Commissioner Darcie L. Houck was appointed to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) by Governor Gavin Newsom on Feb. 9, 2021. She formerly served as Chief Counsel for the California Energy Commission since 2019.

Commissioner Houck was an Administrative Law Judge at the CPUC from 2016 to 2019, a Partner at Fredericks Peebles & Morgan from 2005 to 2016, and Staff Counsel and Policy Advisor at the California Energy Commission from 2000 to 2005.

Commissioner Houck has expertise in matters concerning environmental equity, nuclear energy regulation, and safety policy. She has an extensive background representing Native American tribes throughout the country on matters involving energy, natural resources, land claims, and water rights, among others.

Commissioner Houck is a member of the California Indian Law Association, California Lawyers Association, Schwartz-Levi Inn of Court, Women Lead and the Association of Women in Water, Energy, and Environment. She earned a law degree from the University of California, where she also earned a Master of Science in community development.

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Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group: Seeking New Members

The CPUC and the California Energy Commission are seeking applications from interested persons to fill open positions on the Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group (DACAG). The DACAG advises the CPUC and the CEC regarding the development, implementation, and impacts of clean energy and transportation programs in disadvantaged communities.

The DACAG is composed of 11 members from or representing disadvantaged communities throughout the state. Members reflect the diversity of California, including the rural and urban areas; culture, language and ethnicity; experiences; backgrounds and more. While members may be employed by or may represent particular organizations, as DACAG members they represent the communities they are a part of, rather than specific interests of their employer or organization. DACAG members are appointed for 2-year terms. Generally, in-person meetings happen at varying locations across the state quarterly teleconference meetings in the months between in-person meetings. More information about the DACAG such as the Charter, current members, past meeting material, and more can be found on the CPUC’s DACAG web page and the CEC’s DACAG webpage.

Please visit the DACAG page for more information. Any person interested in joining the DACAG must materials to DAC-AG@cpuc.ca.gov by May 15, 2022.

Order Instituting Rulemaking (OIR) to Consider Revisions to Tribal Land Transfer Policy (TLTP) Implementation Guidelines

On January 14, 2021, the CPUC approved Resolution E-5076 and the TLTP Implementation Guidelines. Resolution E-5076 ordered that within two years of its approval, the CPUC would consider opening a proceeding to consider revisions to the Implementation Guidelines. The TLTP was developed to provide an opportunity for Native American Tribes to regain lands within their ancestral territory that are currently owned by CPUC jurisdictional utilities. The TLTP establishes the CPUC’s preference for the transfer of real property to Tribes when investor-owned utilities (IOU) plan to dispose of real property within a Tribe’s ancestral territory. The OIR is intended to further efforts by the CPUC, in recognition of and respect for Tribal sovereignty, to prioritize the return of aboriginal lands to their rightful Tribal ownership.

The OIR will also consider the CPUC’s Tribal Consultation Policy and mechanisms to enhance participation by Tribes in the CPUC’s proceedings and programs. The CPUC will conduct outreach and consultation with California Tribes to seek input on the appropriate scope of the proceeding and provide information about the OIR, including how to participate in the proceeding.  

For more information, or to request a consultation with Commissioner Houck, please contact Commissioner Houck’s Chief of Staff, Pouneh Ghaffarian, at pouneh.ghaffarian@cpuc.ca.gov, Kathleen Yip, Advisor to Commissioner Houck, at Kathleen.yip@cpuc.ca.gov, and CPUC Tribal Advisor, Ken Holbrook, at Kenneth.holbrook@cpuc.ca.gov.

September 16, 2021 Tribal Consultation on DER Action Plan and High DER Rulemaking

California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Commissioner Darcie L. Houck invites tribal members to participate in a Tribal Consultation on the draft CPUC Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Action Plan 2.0 and “High DER” Rulemaking on September 16, 2021 from 9 am to 12 pm. The purpose of the consultation is to share information about the draft DER Action Plan 2.0 and High DER Rulemaking with tribes interested in engaging with these efforts, and to provide a dedicated forum for tribes to provide input on these efforts in addition to or without needing to become formal parties in CPUC proceedings.

Contact

California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

Request a meeting with Commissioner Houck

Request Commissioner Houck speak at or attend your event


Staff

Pouneh Ghaffarian
Chief of Staff and Legal Advisor  

Kathleen Yip

Energy Advisor

Candace Choe

Water, Telco, Safety, and Legal Policy Advisor 

Eileen Odell

Water and Communications Policy Advisor

Maryam Mozafari

Interim Energy Advisor

Adam Buchholz
Interim Energy Advisor

Anna-Marie Madrigal

Associate Governmental Program Analyst

Alina Bemis

Administrative Assistant

Commissioner Code of Conduct

We Want To Hear From You

The California Public Utilities Commission requests local government participation in the CPUC Broadband Survey for Local Governments!

This survey will help the CPUC assess each community's broadband assets, broadband needs, and interest in participating in state grant programs. In addition, it will help establish a point of contact for the CPUC to communicate directly with local governments that need assistance with meeting their broadband needs.

Survey Link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/X8WWRHX

Please provide responses by May 30th, 2022! While the survey will remain open, timely responses will ensure the CPUC is able to focus engagement and funding to meet the needs of your community.