Governor Newsom Appoints New President and New Commissioner of CPUC


By Riley Minkoff

On November 22, 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Marybel Batjer would be retiring effective December 31, 2021 and that he was appointing Senior Advisor to the Governor for Energy, Alice Reynolds, as the new President of the Commission. Batjer announced her resignation on September 28, 2021, even though her term as President was not set to expire until the end of 2026, and her resignation came only two years after Governor Newsom initially appointed her to the position on July 12, 2019. Governor Newsom explained his decision to appoint Alice Reynolds as the new President, stating that as his lead energy policy expert, Reynolds was indispensable in work to move California toward a better energy future and to navigate the bankruptcy of the state’s largest investor-owned utility (IOU), Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). He also stated that she helped accelerate the state’s progress toward meeting its clean energy goals. Prior to serving as the Governor’s Senior Advisor on Energy, she worked as General Counsel at the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2011 to 2017 and served as the Deputy Attorney General at the California Department of Justice from 2002–2011.

On December 23, 2021, Governor Newsom appointed John Reynolds as a new CPUC commissioner, after Commissioner Martha Guzman-Aceves’s term ended. The five CPUC Commissioners each hold office for staggered six-year terms. [26:1 CRLR 173] Commissioner John Reynolds will now serve as commissioner until 2028.

Commissioner Reynolds has worked as Managing Counsel at Cruise LLC since 2019 and held multiple positions in the CPUC before his appointment. Most notably, he was Interim Chief of Staff to Commissioner Genevieve Shiroma in 2018, Advisor to Commissioner Carla Peterman from 2015 to 2018, and CPUC Counsel from 2013 to 2015.

Both President Alice Reynolds and Commissioner John Reynolds will need to be confirmed by the California State Senate, which is set to occur at an unknown later date.


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