Go West, Climate Scientist. California Eyes Frustrated Fed Workers

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By Louis C. LaBrecque

California is looking for a few good climate and energy scientists—like the ones working in federal agencies who may be worried about their job security under the new administration.

Michael Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission, plans to distribute fliers in front of the U.S. Department of Energy on March 15 and the federal Environmental Protection Agency on March 16 to raise awareness about job opportunities with the state. Picker plans to distribute the fliers outside the agencies’ headquarters in Washington, D.C., from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on those dates.

“On climate action, there’s a dark cloud hanging over Washington right now,” Picker said in a statement. “If climate scientists and experts want the opportunity to continue doing important work for the good of our planet, my message is simple: Come West, California is hiring.”

Antidote to `Gray Wave of Retirement.’

Picker told Bloomberg BNA March 14 that he’s in Washington for a meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

“This made sense given the amount of time that I had,” Picker said of his plans to distribute the fliers.

According to Picker, he consulted with other California agencies, and they were enthusiastic about being included in the pitch to federal climate and energy scientists.

“We’re all at this point where there’s a gray wave of retirement coming our way,” Picker said. The chance to start a new career with a state agency in California may have particular appeal for younger federal employees, he said.

The CPUC, the California Air Resources Board and the California Energy Commission are among the state agencies looking to hire dozens of scientists for work on climate change, renewable energy, air quality, and clean energy research and development, Picker said. State agencies with these missions want to make sure the next generation of scientists is in place at a time when many employees are nearing retirement age, he said.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) appointed Picker to the CPUC in January 2014 and made him the CPUC’s president in December 2014.

To contact the reporter on this story: Louis C. LaBrecque in Washington at llabrecque@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Christopher Opfer at copfer@bna.com

For More Information

More information about the California energy and climate jobs is available at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/picker/workforCA/.

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