Portrait of William J. Keese

Appointed by Governor Wilson as member and Chair
3/1997 to 1/2001
Reappointed by Governor Davis as member and Chair
2/2001 to 1/2006

William J. Keese served as Chairman of the California Energy Commission since March 1997, when he was initially appointed by Governor Pete Wilson. Chairman Keese retired from the Commission on April 30, 2005.

The five members of the Energy Commission are appointed by the Governor to staggered five-year terms and requires Senate confirmation. By law, the five members of the Energy Commission have professional training in specific areas - engineering or physical science, environmental protection, economics and law. One commissioner is appointed from the public-at-large. Chairman Keese filled the public-at-large position.

Chairman Keese served as the Presiding Member of the Budget and Management Committee and the Electricity and Natural Gas Committee.

A lawyer by profession, he brought to the Energy Commission 25 years of experience in the energy field. Chairman Keese earned his Juris Doctorate at Loyola University, Los Angeles, where he also studied engineering as an undergraduate.

Chairman Keese's initial energy activities included work on the legal framework for the development of geothermal resources in the Geysers area of California, and on collaborative agreements for the development of British North Sea petroleum reserves. He also did substantial work on California's initial Superfund Legislation. He returned to the energy field, representing California's Solar Energy Industry Association for 12 years while also representing California's dentists and other business interests.

Chairman Keese serveed as the Chairman of the Western Interstate Energy Board (WIEB) and is the Immediate Past Chairman of the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO).

Chairman Keese is a member of the American, California and Sacramento Bar Associations.