The five-member California Energy Commission, which has already been operating with one vacancy throughout 2011, could be down to a bare quorum after its vice chair retires at the end of the year. With one member consistently recusing herself from decision making--that could lead to a commission without the ability to vote. \u201cAt this point, we\u2019re conducting business,\u201d said CEC spokesperson Adam Gottlieb, explaining that it hasn\u2019t created any significant problems. \u201cWe have four commissioners and they are dealing with the day-to-day business.\u201d Another Energy Commission spokesperson, Rob Schlichting, said that if commissioner Jim Boyd retires--as he has said he will do at the end of the year--and there are just three commissioners left, it could cause some strain. The newest member of the three-person panel at the end of the year would be Carla Peterman. The other two remaining members would be Karen Douglas and Bob Weisenmiller, who chairs the commission. If there are just three members come January, all three would need to vote for an item for it to pass. Since taking her seat on the board, Peterman has had to recuse herself from over half a dozen votes on agenda items, mostly related to the University of California at Berkeley, where she is studying toward a doctorate in Energy and Resources. She was employed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory until August 2010. The current vacancy on the commission was created when Anthony Eggert, who was reappointed to the commission in May by Gov. Jerry Brown, failed to receive confirmation by the state Senate earlier this year. He first was appointed by Brown\u2019s predecessor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, in January but had his nomination temporarily withdrawn. \u201cEggert had 365 days to serve without being confirmed by the Senate. Our office pulled the appointment in January, nine days before the 365 day clock expired, and hoped to un-pause the clock and have the confirmation taken up in May,\u201d Evan Westrup, a spokesperson for Gov. Brown\u2019s office, explained. \u201cShortly after the appointment was announced in May, it became clear Eggert\u2019s confirmation would not be taken up promptly by the Senate in the nine days that remained on the clock and the seat remains vacant.\u201d Weisenmiller was appointed by Schwarzenegger at the same time as Eggert and also had his nomination pulled at the same time. But unlike Eggert, Weisenmiller\u2019s reappointment was unanimously confirmed by the Senate Jan. 25. He was appointed the commission\u2019s chair the following month. Westrup said that Eggert\u2019s nomination is \u201cno longer active,\u201d and declined to speculate on why the confirmation wasn\u2019t taken up by the Senate. Regarding whether or not the governor\u2019s office has identified any other candidates to fill the position and how long it might take to fill the spot, Westrup would only say that there are a number of vacancies across the state government that the governor\u2019s office is moving to fill. \u201cOur timing is dependent on identifying, screening and selecting the best possible candidate,\u201d he said. Sitting on the commission is a full-time job, with attending business meetings just part of the duties that it entails. Other responsibilities include leading workshops, attending seminars and visiting power plant projects. Four of the five members by law are required to have professional training in specific areas--engineering or physical science, economics, environmental protection, and law. The currently open job is the environmentalist position. Gottlieb said that the CEC doesn\u2019t have a hand in the commissioner replacement process and that such appointments are overseen and fully controlled by the governor\u2019s office. \u201cI can assure you the governor\u2019s appointment unit is aware of the openings, including ours,\u201d he said. Westrup of the governor\u2019s office would not say if the process of finding a replacement for Boyd is underway. \u201cAll appointments are announced when they are made,\u201d he said.