Simon out, Peterman in at CPUC

26 December 2012 by Steve Blum

Commissioner Timothy Simon

Timothy Simon’s last day on the job at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as a commissioner is Monday. Appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007, Simon’s term is coming to an end, and Governor Jerry Brown has decided not to reappoint him for another six years.

Instead, Brown has tapped a rising star from the California Energy Commission to take Simon’s seat. Carla Peterman is 34 years old and has spent time in both private business and the non-profit world. Most of her experience prior to joining the CEC in 2011 was as a researcher and graduate student. Peterman’s bio says she’ll be wrapping up a doctoral program at Cal shortly.

Incoming Commissioner Carla Peterman

She’s also spent a term on the board of The Utility Reform Network (TURN), a utility consumer advocacy group. She’ll join another TURN alumnus on the commission. Michael Florio spent many years as a senior attorney for the group. Florio was appointed to the CPUC by Brown at the same time he appointed Peterman to the CEC, shortly after taking office in 2011.

Peterman is a Democrat, Simon is a Republican, so Brown’s decision is no surprise. The CPUC covers a wide range of utilities – telecoms, electricity, natural gas, water, transportation – and commissioners tend to focus on particular areas. Natural gas, in Simon’s case. It’s a specialty Peterman shares, serving as lead commissioner for natural gas, as well as renewables and transportation, at CEC.

Personally, I’ll miss Commissioner Simon. He was a pragmatic and witty voice on the commission, and unfailingly courteous on and off the job, right down to his farewell message…

It is with deep regret and great optimism that I announce that my term as Commissioner at the California Public Utilities Commission and Chair of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Gas Committee will end December 31, 2012.

I want to thank all of those who have made this such a wonderful leg of my journey, especially my family, staff, and the many stakeholders of this process. Happy Holidays and may God continue to Bless all of you in your endeavors.

He’s not the kind of guy who’ll just ride off into the sunset. I’m looking forward to working with him again some day.