Good morning, California. It’s Wednesday, September 29.
Another big appointment for Newsom
California’s top utility regulator is resigning from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration as the state struggles to rein in massive wildfires and ensure its electrical grid keeps power flowing to residents’ homes.
Marybel Batjer, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, announced Tuesday that she will leave her post at the end of December — a little more than two years after Newsom appointed her to the role and more than five years before her term ends. She is the latest top official to depart Newsom’s administration: Since August 2020, the governor has lost his director of public health, the head of the state prison system, the director of the state unemployment department, the leader of the state’s Department of General Services, his communications director (twice), his chief of staff and three top aides.
Batjer’s abrupt exit raises questions about how California plans to navigate its relationship with PG&E as the state grapples with what looks like another record-breaking fire season. A years-long ABC 10 investigation found Batjer played a key role in “the Newsom administration’s complex plan to help PG&E avoid the financial consequences of past and future wildfires.”…