California Gov. Gavin Newsom filled eight energy-related regulatory appointments on Tuesday, including three positions on a new wildfire cost recovery panel.
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the California Energy Commission (CEC) will return to their full five-member composition, and there will be three members each on the boards of the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and the newly created Commission on Catastrophic Wildfire Cost and Recovery.
For the CPUC, Newsom tapped Genevieve Shiroma, 64, a long-time chairwoman of the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board (1999-2018) and a 20-year elected board member of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Shiroma is an air quality engineer who early in her career worked for the California Air Quality Board.
At the CEC, David Hochschild, 47, a solar industry executive, was reappointed to the five-member regulatory body. At CAISO, David Olsen, 72, who once headed the Western Grid Group (2003-13) was reappointed along with new board members Severin Borenstein, 61, a University of California, Berkeley, business professor, and Mary Leslie, 59, president of the Los Angeles Business Council since 2002.
The five-member unpaid wildfire commission was established late last year as an offshoot of state Senate Bill 901, aimed at providing wildfire relief for the 2017 fires. The new law requires the commission to hold public meetings to evaluate the short- and long-term costs of major wildfires. Estimates for costs have gone as high as $30 billion.
Newsom, who was tasked with appointing three to the wildfire commission, appointed Dave Jones, 57, former state insurance commissioner (2011-19) and a member of the California Assembly for 10 years; Michael Kahn, 69, an attorney who once headed CAISO’s board; and Carla Peterman, 40, who recently ended a six-year term on the CPUC.
The state legislature is tasked with appointing two more people to the wildfire board.
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