Taking advantage of new authority to shape the California Air Resources Board, the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday named lobbyist and former Democratic lawmaker Dean Florez to serve the powerful regulator.
The appointment grew out of a debate over the limits of the ARB’s power and the Legislature’s oversight of the climate enforcer. Last year, legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown abandoned a measure that would have halved California’s petroleum use, with the ARB managing the reduction.
Republicans and business-friendly Democrats balked, prodded by an oil industry campaign warning the law would vastly expand ARB’s powers and result in measures like gas rationing. Resistant legislators worried about ceding authority to an unelected board. Responding to that criticism, Brown signed legislation allowing the Senate and the Assembly to each appoint one ARB member. Read more