After noting that state regulators are in office to carry out the will of state lawmakers, Susan Kennedy was quickly cleared by the Senate Rules Committee last week for confirmation as the new commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission.

Statewide consumer, utility and environmental groups appeared to support the appointment of the former Democratic Party and governor’s adviser. Confirmation by the full Senate is expected later this month.

In part of her questioning, Kennedy said she was unhappy with the level of the so-called exit fees assigned late last year by the CPUC for direct access customers in California. At their current levels, she said it would take 10 to 20 years for bundled utility customers to get their fair share from the customers buying their own power supplies from third-party providers.

Kennedy was quoted in local news media as saying the current rates are “ridiculous” and represent “an unfair burden that should be paid back much sooner.”

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