Politico deputy managing editor Ryan Hutchins sent out the following to the staff:
We are excited to announce Wes Venteicher as our new California energy and climate reporter. We have big plans in California, and the energy and climate story there is a central and growing part of our coverage strategy for state, national and international readers. Wes will have no shortage of things to write about. He starts just as Gov. Gavin Newsom presses lawmakers this month to tax “windfall” oil profits and as California scrambles to meet its climate mandates, including the phaseout of gas-powered cars.
He won’t be moving far. Wes joins us from the Sacramento Bee, where he has spent four years building state sources and turning out scoops — like when he checked up on Newsom’s promise to take a pay cut early in the pandemic and found that he hadn’t, three months later. Then there was the former transportation official who resigned after Wes reported she had been billing the state for a Sacramento apartment and weekly travel from her home in San Diego. A prison guard’s union canceled its retreat to Las Vegas during a Covid surge because of his reporting.
Wes got his start writing about wildlife, fracking and climate change for the Livingston Enterprise in his home state of Montana — or as he puts it, “covering elk, wolves and the school board.” He went on to write for the Chicago Tribune and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review before joining the Bee.
In his free time he likes to cook, hike with his cattle dog, ski and play drums. Another fun fact: In college he was in a rock band called The Legs.
Wes starts today and will report to California editor Katy Murphy and California politics editor Ben Fox. Please help us welcome him to the team.