(December 18, 2004) -- Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has chosen a new secretary for CA's Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) and named his first two appointees to CA's Public Utilities Commission...all of whom are likely to face LB-related issues -- including Port related issues ranging from air pollution to Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) -- during their terms of office.
Governor Schwarzenegger has chosen Alan Lloyd, 62, as secretary of the CA Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA). Dr. Lloyd holds a Ph.D in gas kinetics and a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and has chaired CA's Air Resources Board since 1999. A Democrat, he previously served as executive director of the Energy and Environmental Center at the Desert Research Institute. From 1988 to 1995, he was chief scientist for the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
"Alan shares my commitment to continuing California's tradition of strong environmental protection and balancing the preservation of our environment and resource conservation with economic growth and fiscal responsibility," said Governor Schwarzenegger in a written release.
"Alan's track record of success and balanced approach as chairman of the Air Resources Board and expertise in environmental policy and management makes him a tremendous asset to the people of California," the Governor added.
Governor Schwarzenegger also named two individuals to the CA Public Utilities Commission, who his office's release suggests share his view of the agency's regulatory role.
The Governor nominated Steve Poizner, 47, of Los Gatos, a Republican businessman who developed lucrative cellular telephone-related technology and ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly, and Dian Grueneich, 52, of Berkeley, a Democrat lawyer who runs an energy and environmental consulting firm.
"I look forward to great contributions from Dian and Steve at the PUC. They share my commitment to establishing a business climate that will attract investment and jobs to California," said Governor Schwarzenegger in a written release.
"The PUC will play a key role in stabilizing the electricity market, encouraging the development of new supplies of natural gas, increasing investments in energy efficiency and renewable power, and promoting new telecommunications technology. I am confident that Steve and Dian will tackle these challenges with an eye toward lowering prices and improving service and delivery of electricity, gas, water, and other utilities to Californians."
The CPUC is currently embroiled in a high-stakes battle with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) centering on a proposed 80+ million gallon LNG facility that a Mitsubishi subsidiary seeks to build an operate in the Port of LB. FERC has declared that CPUC has no authority to regulate safety and siting issues regarding the proposed facility...and CPUC voted (5-0) earlier this year to sue FERC, enforce CA law and overturn FERC's decree. In November 2004, the issue gained visibility when a House/Senate conference committee inserted non-binding language accompanying an omnibus spending bill that endorsed FERC's position.
Governor Schwarzenegger has thus far declined comment on the CPUC vs. FERC LB LNG issue...but it may arise in state Senate confirmation process on the CPUC nominees since state Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., LB) has previously stated that he supports CPUC jurisdiction in the LNG matter.
Then-Assemblymember Lowenthal also authored AB 2042, a bill that sought to cap Port-related air pollutants at 2004 levels. The South Coast Air Quality Management District and the City of LB (by its elected City Council) supported the legislation, but the Port of LB (by its non-elected Harbor Commissioners) and the CA and LB Area Chambers of Commerce opposed it. While reiterating his support for clean air, the Governor vetoed the bill...and the Schwarzenegger administration's clean air policies regarding the Ports of LB and L.A. may arise during Dr. Lloyd's state Senate confirmation process.
And a final LB-centric note: Governor Schwarzenegger's Appointments Secretary (handling the names of appointees to state posts) is Randal Hernandez, former Chief of Staff to LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill and previously an official with the LB Area Chamber of Commerce.