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Gov. Newsom’s Key Staff Picks: Wade Crowfoot

Controversial environmental, energy, transportation, waste policies and state and federal environmental agendas

By Katy Grimes, February 1, 2019 11:02 am

As part of our ongoing series on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s key staff and appointments, meet Wade Crowfoot, 45, of Oakland, appointed Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency by Newsom. Crowfoot was chief executive officer of the Water Foundation from 2016 to 2018. He was deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. from 2013 to 2016. Crowfoot also served as deputy director for Governor Brown’s Office of Planning and Research on sustainability issues from 2011 to 2013. He was West Coast political director at the Environmental Defense Fund from 2009 to 2011. Crowfoot has also served as senior environmental advisor to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. In that role, he advanced landmark energy, transportation and waste policies and managed the Mayor’s state and federal environmental agendas, from 2004 to 2007, and worked for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2000 to 2003. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $209,943. Crowfoot is a Democrat. 

Wade Crowfoot. (youtube)

Crowfoot was involved in California Gov. Brown’s climate compact with the Governors of Oregon and Washington and the British Columbia Premier, when they signed the Pacific Coast Action Plan on Climate and Energy, “to align climate change policies and promote clean energy.”

The Pacific Coast Collaborative was an illegal compact which linked with the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX), formed to promote “the type of new thinking necessary to solve the West Coast’s infrastructure crisis.” And the WCX was linked to the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative.

Chris Horner, the Senior Legal Fellow with Energy & Environment Legal Institute, obtained in 2015 an 11-page email thread under Washington State’s freedom of information law, which showed how Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber’s office organized a campaign to promote the green agenda, beginning with the California and Washington governors’ offices, a private environmentalist law firm, and the White House.

This scheme was made possible with funding from “major environmental donors,” billionaires Tom Steyer and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to Horner.

Emails received through the FOIA request revealed discussions and plans between Kitzhaber’s aide Dan Carol, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee’s aid Sam Rickets, Gov. Brown’s senior advisors Clifford Rechtschaffen and Wade Crowfoot. Also named is Ashley Conrad-Saydah, a Gov. Brown appointee at the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Throughout the 11 pages of emails, hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer is named. (The email thread is HERE)

“If your Governors buy into such an agreement, we would have six weeks to attract a critical mass of other Governors to sign,” wrote Gov. Jerry Brown aid Wade Crowfoot. “We could likely get some of the East Coast Governors and IL Gov. Quinn on board and moving forward have an open invite for other Governors to join the agreement.”

Crowfoot continued: “…this could be a powerful symbol of growing subnational momentum for climate change… even joining forces with the Steyer people if that makes sense.”

Steyer has said he’s willing to “spend what it takes” to implement climate change policies that are already driving up California’s gas prices –by some estimates of at least 15 cents a gallon,” I wrote in 2015. (today the gas price impact is as high as .24 cents, and energy prices are soaring)

Steyer, a well-known environmental extremist, even wants to penalize people who contribute to global warming.

Gov. Brown appointed two other top staff involved in this illegal compact to the California Public Utilities Commission – Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen. Crowfoot was appointed executive officer of the Water Foundation following this scheme, and now is Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency under Gov. Gavin Newsom.


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