Essential Politics
The latest from Washington, D.C., and Sacramento. (LAT)

This is shaping up to be an era of bold strokes in American politics, and the past 24 hours have seen several high-stakes moves — from the statehouse to the White House.

Good morning from the state capital. I’m Sacramento Bureau Chief John Myers, and after his big speech Tuesday, there’s not much confusion about where Gov. Jerry Brown stands on the change that’s come to the national political scene.

More on that in a moment. But first, let’s get caught up on another big day to come, and one in the books, for the new administration of President Donald Trump.


It certainly wasn’t hard to miss the message on Tuesday, as the president gave the thumbs-up to resuming two big oil industry projects while hitting the pause button on what the public hears from federal environmental officials.

First, the oil: Trump signed orders reviving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. As Evan Halper and William Yardley write, the decision could pay big political dividends among those who see the decision as more about jobs than the environment.

Speaking of the environment, the president’s team faces a lot of questions about its decision to impose a gag order on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The move not only imposed a media blackout for agency officials but also a “temporary suspension” of any new EPA business activities.

(And then there was a fascinating few hours of Twitter activity from someone associated with Badlands National Park.)

Those actions come as a new national poll finds 55% of those surveyed said protecting the environment should be among the top priorities for the new president.

No doubt that’s a sentiment with which California’s chief executive agrees.


How many ways can someone talk about the president without…