Friday, June 24, 2005

Little Hoover opposes Energy Overhaul

The Governor's plan to consolidate the numerous energy agencies in the State was dealt a setback by the Little Hoover commission:

Members of the Little Hoover Commission voted 7-1 against a Schwarzenegger plan to create a Department of Energy and transfer some duties between the state's two major energy commissions.

The vote may play a crucial role in swaying the Legislature, which has the power to kill the reorganization. Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata, D- Oakland, has already indicated he does not support the governor's proposal.

Members of the Little Hoover Commission voiced concerns that one part of the plan to shift some responsibilities to the state Energy Commission from the Public Utilities Commission was illegal.

They also said another facet of the proposal gave too much power to a new secretary of energy position.

Schwarzenegger's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said that the Little Hoover Commission had raised "an important technicality'' and that the governor will continue efforts to "streamline the state's convoluted energy regulatory system.''