California’s green Energy Commission

Gov. Jerry Brown continues to pack the California Energy Commission with appointees with deep backgrounds in renewable energy on both the state and federal level.

Brown filled two empty seats on the commission today, naming David Russell Hochschild and Janea Ashanti Scott to the board, which is responsible for establishing and implementing the state’s energy policy. It also has final approval on most large power plants in the state — anything more than 50 megawatts, renewable energy or fossil fuel.

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Seen here in a 2007 picture, Hochschild’s most recent gig was as vice president of external relations at Solaria Corporation, a solar panel manufacturer in Fremont.  Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, when he was mayor of San Francisco, appointed Hochschild to the city’s Public Utilities Commission, where he served from 2007 to 2008. He was also  executive director at PV Now, a coalition of solar companies; and co-founder and director of policy at the Vote Solar Initiative, a grass-roots solar advocacy group.

He was a special assistant to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown from 1999 to 2001 and program director at The President’s Award, Port Alfred, South Africa from 1996 to 1997.He has a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard.

Meanwhile, Scott has most recently been living back east, in Arlington, Va., since 2009, while working as deputy counselor for renewable energy and special assistant to the counselor at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In that post, she was a speaker at last October’s Southern California Energy Summit in Palm Springs.

Before working at the DOI, she spent almost a decade at the Environmental Defense Fund, as a staff and then senior attorney. During a stint with AmeriCorps, from 1996 to 1997, she worked on the San Francisco Urban Service Project.She has a law degree from the University of Colorado and a master of science degree in earth systems from Stanford.

Both Hochschild and Scott are Democrats and, if confirmed by the state Senate, will earn $128,109 per year.

Hochschild and Scott will be joining current commissioners, and Brown appointees, Andrew McAllister, Karen Douglas and chair Robert B. Weisenmiller.

The Energy Commission has a meeting on Wednesday this week, with a mixed agenda reflecting the extent of the issues it decides, from energy efficiency regulations to whether to allow changes to BrightSource Energy’s Ivanpah solar project, now under construction in San Bernardino County.