California governor taps new top utilities regulator
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he is tapping Marybel Batjer to serve as the state’s top utilities regulator.
Batjer will serve as president of the California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees power companies and other services.
The commission is in the spotlight as the state’s largest electric utility, Pacific Gas & Electric, wades through the bankruptcy process. It faces billions of dollars in claims for damages from wildfires sparked by its equipment.
Utilities are also grappling with the risks of another wildfire season.
Batjer is a veteran of state government and is currently secretary of the California Government Operations Agency. She worked under governors Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger as well as former President George H.W. Bush. She also worked in public policy for the casino company Caesar’s Entertainment.