Gov. Jerry Brown has chosen two of his closest advisors on environmental and climate change issues to fill positions on the California Public Utilities Commission, the powerful state agency that regulates energy companies and the telecommunications industry.
On Wednesday, Brown nominated Cliff Rechtschaffen and Martha Guzman Aceves to serve six-year terms on the commission, effective next month. All five CPUC commissioners are appointed by the governor, subject to confirmation by the state Senate.
Rechtschaffen has served as the governor's senior advisor on climate and energy issues for more than five years. Guzman Aceves, Brown's deputy legislative affairs secretary, has focused on energy and environmental issues.
"Both have sound judgment and a commitment to protecting ratepayers and ensuring safe, reliable and climate-friendly energy in California," Brown said in a written statement.
The appointments will mean a departure from the utilities agency for two sitting commissioners, Mike Florio and Catherine Sandoval, once their terms expire next month. Florio had faced several years of questions about his role in private conversations with the state's biggest power utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co .