CPUC President Confirmed by Senate

By Loretta Macktal, Executive Assistant to the Vice President, Government Relations

Capitol Update, March 14, 2003 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

The mother of all confirmation battles never materialized.

From the moment he was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), speculation centered around the grueling confirmation battle in store for
Michael R. Peevey. A few weeks later, when he voted against retroactively suspending direct access (DA) to July 1, 2001, the talk only intensified. But on March 10, when the full Senate took up the matter of Peevey's appointment, only three Senators voted against confirmation. The long-anticipated vote was just another routine vote in an uneventful Monday floor session.

Peevey was named to the CPUC last spring, and elevated to president in January, replacing Loretta Lynch, an unabashed advocate of re-regulating energy markets. Since assuming his post, Peevey has had a significant impact on CPUC policies, and put the Commission on a more centrist footing, and one less averse to business interests.

Peevey was grilled by the Senate Rules Committee the week before the Senate floor vote, but still made it through. The objections to Peevey - that he voted to preserve DA, and has tried to set a more moderate course - were outweighed by a general consensus from even his critics, that he is up to the job. Senate President pro Tempore John Burton (D-San Francisco) and Senate Energy Committee Chair Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach) strongly objected to his vote to keep DA alive, and later to cap exit fees, but neither voted against his confirmation.

Peevey has extensive experience in the energy industry. He served as president of Edison International and Southern California Edison from 1990 to 1993. From 1995 to 2000, he was president of NewEnergy, Inc., the largest energy service provider in the nation. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of TruePricing, Inc., a company which helps large companies manage their energy costs. During the energy crisis, Peevey was an unpaid energy adviser to Governor Davis.

Peevey's years of experience and knowledge of energy issues have provided the CPUC with a valuable new perspective. Since taking the position of President, he has brought the many California energy agencies together to discuss common goals and objectives. CMTA congratulates President Peevey on his confirmation.
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