Dr. Snarky Sparks is checking blood pressure at the capitol. The latest numbers indicating those still standing on the new governor\u2019s California Public Utilities Commission appointment treadmill are consumer advocate Mike Florio, termed-out former senator Dean Florez, former California Energy Commission member John Geesman, and Santa Clara University law school professor Catherine Sandoval. Sandoval is said to be the only one with an optimal telecommunications blood pressure of 120\/80, fit for a California Public Utilities Commission seat. Florio\u2019s pressure appears a bit higher, but then again, his flushed appearance jibes with the administration\u2019s consumer energy work out. Two well known utility union reps, Art Carter and Jack McNally, may also be wrapped with the CPUC pressure cuff. Nancy Ryan is no longer a contestant, but apparently she's good to last. She had to be confirmed in her CPUC post by Jan. 20. Commission president Mike Peevey\u2019s former chief of staff was unable to get the requisite confirmation hearing, giving three CPUC appointments to Governor Jerry Brown. Ryan's still got a "seat" at the commission, although not on the dais. On Jan 21, Gov. Brown appointed her deputy director. Florio, former blues club owner, is a senior attorney with The Utility Reform Network. For decades, the nerdy consumer advocate with his share of gray cells wheeled around fat briefcases in and out of energy market meetings\u2014open and closed\u2014gracing the CPUC as an outsider, the grid operator on its board, and the Capitol as a lobbyist. In spite of Dr. Snarky\u2019s repeated efforts, he only let out a muted \u201cahh\u201d when asked about his appointment prospects. He noted that still \u201cNo word from Sac on when announcements will come.\u201d Dr. Snarky prescribed some deep breathing to alleviate his recent stress- induced spike in blood pressure. The others on the CPUC rumor list refused to hold their biceps still altogether for the pressure drop. Florez and Geesman, whose names appeared in reports talking up a possible seat on the CPUC, did not respond to Dr. Snarky\u2019s check up notices and calls. Neither one\u2019s political neutrality is a safe bet in the eyes of one major utility\u2014whose parent corporation spent a record $44.79 million in lobbying last year, according to opensecrets.org. Florez publicly criticized PG&E in and out of public hearings in response to constituents\u2019 claims of rising and inaccurate utility bills post the installation of PG&E smart meters in his Central Valley region. John Geesman, a former investment banker and TURN board member, also is a frequent PG&E critic, blogging heavily against PG&E-sponsored Proposition 16. Sandoval, a Latina, is a new face on the scene, and one that may be promoted by high tech interests in Silicon Valley, home of Santa Clara University. She did not respond to Dr. Snarky\u2019s probes about a possible appointment. PG&E might have a friend in the possible union candidates. McNally represented 19,000 PG&E unionized employees. Carter was the legislative director for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. CPUC president Mike Peevey, who is serving his second term, is not expected to lose his post, given his allegiance to the Democratic Party. Dr. Snarky\u2019s scans have yet to reveal California Energy Commission candidates. As the end of 2010 witnessed the Air Board slack off on its washboard cap-and-trade abs workout, that doesn\u2019t mean that cap-and-fish is still on its aquarium diet. Swallowing Dr. Bill Pill\u2019s ocean placebo, the Santa Cruz fishing industry is set to trade excess fish for fish credits. For Californians who mourn the demise of the Pacific\u2019s fishing industry with tartar sauce or a nice butter\/wine reduction, the cap-and-fish market may work even better for the industry than the cap-and-trade proposal for greenhouse gases. A catch over regulatory quota can be kept by the fisher if s\/he buys credits. Otherwise, the excess fish (usually dead) have to be thrown back. Alas, like the Air Board\u2019s cap-and-trade, there\u2019s a bit of an enforcement problem. There\u2019s expected to be observers on every boat to make sure there\u2019s no cheating. That\u2019s a lot of boats and they are far, far, off grid (see JUICE page 3). In the pediatrics\u2019 tiny waiting room, there are a few copies of rumpled Dr. Seuss books. Overheard was something about the kids hearing a \u201cHoo in Hotville.\u201d Curious, the Dr. tracked it down to find that it\u2019s Holtville, not Hotville, where Sunvalley Solar is set to install over 50 MW of photovoltaics going to the Imperial Irrigation District. At the other end of the generation spectrum, Gray Panthers in Marin held a \u201csmart\u201d meter anti love-in. On Jan 15, some panthers showed others how to prowl around and pounce on PG&E \u201csmart\u201d meter installers. One of the activists, Katharina Sandizell-Smith strutted her stuff after being arrested at the end of the year for blocking a PG&E meter delivery truck. She was handcuffed and cited for impeding traffic and released.