Clifford Rechtschaffen was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission by Governor Jerry Brown in January 2017. At the CPUC his key areas of interest include decarbonization, safety, environmental justice, enforcement, and improving the accessibility of Commission proceedings. Commissioner Rechtschaffen is the assigned Commissioner on the integrated resource planning, transportation electrification, building electrification, Renewables Portfolio Standard, biomethane and renewable gas, supplier diversity, and several risk assessment and safety proceedings. He also co-leads several internal agency initiatives, including implementation of the Commission's Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan, implementation of the Commission’s enforcement policy, and efforts to make CPUC proceedings more streamlined and accessible to the public. Commissioner Rechtschaffen is a member of the Joint Federal-State Task Force on Electric Transmission, serves as one of two Commissioners on the Senate Bill 350 Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group, is a member of the Western Energy Imbalance Market Body of State Regulators, and is on advisory board of the California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative and the Financial Research Institute.

Prior to joining the CPUC, Commissioner Rechtschaffen served as a senior advisor to Governor Brown from 2011 to 2017, where he worked on climate, energy, and environmental issues. In 2011 he also served as acting director of the California Department of Conservation. Commissioner Rechtschaffen served as a special assistant attorney general in the California Attorney General's Office from 2007 to 2010. From 1993 to 2007, he taught environmental law, directed the environmental law program, and co-founded the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic at Golden Gate University School of Law. In 2005, he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on environmental law and policy. He was a deputy attorney general in the Environment Section of the California Attorney General's Office from 1986 to 1993, a Reginald Heber Smith Community Lawyer Fellow at the Marin County Legal Aid Foundation from 1985 to 1986, and a law clerk for the Honorable Thelton Henderson, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, from 1984 to 1985. He is a graduate of Yale Law School and Princeton University. He lives in Oakland and is a diehard Golden State Warriors fan.

Diversity Statement: The California Public Utilities Commission embraces diversity and inclusiveness as core values.  Practicing inclusion involves supporting and respecting people of all backgrounds, especially those that have historically been marginalized.

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June 12, 2022 World Biogas Summit: Methane Action Plans (YouTube video)

June 29, 2022: VX News chats with Commissioner Rechtschaffen on Preparing For A New Energy Reality In California

June 20, 2022: Grid Forward Chats podcast featuring Commissioner Rechtschaffen and CEC Commissioner Gunda discussing preparing the grid for transportation electrification and dealing with other challenges that the grid is facing: climate change, rapid decarbonization, changing energy sources, and reckoning with equity and social justice.

May 2, 2022 Op-Ed: New CPUC Rules Increase Transparency

Apr. 7, 2022 Press Release: CPUC Provides Additional Incentives and Framework for Electric Heat Pump Water Heater Program

Apr. 7, 2022 Press Release: CPUC Expands Supplier Diversity Program To Encourage Diversity and Inclusion Within Utility Industry

Feb. 18, 2022 Op-Ed: Revisiting California's natural gas hookup subsidies

Dec. 14, 2021: Advancing Environmental Justice at the California Public Utilities Commission

Apr. 14, 2021 Op-Ed with Commissioner Patty Monahan: Battery-powered vehicles can clean California’s air and help cut electricity rates

Jul. 24, 2020 Op-Ed: California Public Utilities Commission finds new ways to make utility services affordable

Jun. 6, 2020 Op-Ed: California increases effort to equip vulnerable citizens with battery storage systems for use during power outages, wildfires

Dec. 2, 2019: Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: California Public Utilities Commission Takes Actions to Electrify Transportation

Sept. 25, 2019 Op-Ed: Recent Changes to California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program, Explained

Sept. 19, 2019: Keynote address at AEE Conference: Safety, Security and Sustainability

September 2019 Newsletter Article: Reducing Methane Emissions from California’s Natural Gas System: An Important Step Forward

September 2019 Newsletter Article: Examining the Impacts of CPUC Decisions on Utility Bills

Sept. 12, 2019: Redefining utility affordability: CPUC pursues broad approach to guide decisions

Aug. 29, 2019: Commissioner Blog: Reducing Methane Emissions from California’s Natural Gas System - An Important Step Forward

Aug. 16, 2019: West Coast Utility Commissions Discuss Changing Wildfire Risk and Mitigation Efforts

June 13, 2019: CPUCs Transition to a Resilience Agency - Commissioner Cliff Rechtschaffen

Proposed Decision Modifying Biomethane Injection Standards pursuant to Senate Bill 840

Letter sent by CPUC and CEC responding to Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's Call for Information about Offshore Wind Power Development off the California Coast

Jan. 29, 2019 Op-Ed: Creating a New Risk Evaluation Paradigm in the Face of California's Wildfires

Dec. 17, 2018: Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: Improving the Safety of California's Energy System - An Important Step Forward

Nov. 2 Webinar - Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan

Oct. 11, 2018: Concurrence of Commissioner Clifford Rechtschaffen on D. 18-10-019, Decision Modifying the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment Methodology

Oct. 15, 2018: Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: CPUC Acts to Cut Methane Pollution

Oct. 3, 2018: Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: Increasing Engagement with the Low Income Oversight Board

Sept. 24, 2018: Opportunity To Join The Low-Income Oversight Board

August 2018: Seeking New Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group Member

Aug. 2018 Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Newsletter Q&A: Q&A: Safety is a Top Concern Throughout the CPUC

July 26, 2018 Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: CPUC Tells FERC Climate Change Must be Considered in Infrastructure Projects

June 29, 2018 Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: Ancestral Land Could Soon Be Returned to Maidu in Long-Anticipated Conservation Recommendation

June 21, 2018 Commissioner Rechtschaffen's Blog: CPUC Adopts Citation Program to Enforce Compliance by Telecommunications Carriers

Sept. 16, 2017: CPUC Commissioners Guzman Aceves and Rechtschaffen Confirmed by State Senate

Dec. 28, 2016: Governor’s Press Release Announcing Appointment


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505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

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