The Senate Rules Committee Jan. 11 voted 5-0 to recommend that the full Senate confirm Carla Peterman to a five-year term on the California Energy Commission. \u201cIt doesn\u2019t get better than that,\u201d said Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) and committee chair after the unanimous vote. During a packed, hour-long hearing, senators from both sides of the aisle praised Peterman\u2019s background and accessibility. They steered clear of thorny issues. Peterman stressed that she was focused on controlling consumer costs arising from the state\u2019s higher renewable energy mandate--both in her opening statement and in response to lawmakers\u2019 queries. \u201cMy focus is on getting the maximum value for ratepayers,\u201d she told the committee. She added the commission\u2019s next update of its Integrated Policy Energy Report would evaluate the costs and benefits of a higher alternative energy standard. The stickiest issue was the Energy Commission\u2019s authority to decide whether bio-methane from landfills qualifies as a renewable resource under the state\u2019s 33 percent renewables mandate. Steinberg decided against getting into technical details and instead asked Peterman to state for the record that her agency would defer to the Legislature on policy issues. She reassured lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that any decision on renewable categorization of bio-methane would be decided after weighing input from all stakeholders. The commissioner also stressed her support for greater energy efficiency, an improved grid to accommodate higher flows of intermittent wind and solar power, and green job training, particularly for youth--a pet project of Steinberg\u2019s. Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) asked Peterman what she considered to be the next energy revolution. The commissioner said that it is a low-carbon economy, which would enable the state to achieve its ambitious climate protection goals of an 80 percent cut in the state\u2019s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, under AB 32. A long line of lobbyists--from renewable to consumer advocates--backed Peterman\u2019s confirmation. She faced no opposition. Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Peterman to the Energy Commission on Jan. 20, 2011. For her to remain in the post, she must be confirmed by the Senate within a year of appointment. Next week, California Public Utilities Commission members Mike Florio and Catherine Sandoval have confirmation hearings before the Senate Rules Committee.