With barely six months under his belt in a six-year appointment,one of California Gov. Gray Davis’ two new state regulatorycommissioners, Joel Hyatt, announced this week that he will resignin January to be replaced by a current top-level Davis cabinetmember, Loretta Lynch, 37, an attorney who heads Davis’planning/research office in Sacramento.

Speculation among state energy observers is that Lynch, aseasoned Democratic political aide to several elected officials inCalifornia, will be named by the governor as president of theCalifornia Public Utilities Commission, something he can dobeginning Jan. 1 under a new law passed this year in theDemocratically controlled state legislature.

The new appointee is not expected to have a major impact onenergy issues next year; telecommunications issues are expected tooccupy more of the CPUC time in 2000.

Hyatt, 49, a lawyer and self-made millionaire who once was theDemocratic candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, is leaving theCPUC at the end of the year “to focus on his teaching career atStanford University’s Graduate School of Business and other privatesector endeavors,” according to the governor’s office Dec. 7announcement.

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