SACRAMENTO /California Newswire/ — Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced the appointment of Michael Picker as senior advisor to the Governor for renewable energy facilities. “Michael’s knowledge and experience in environmental policy development and state and local government administration will be utilized to help California expedite the permitting of renewable energy facilities in the state,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “He shares my commitment to ensuring we invest in renewable energy projects, create jobs and build our state’s green economy- bringing us closer to meeting our goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.”
Picker has been a partner for Lincoln Crow Strategic Communications since 2001. He served as deputy treasurer for investment for the California State Treasurer’s Office in 1999 and chief of staff for then-Sacramento Mayor Joe Serna Jr. from 1991 to 1998. In the period between 1982 and 1991, Picker co-founded an environmental consulting business, the Toxics Assessment Group, and helped organize the Toxics Coordinating Project, a statewide nonprofit coalition of environmental, farm, labor and neighborhood groups that framed local and statewide policy on toxic hazards in California. From 1980 to 1982, he worked as a deputy assistant for toxic substances control under Governor Jerry Brown and helped establish new hazardous waste facility siting and management programs that are now part of the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
“I am honored and excited to take on this new position at such a critical time,” said Picker. “I look forward to working with Governor Schwarzenegger and his administration to ensure we expedite the permitting of renewable energy facilities and bring us closer to meeting California’s renewable energy goals.”
Picker, 57, of Sacramento, earned a Master of Arts degree in business administration from the University of California, Davis and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Immaculate Heart College. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $130,000. Picker is a Democrat.
Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed Executive Order S-21-09 directing the California Air Resources Board to adopt regulations increasing California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 33 percent by 2020. Furthering the state’s commitment to meet this goal, the Governor also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar earlier this month to expedite the siting of California renewable energy projects on federally owned lands within the state. This position was created to oversee the expedited permitting process of renewable energy facilities in California to help the state meet its aggressive environmental goals and help sheppard eligible projects to receive 30 percent federal tax credits under the federal Recovery Act.