Brown names picks for CPUC, Energy Commission

Gov. Jerry Brown this morning announced two appointees to the California Public Utilities Commission and two to the California Energy Commission, all from the Bay Area and all with a decidedly pro-consumer bent.

Named to the CPUC were Mike Florio, 58, of Oakland, and Catherine Sandoval, 50, of Campbell.

Florio, a Democrat, has worked as the senior attorney for The Utility Reform Network since 1978; is a member of California Conference of Public Utility Counsel; and was also a member of the board of governors of the California Independent System Operator from 1997 to 2005. He holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law, a M.P.P. from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University and a B.A. from Bowling Green State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $128,109.

Sandoval, a Democrat, has worked as an associate professor at Santa Clara University School of Law since 2004; earlier, she was undersecretary and senior policy advisor for housing with the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency from 2001 to 2004. She was vice president and general counsel with Z-Spanish Media Corporation from 1999 to 2001; director of the Office of Communications Business Opportunities for the Federal Communications Commission from 1994 to 1999; and an associate with Munger, Tolles & Olson from 1991 to 1994. She earned a J.D. from Stanford Law School, a Master of Letters in political science from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. from Yale. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $128,109.

Named to the California Energy Commission were Robert Weisenmiller, 62, of Berkeley, and Carla Peterman, 32, of Oakland.

Weisenmiller, if confirmed by the state Senate, will serve as chair of the commission at the conclusion of the current chair’s term, effective Feb. 6. He was first named to the commission last year; earlier, he was a co-founder and executive vice president of MRW & Associates from 1986 to 2010 and was a co-founder and executive vice president of Independent Power Corporation from 1982 to 1986. He was an assistant to a commissioner, manager of the Special Projects Office and director of the Office of Policy Development and Program Evaluation with the California Energy Commission from 1977 to 1982. Weisenmiller holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and a M.S. in energy and resources from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in chemistry from Providence College. The job comes with an annual salary of $128,109. Weisenmiller is registered decline-to-state.

Peterman, a Democrat, is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Berkeley and currently serves on the board of directors for the Utility Reform Network. She has conducted extensive research on solar photovoltaic markets and climate change, including co-authoring a series of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory publications on cost and deployment trends in the U.S. solar photovoltaic market. She has conducted research at the University of California Energy Institute at Haas since 2006 and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory from 2008 to 2010. She was a business analyst with Isles from 2004 to 2005 and was an associate focused on energy financing in the investment banking division of Lehman Brothers from 2002 to 2004. Peterman holds a B.A. in history from Howard University and an M.S. in environmental change and management and an M.B.A. from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $128,109.

UPDATE @ 3 P.M.: From Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo:

“I welcome Gov. Brown’s appointment of Catherine Sandoval and Mike Florio to the California Public Utilities Commission. Both appointees have stellar reputations as thoughtful and forceful advocates for consumers. In the aftermath of the deadly gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno, it is my hope that they will provide the crucial oversight that is needed to end a culture of complacency on the commission.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.