Gov. Gavin Newsom has appointed Liane Randolph to chair the Air Resources Board. Since 2015 Randoph has served on the Public Utilities Commission and before that held several positions across administrations, including deputy secretary for the Natural Resources Agency.
Randolph arrives at a key moment for CARB. The Biden administration is expected to approve waivers for the agency’s Advanced Clean Trucks rule and Newsom’s ban on combustion engines. CARB will also decide on more restrictions to ag burning in the San Joaquin Valley in February. The agency could spearhead a potential update to the cap-and-trade program over the coming months as well.
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Outgoing Chair Mary Nichols, who began her career as an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, led the board for 13 years before terming out this month. She has been at the top of Biden’s list to head U.S. EPA.
Newsom’s chief of staff, Ann O’Leary, is reported to be leaving the cabinet to also pursue a position in the Biden administration.