California appoints Governor's Energy advisor as new CPUC president
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Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Alice Reynolds, his Senior Advisor on Energy, as the new President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

CPUC is amongst the top of California's regulatory agencies, responsible for monitoring public utilities in the state such as electric power, natural gas, telecommunications, and ride-sharing companies like Lyft and Uber. Last year, the commission approved a bankruptcy plan of Pacific Gas and Electric after they incurred billions of dollars in damages from a wildfire caused by its equipment.

Reynolds will shoulder the responsibility of investigating PG&E's role in the Dixie Fire that burned 963,309 acres in July this year, becoming the second-worst wildfire in the history of California. She will step into her new role on December 31, 2021.

Gavin Newsom said that Reynolds has been "indispensable" in her role as an energy policy expert and has made conscious efforts towards leading California into a cleaner, affordable, and reliable energy future. As per Newsom, Reynolds played a significant role in navigating the bankruptcy of the state's largest investor-owned utility and has further helped the state meet clean energy goals.

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The 55-year old Democrat from Sacramento brings extensive experience to the table. Before becoming an energy advisor, she worked as Senior Advisor for Climate, the Environment, and Energy in Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.'s Office for two years.

Reynolds also served the California Environmental Protection Agency as the Deputy Secretary for Law Enforcement and General Counsel for six years. Moreover, She was Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General from 2002 to 2011. Reynolds has also worked with Sonnenschein Nath and Rosenthal LLP and Furth, Fahrner and Mason. She has a Juris Doctor degree from the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Reynolds will succeed Marybel Batjer, who has been serving as the President of the CPUC since 2019. She resigned from her position in October 2021, within a year into her six-year term. While she did not reveal the reason for her early departure, she promised to facilitate new leadership transition. Batjer was the first-ever Secretary of the California Government Operations Agency. The governor has also appointed her as chair of the new Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Reinvention Strike Team.

Governor Newsom thanked Batjer for her distinguished service and also appreciated her leadership traits. He further said that she has been crucial to improvements at the DMV, especially in helping protect victims and ratepayers and pushing utilities to embrace needed reforms.
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