The state Senate Rules Committee Aug. 14 unanimously confirmed two appointees to the California Energy Commission\u2014Karen Douglas and David Hochschild. \tOn a 5-0 bipartisan vote, the panel approved Gov. Jerry Brown\u2019s appointees. \tDouglas, first appointed to the Energy Commission in 2008 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is to serve another five-year term. Hochschild is new to the commission, appointed by Brown earlier this year. Both appointments are subject to confirmation by the full Senate. \tEnergy industry, environmental, and local government organizations voiced strong support for the pair. They included the Independent Energy Producers Association, California Municipal Utilities Association, Western Power Trading Forum, American Lung Association, Center for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Technologies, Natural Resources Defense Council, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee. \tDouglas, an attorney who has filled the legal position on the five-member Energy Commission, pledged to continue to improve processes at the agency and to enhance public participation. Among new procedures established under her tenure, she noted, is formation of an internal audit unit to examine how agency grant recipients use money. \tShe said the agency initially formed the audit unit after it took charge of disbursing federal money for energy efficiency projects under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. Now, the unit is continuing to audit grantees who receive state funds from the Energy Commission. \tHochschild\u2014who won strong accolades from solar organizations\u2014pledged to be fair in carrying out his responsibilities over power plant permitting. He told the panel that he personally believes there should be a demonstrated need for future fossil fuel projects before they are permitted. \tHochschild also pledged to be \u201cpragmatic\u201d in enforcing the renewables portfolio standard requirement for the state\u2019s 45 municipal utilities. He pointed out that he already has met with some 20 munis since being appointed in February. He is filling the environmental post on the Energy Commission. \tBoth agreed to carefully balance the need for replacement power for the permanently closed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station with environmental goals, like phasing out old coastal power plants in Southern California that use once-through seawater cooling systems. \tHochschild noted there will be no \u201csilver bullet\u201d when it comes to replacing the nuclear plant, but instead \u201csilver buckshot\u201d consisting of \u201cmany solutions.\u201d The pair noted that energy efficiency, demand response programs, and new power plants, both renewable and fossil-fueled, are likely to play a role in making up for the lost generating capacity at San Onofre. \tThe nominations now go to the full Senate for approval.