Governor Jerry Brown has just appointed two radical environmental justice activists to the California Public Utilities Commission, replacing two commissioners whose terms expired January 1, 2017.
Awaiting Senate confirmation are Clifford Rechtschaffen and Martha Guzman Aceves — two Brown insiders with shady records and a history of Environmental Justice. They aren’t unknown; both Guzman Aceves and Rechtschaffen have been exposed prominently in articles on this news site, and several others (links below).
Don’t let the term “Environmental Justice” fool you. This “justice” is not about protecting poor and low income communities from excess pollutants or toxic materials; it is about environmental extremists’ scheme to spread wealth through government mandates. Remember President Obama’s EPA Region 6 Administrator Al Armendariz on video describing his enforcement of EPA regulations as “crucifying” oil companies?
Environmental Justice became official in 1994 via presidential fiat when then-President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order 12898 to “focus federal attention on the environmental and human health effects of federal actions on minority and low-income populations with the goal of achieving environmental protection for all communities.” The Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) claims to work “to protect human health and the environment in communities overburdened by environmental pollution by integrating environmental justice into all EPA programs, policies and activities” (emphasis mine).
Martha Guzman Aceves, who has worked for the governor in his office as Deputy Legislative Secretary, has upwards of 40 violations of the California Fair Political Practices Act. Guzman-Aceves has served as a public official in the Brown Administration “managing legislation and regulatory matters for the governor,” while her non-profit organization lobbied the legislature and governor’s office on various issues, including AB1081, federal immigration policy enforcement,” I reported in October 2013.
“California Deputy Legislative Secretary Martha Guzman-Aceves intentionally filed false documents with the Fair Political Practices Commission to conceal hundreds of thousands of dollars, filed false tax returns, failed to report receipt of payment from a political committee, and omitted third-party relationships that directly conflict with her position and duties as Deputy Legislative Secretary in the Office of Governor Jerry Brown,” the Hews Media Group reported in 2014.
Brown’s other PUC appointee awaiting Senate confirmation, Clifford Rechtschaffen, has worked as a senior advisor also in Brown’s office on environmental and agricultural issues. Prior to being appointed by Brown, he was a special assistant attorney general for then-Attorney General Jerry Brown, where he helped “coordinate the work of the office’s attorneys on global warming, including special projects and liaison with outside groups,” according to his bio.
Rechtschaffen has also advised the election campaigns of Governor Gray Davis in 1998 and Attorney General Bill Lockyer in 1998 and 2002 on environmental issues, and is called “an informal consultant” to the California Attorney General’s Office Task Force on Environmental Justice, according to his bio. Rechtschaffen was also known as the top enforcer of California’s toxics initiative, Proposition 65.
California’s PUC “has control over energy, rail safety and carriers, telecommunications, and water rates and operating conditions as permitted by state law,” according to the PUC website.
Both of Brown’s newest appointees currently work inside of the Governor’s office. The current PUC President Michael Picker, was also Senior Advisor for Renewable Energy in the Governor’s office, 2009 ‚Äì 2014. Each of the other PUC commissioners has been a Gov. appointee to some agency: Natural Resources, Dept. of Energy, Fair Political Practice Commission, etc…
What is interesting is Martha Guzman Aceves, one of the new appointees, has more than 40 FPPC violations, and one of the current PUC commissioners was the head of the FPPC 2003-2007.