Reform CA Calls for Resignation of PUC Panel: "Woke and Incompetent"

March 3, 2023

Many Californians have been shocked to see their utility bills double — or even triple — in 2023 compared to the same time last year - and now many are rightfully asking who is supposed to be overseeing the utility companies and their rates?

Under state law, utility company operations, profits, and rates are all regulated and approved by the five politician-appointed members of the California Public Utilities Commission.

A recent examination of the Commissioners’ qualifications, however, reveals that California politicians appointed five members who have absolutely no experience in utility management. 

That bombshell revelation is now prompting Reform California to call for the immediate resignation or removal of all five Commissioners.

That bombshell revelation is now prompting Reform California’s Carl DeMaio to demand the immediate resignation or removal of all five Commissioners so qualified replacements can be appointed to protect Californians against spiking utility rates.

“No wonder California’s utility rates are skyrocketing - all five of our supposed utility commissioners are completely incompetent,” DeMaio says.

DeMaio says having qualified state utility commissioners is crucial to protecting ratepayers from unfair gas and electric rates.

“California’s utility rates are not set by private utilities — they are set by the CPUC as appointees of state politicians,” said DeMaio. 

“We need all five Commissioners to have extensive financial and managerial experience in utility operations - and absolutely none of them do,” DeMaio notes. 

Here are the five appointees of the California Public Utilities Commission and their qualifications:

  • Karen Douglas: A former political staffer and environmental lawyer with no background in utilities;
  • John Reynolds: A former political staffer and environmental lawyer, who served in a variety of government staff positions but never once worked for a utility;
  • Darcie Houck: A former political staffer and lawyer with expertise in environmental equity and community development, but no utility experience;
  • Alice Reynolds: A former political staffer, environmental lawyer, and CalEPA Executive who worked for Governor Jerry Brown and has no utility experience;
  • Genevieve Shiroma: A politician and air quality engineer who only served as a Sacramento Municipal Utility District director because she ran for the position based on her environmental advocacy and not on her experience in the utility industry

“It is clear that these Commissioners are completely disinterested in keeping rates low for Californians and instead are advancing a costly environmental activism agenda,” DeMaio warns.

“The commission should be regulating utilities to cap profits and reduce costs — but as environmental activists all they are doing is imposing environmental regulations recklessly,” he continued.

According to a new study by the non-partisan Transparency Foundation, which analyzed the utility rate cases approved by the CPUC, Californians are paying 67.1% more for electricity and 30.1% more for natural gas than the national average in 2022 — and that was before additional recent price spikes. 

The report traced the reason for California’s higher utility rates to over $4.5 billion in “hidden state taxes” approved by these five incompetent commissioners to primarily fund government environmental programs that they support. The five commissioners also supported costly climate change regulations on the utilities.

Watch HERE or below. Carl DeMaio Breaks down this data in depth.

“Shame on the liberal media for not vetting these activists, who now have 6-year terms and are being paid over $220,000 a year to fail the taxpayer,” said DeMaio. 

DeMaio says there is a way to course-correct: the California Legislature may remove a commissioner by a two-thirds vote for ‘incompetence,’ provided by the California Constitution, Article 12, Section 1.

“Not only should we remove these reckless and incompetent commissioners, but we should pass a law which mandates that commissioners must have experience in utility management and rate payer advocacy going forward,” said DeMaio.

DeMaio and Reform California have launched a campaign to fight the recent utility rate increases — and stop state regulators from authorizing a new round of rate hikes. The campaign is mobilizing angry ratepayers and voters to demand immediate utility rate relief — and to defeat the politicians that are raising rates.

Join the Campaign: Block California Utility Rate Hikes!

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