Picker Moves from Gov.’s Office to Commission

By Published On: January 30, 2014

Gov. Jerry Brown picked his senior advisor on renewables to fill the California Public Utilities Commission seat vacated by Mark Ferron Jan. 29. He is set to finish Ferron’s six-year CPUC term, expiring at the end of 2014. If he serves beyond then, the state Senate must confirm him. Commission president Mike Peevey stated that Picker “is no stranger to the workings of government and is a top energy policy expert.” Picker’s first regulatory meeting is to be Feb. 6. He became Brown’s renewables czar in 2009. He was elected to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District in 2012 and is to step down from the muni board as well as resigning his gubernatorial post. Picker supports having alternative resources fuel the lion’s share of electricity in the state by 2050. Although he supports an 80 percent renewables mandate by mid-century, he is agnostic on the means, pointing to complexities with implementation of the state’s 33 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard. He touted the levels of alternative resources in California utility portfolios in a speech last year to the Power Association of Northern California. “We are now liberated from: ‘We can’t build anything here’,” he said, referring to the perception that it is difficult to build projects in California. Before being appointed by the governor as the administration’s top renewables advisor, he ran a public relations firm. Earlier, Picker was former Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna’s chief of staff and a deputy director at the State Treasurer’s Office.

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