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Villapudua Prioritizes Regional Diversity to Meet California’s Energy Needs

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton) has introduced legislation to advance a more regionally diverse approach to the operations of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

“Expanding the diversity of thought and experience within CPUC would greatly benefit the lives of all Californians who are impacted by the decisions they make every day,” said Assemblymember Villapudua. “By ensuring the Commission has representation from all regions of California, we can further guarantee appropriate and sustainable investments for our energy infrastructure that meets the needs of every community across our state.”

While CPUC makes decisions that affect all Californians, 68% of commissioners appointed since 2005 come from San Francisco, East Bay, North Bay, or the Silicon Valley. During this same time span, not a single person has been appointed from the Central Valley, a rural town, or a low-income or disadvantaged community. This provides a sharp disconnect with the state’s expressed desire to prioritize and invest in the Central Valley and rural California, and turns a blind eye to the vast differences in the energy needs between our coastal, rural, urban and suburban communities of California. 

Unlike most other state boards and agencies, there are currently no requirements to appoint commissioners from diverse backgrounds to CPUC. Assembly Bill 1471 simply recommends that Southern California, Northern California, and the Central Valley be represented by at least one commissioner who resides from the area. As well, CPUC’s headquarters have been located in San Francisco for over 100 years. By moving them to the northern end of the Central Valley, we have the opportunity to create thousands of jobs that are both situated closer to the State Legislature, and embedded in an extraordinarily diverse and agriculturally rich community of our region.

“Just as San Joaquin County is ecologically different than San Francisco, so are our energy needs. Given the decisions of CPUC affect every corner of the state, those making the decisions should be representative of the state as a whole,” said Assemblymember Villapudua.

You can learn more about AB 1471 here.