In summary

Just as the Trump Administration is proposing significant cuts to federal agencies that employ climate scientists , a California official is planting himself outside federal agencies this week—hoping to poach skittish federal researchers.

Just as the Trump Administration is proposing significant cuts to federal agencies that employ climate scientists , a California official is in Washington D.C. this week, aiming to poach skittish federal researchers.

Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, intends to stand outside the Energy Department tomorrow and the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday to pass out fliers advertising dozens of jobs solving pressing environmental issues in California.

“If climate scientists and experts want the opportunity to continue doing important work for the good of our planet, my message is simple: Come West, California is hiring,” Picker said in a statement.

The PUC, the California Air Resources Board, and the California Energy Commission are hiring scientists to work issues related to climate change, in a state where the issue has the rapt attention of the governor and much of the Legislature.

Picker may be stampeded with resumes from prospective candidates. Proposed Trump administration budget cuts call for reducing the federal EPA’s budget by 25 percent and eliminating 3,000 jobs, and reducing or defunding renewable energy and carbon emission reduction programs at the federal Energy Department. Other agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration expect to have their climate change research projects discontinued.

“On climate action, there’s a dark cloud hanging over Washington right now,” Picker said.

California’s aggressive move to hire federal researchers comes on the heels of an executive order President Trump signed yesterday to make the executive branch “more efficient.” It requires a six-month review of all 440 federal agencies to see whether some or all of their functions could be jettisoned—including an evaluation of whether any agency’s function would be better left “to State or local governments or to the private sector through free enterprise.”

We want to hear from you

Want to submit a guest commentary or reaction to an article we wrote? You can find our submission guidelines here. Please contact Gary Reed with any commentary questions: gary@calmatters.org, (916) 234-3081.

Julie Cart joined CalMatters as a projects and environment reporter in 2016 after a long career at the Los Angeles Times, where she held many positions: sportswriter, national correspondent and environment...