Governor's Energy Adviser Returns to Private Sector

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Dec. 1, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Joseph Desmond, who resigned in mid-November as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Undersecretary for Energy Affairs to focus on opportunities in the private sector will now go to work for NorthernStar Natural Gas, Inc., as their senior vice president of external affairs. NorthernStar is developing Clearwater Port, a proposed liquefied natural gas facility off the Ventura Coast.

Desmond served for only a brief period as Undersecretary, barely five months. The job was created by the governor when it appeared the Democrat-controlled state Senate would not confirm Schwarzenegger's appointment of Desmond to the California Energy Commission. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) refused to even schedule a confirmation hearing. Perata cites Desmond's support for deregulated energy markets and coal-fired power plants among the reasons why he and other lawmakers oppose Desmond's confirmation. Desmond caused a furor among some legislators last year when he voiced support for building a transmission line connecting Wyoming, California and other western states, which critics of the project assert will lead to an increase in the number of coal-powered plants in neighboring western states, undermining efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He also played a key role in the governor's failed energy reorganization plan that was rejected by the Senate in August 2005.

CMTA strongly supported the appointment of Desmond to the Energy Commission and the other positions, as well. His in-depth understanding of California's energy markets and infrastructure made him particularly well suited for the Energy Commission's top post. He has the right blend of experience and dedication, and his business background gives him an appreciation for the impact of the states energy policies on businesses and the state's business climate.

Prior to serving in the Schwarzenegger Administration, Desmond was president and chief executive officer of Infotility, Inc., an energy consulting and software development firm, and from 2001 to 2004 he was co-chair for the Energy Committee of the Silicon Valley Manufacturing Group, since renamed to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.


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