A California Senate committee unanimously approved the reappointment of the state's chief regulator while refusing to reconfirm a second member of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Michael Peevey will continue as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's choice for CPUC president and will fulfill a second six-year term that runs through 2014. A former president and board member at Southern California Edison Co., Peevey has headed the CPUC for the past seven years and was originally appointed by former Gov. Gray Davis. Commissioner Rachelle Chong was not reconfirmed because the state legislative panel refused to hear her nomination to a second term by Schwarzenegger. Chong is an attorney specializing in telecommunications and a former member of the Federal Communications Commission. Lawmakers refused to even consider confirming Chong, saying she failed to protect consumers, particularly telecommunications customers. They accused her of not resolving many major consumer complaints. Chong's last meeting was last Thursday, and she left the CPUC hearing room abruptly at the end of the business session, asking Peevey to read a long prepared statement. At the end, Peevey expressed he and his fellow commissioners' sadness in seeing Chong's tenure on the five-member panel come to an end.
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