Legislators call for overhaul of Calif.’s utility regulator

By Melanie Mason and Jeff McDonald, Los Angeles Times

State legislators are calling for a major overhaul of California’s utilities regulator by striking it from the state Constitution and reassigning its sprawling portfolio in the wake of a series of controversies, including the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon.

Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, said his measure would decentralize the California Public Utilities Commission’s oversight of myriad utilities, including electricity, railroad safety and ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft.

“After hearing about how the clear warnings of the impending Aliso Canyon gas leak were lost in the shuffle, I concluded that we need to rethink the way we regulate utilities in the state,” Gatto said at a news conference Wednesday in Sacramento. “It’s the opposite of too big to fail. Our concern is that the CPUC is too big to succeed.”

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