CEC chair reappointed, possible confirmation battle ahead

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 10, 2006 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated Joseph Desmond to serve a full term as chair of the California Energy Commission on January 27th, setting the stage for a possible confirmation battle in the Senate.

Desmond was appointed last May to fill the remainder of former Chair William Keese’s term, having served prior to that as Deputy Secretary of Energy at the California Department of Resources.

The appointment to a full term restarts the clock for Senate confirmation, but it probably won’t be smooth sailing for Desmond.  He could very well be confirmed, but it won’t come easy.  It has been reported that Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata (D-Oakland) has told the governor not to expect Desmond to be confirmed.  Some senators are apparently unhappy about Desmond’s pro-deregulation and support for clean coal technologies.  Desmond also played a key role in the governor’s failed energy reorganization plan that was rejected by the Senate last August.

Desmond has many supporters, however, which gives him a good chance of hanging on to his post.  Senator Jim Battin (R-La Quinta) had high praise for Desmond, saying he doesn’t "believe the governor could appoint anyone better."

CMTA strongly supports the reappointment of Desmond, whose in-depth understanding of California's energy markets and infrastructure has 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 has given him an appreciation for the impact of the state’s 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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