The Chief Counsel’s Office provides legal advice and counsel on a variety of matters, including power plant licensing, energy forecasting, energy efficiency and alternative and renewable energy programs, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and open meeting laws. The office manages Public Record Act requests. The office is organized into four units.

Siting Advocacy Unit

Attorneys advise the Energy Commission on compliance with environmental issues, including CEQA. They work with staff to enforce Energy Commission regulations and decisions. The attorneys also serve as staff-side legal representation in power plant licensing cases.

Transaction Unit

Attorneys support Energy Commission staff in soliciting, selecting, and managing contracts, grants, and loans in areas such as energy efficiency, alternative and renewable vehicle fuels and technology, and energy research and development.

House Counsel Unit

Attorneys advise commissioners and staff on a variety of matters including ethics, open meetings, state governance, rulemakings, and conflict of interest. They also work with staff to draft regulations that comply with the Administrative Procedure Act.

Hearing and Policy Office

Attorneys serve as hearing officers in administrative adjudication proceedings for power plant licensing and amendments to licenses. The hearing officers make evidentiary rulings and draft decisions.