California Gov. Gray Davis’ $68 billion fiscal 2001 budgetproposal unveiled this week includes little or no emphasis onenergy issues, although some of the stated concerns about”infrastructure” may spill over into reliability issues in the gasand electricity transmission/distribution industries. For energyindustry observers there are mostly unanswered questions, includingpeople within state government.

Gov. Davis’ state-of-state address (Jan. 5) and his budgetproposal this week (Jan. 10) have no direct references to energypolicies or programs, except for budget designation of extra fundsto the state energy commission to handle the growing backlog ofgas-fired merchant power plant applications.

Several key appointments directly impacting energy regulationare being left unattended: Three vacancies on the ElectricityOversight Board; a vacancy and naming of the chairman at theCalifornia Energy Commission; and naming a president of CaliforniaPublic Utilities Commission, under new powers given to the governorlast year by the legislature.

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