buddy. When when you really tangle with him for a long time. He vetoed a Medicare for all plan that passed legislature. They didn't have the votes override apparently. And so, you know, they've been plans that have passed in the last couple of years one house passed as the other one killed it's and it's embolic this no guts in it. You don't have any plan on it actually, make it work even talking about and talking about is Gavin Newsom, the governor kind of lead us into this. So that we can set the standard for the nation. It's not clear he wants to do it. He said medical insurance reform is his top priority. He's hired some people very good people. Who have some expertise in this area, and again him Daniels and golly was at California Dowman, a few others, Angie way, who's from labor who've been involved in these debates. So it's very possible. They prioritize, but it is a hard hard thing for a state to do without capturing federal Medicare and Medicaid money and getting away from the federal government. So I think he can lead the way, and he should lead the way, but the expectation has to be that it's going to be contingent on a democrat taking the presidency and giving California a waiver if the federal government doesn't adopt a Medicare for all plan for American thing. Many of us think this is going to be front and center in the twenty twenty race that the right democrat who runs for office will have Medicare for all as their mantra. I mean, the right Republican should have Medicare for all too. But it's not likely given the guy who's in the office. So I think if we have a national mandate for Medicare for all. All it makes the waiver for the state more possible. But there's no way pragmatically to implement a single payer system in California, unless we get a wetter waiver from the federal government getting away from the federal government right now on such a topic seems highly unlikely so we can take a big step there. And I think Newsom should take a big step there. But we can't get we can't get the whole way without a change of power in Washington. That's the real issue. This is the part that really kinda upset me because a rational Republican and there used to be rational Republicans, and I'm not getting I'm not actually getting politically I'm talking policy Republican dogma for a longtime was state's rights. Let's get power out of the hands of Washington and back to closer to the people. This is good. This goes back right to Thomas Jefferson, and the founding of this Republic, it's been Republican kind of basic dogma for decades, and certainly our lifetimes that power should be in the hands of the state and the governors and the legislatures much more countable to the people closer to the people. So it seems to me that if we had like a rational administration, they would say California, you wanna waiver the states or laboratories of experimentation. I mean that goes back to Louis Brandeis in supreme court case back in the thirties. So it seems to me that if we framed it as this is a matter of states rights and a matter of state experimentation that because we're all the states laboratories of democracy. Why? Wooden Republicans wanna go for that. Well, I think they would. And and ironically, you know, President Trump when he was not president. But he was just Trump wrote a book very eloquently saying America should follow Massachusetts and take on single payer healthcare. It's the smartest way every other country. Does it? The guy has said so many things that this guy Asli there's nothing to believe there. But he wrote it in black and white he's for Medicare. And that's just telling you. Republicans right or for it. Yeah. I don't even know if he was Republican back, then frankly. I don't know what he was then or now, I don't either. There are a few words, but I can't say them on the radio that makes two of us. Absolutely. A bunch of millions of us guys. Like, Richard Nixon, right contemplated this right? I mean, we're every other country in the world does it. It's smart. The only people who get hurt by it. Or maybe the drug companies the insurance companies and hospitals that make too much money. I I don't really think the American people have a problem with that since we're all getting hurt every day by a system that arbitrarily denies people care because insurance companies and drug companies and hospitals don't want to give them the care. They need. You know, we don't these insurance companies is just it's like water torture. You know, we've gotten some better rules we've dealt with the system the way we could under ObamaCare to make sure they can't deny us based on preexisting conditions. They have to cover us by and large when you know, there are certain conditions met, and we pay our premiums. But believe me, we still work with people every day who fight every day to get insurance companies to cover something supposed to do under the law, and they're just waiting from today. Literally. Because if you have healthcare employer insurance company denies you coverage for some it's real expensive says it's not medically necessary. Is you coverage they mostly don't have to pay in court. There are no damages that you can collect from if your health comes from a private employer, and so they know it's a waiting game. And they, you know, and and and and they they still mistreat people every day, even though people pay premiums, and even though people have insurance coverage. They're not always covered. So we need a system that does better. And it's not that governments when they administrated claims don't screw up, but they don't have a profit motive screw up into deny claims into lay clams sometime, there's incompetence, but you know, you go to Canada, you any country in the world, and they love their system. They love the medical system. So I I think this is I think this issues the time has come. I think Gavin Newsom would be foolhardy not to get as far down the road as he can. And he also by the way has to deal with these quality of care issues, the patient safety issues that. Brown never wanted to deal with but helped create in nineteen seventy six he basically created the first law. It's kind of America when he was government seventy six Brown that has, you know, puts a cap on how much victim of medical negligence collect for something other than a wage loss or medical bills. So let's say, you know, the they're quadriplegic their loss of their arms there if a child dies, and they don't have which loss. It's it's it's called pain and suffering damages in the cap all juries in America in California's two hundred and fifty thousand never indexed for inflation Justin's born is right. Maybe there, maybe they're less than half the states that have some type of cap, it's like New York, they have no cap, but we've never even indexed for inflation. And Jerry Brown has cruelly and heartlessly refused to deal with this issue and has threatened to punish people who bring it up even. And now, it's Gavin nurses, turn. And he's got eight years, and he's gotta look these victims in the I who suffered under the medical. And suffered under this law. And we're not gonna let him get away with going term without having to look them in the eye and give them an answer about what he's going to do got to do something. He's got a very full agenda. And I'm really glad you went down some of the really big items. I got to leave it there times always against us. But check our friend Jamie court. He's the president of consumer watchdog and check consumer watchdog at consumer watchdog dot org. Jamie, a very happy new year to you. Thanks so much for the guidance. And we'll see you again next week epi new year. Thanks north.