California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey will bring his tumultuous 12-year tenure to a close today at the commission’s final voting meeting of the year, starting at 9:30 a.m. in San Francisco. He is expected to deliver closing remarks reflecting on his two terms as head of the board that regulates California’s massive energy and telecommunications industries.
Peevey announced his exit in October, saying he would not seek reappointment when his current term as president expires at the end of the year. The news came amid revelations of back-channel communications with the companies he oversaw, including the release of a 2010 e-mail that said Peevey told a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executive that he expected the utility to spend at least $1 million against a proposition seeking to roll back California’s landmark law to reduce greenhouse gases.
Critics had previously called for Peevey’s resignation after a 2010 gas line explosion in San Bruno that killed eight people. But he always found a strong defender in Gov. Jerry Brown, who told the San Jose Mercury News in August that Peevey was “a very effective leader” who “tries to do the right thing.”
Though he’s departing amid controversy, Peevey leaves behind a more positive legacy on green energy, pushing utilities to rely on wind and solar power as California aims to get a third of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
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Call The Bee’s Alexei Koseff, (916) 321-5236. Follow him on Twitter @akoseff. Laurel Rosenhall of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.