A Day (Two Actually) at the California PUC
Michael Picker was named President of the California Public Utilities Commission on December 23, 2014, by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., who first appointed President Picker as a Commissioner on January 29, 2014. Prior to his appointment, President Picker was Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Office of the Governor from 2009 to 2014.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What is it like to be president of the California PUC, with all its complex issues and its influence around the country?
Michael Picker: It is possible that we're just moving forward a little earlier than the rest of the U.S., on much larger trends.
PUF: That's fair. But the commission has a large and very well-informed staff. You have a lot of interested parties here, whether it's the national labs, universities, Silicon Valley. I would give a lot of credit to that as well, I think.
Michael Picker: If that's true, I wonder why we don't have more parties and interveners in our proceedings who'll speak up for safety.
PUF: That's a good question. Obviously, the commission has made that a big priority.
Michael Picker: There's precisely one party that really specializes in safety and they mostly focus on fire issues. There are some parties who raise safety as part of a larger range of concerns. But most of our proceedings where safely is a factor tend to be shaped by ratepayer advocates.
PUF: Was there was a good safety ethic in the industry at one time, in the regulated community, that fell off a bit?