Gov. Brown names 2 advisors to CPUC from his administration

- Gov. Jerry Brown announced the appointments of two senior advisors from his administration to six-year terms on the California Public Utilities Commission today.
   
They are Martha Guzman Aceves, 39, of Sacramento, currently a deputy legislative affairs secretary to Brown, and Clifford Rechtschaffen, 59, of Oakland, a senior advisor on climate, energy and environmental matters.
   
They must be confirmed to the five-member commission by the state Senate and will earn $142,095 per year.
   
Aceves and Rechtschaffen will replace Commissioners Michael Florio and Catherine Sandoval, who were appointed by Brown in 2011 and whose terms expire on Jan. 1.
   
Florio, who worked for the consumer advocacy group The Utility Reform Network for 33 years before his appointment, came under public fire beginning in 2014 when private email messages between him and a PG&E vice president were revealed.
   
Some of the messages concerned matters being considered by the commission and the selection of an administrative law judge for a PG&E natural gas rate case. Florio later said he should have been less candid in the messages, but said he had "consistently acted independently in representing the public."
   
The San Francisco-based commission regulates privately owned California utilities, including electric power, natural gas, water, telecommunications, railroad and transportation companies.
   
Brown said of the two new appointees, "Both have sound judgment and a commitment to protecting ratepayers and ensuring safe, reliable and climate-friendly energy in California."
   
As deputy legal affairs secretary since 2011, Aceves focused on natural resources, environmental protection, energy and food and agriculture, Brown's office said.
   
She was previously an advocate for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and a legislative coordinator for United Farm Workers. Aceves holds a master of science degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California at Davis.
   
Rechtschaffen, an advisor to Brown since 2011, was a special assistant California attorney general from 2007 to 2010 and a deputy attorney general from 1985 to 1993.
   
He taught environmental law at Golden Gate University from 1993 to 2007 and has written several books on environmental law and policy. He graduated from Yale Law School.

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