LOS ANGELES — California Gov. Jerry Brown appointed two of his closest advisors on environmental issues to the California Public Utilities Commission, a state agency that regulates energy companies and the telecommunications industry.
Brown announced the appointments of Martha Guzman Aceves and Clifford Rechtschaffen Dec. 28. They replace Michael Florio and Catherine Sandoval, whose six-year terms expire on January 1.
The positions require Senate confirmation and pay $142,095 annually.
Brown pointed to Guzman Aceves' "experience, know-how and insight" and cited Rechtschaffen's experience as a lawyer, teacher and specialist in environmental and energy matters.
"Both have sound judgment and a commitment to protecting ratepayers and ensuring safe, reliable and climate-friendly energy in California," Brown said.
The appointments come as Brown has been trying to shore up environmental change efforts. He has spoken out against the climate change skepticism voiced by President-elect Donald Trump since the Nov. 8 election.
Guzman Aceves, 39, of Sacramento, a Democract, has been a deputy legislative affairs secretary in the Office of the Governor since 2011, focusing on natural resources, environmental protection, energy and food and agriculture.
Over the course of her career she has worked on labor and environmental issues in the state's farming industry. Prior positions include working as communities program director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation and legislative coordinator for United Farm Workers. In 2010 she co-founded Communities for a New California, a charitable organization promoting increased civic engagement of underrepresented communities. Guzman Aceves earned a Master of Science degree in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Davis.
Clifford Rechtschaffen, 59, of Oakland, a Democrat, has served as a senior advisor in the Office of the Governor since 2011, where he has worked on climate, energy and environmental issues. In 2011, he also served as acting director of the California Department of Conservation.
His prior experience includes working as special assistant attorney general in the California Department of Justice, Attorney General's Office from 2007 to 2010. Prior to that, he taught environmental law, directed the environmental law program and co-founded the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law.
He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia in 2005 and is the author of several books and numerous articles on environmental law and policy. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School.