Rebecca Lee is a senior analyst at California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). Rebecca currently manages legislative affairs for Office of Ratepayer Advocates within CPUC, where she analyzes electric, natural gas, and water legislation affecting customers of private utility companies. She is responsible for representing ORA’s policy positions before the State Legislature. Previously, Rebecca served as an analyst at Energy Division of CPUC, specializing in long-term procurement planning, advanced energy storage, greenhouse gas reduction strategies, and clean energy research and development. Rebecca is an elected Assembly District Delegate of the California Democratic Party, and serves on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee of the SFPUC.
How did you become involved in your current career?
I actually wanted to be in public transit development! But I just couldn’t turn down an offer to work on energy issues at the CPUC, and I eventually fell in love with the work. Energy is a weird and complicated animal; it is fascinating like a long saga story filled with interesting characters, tribal wars, and endless backstories.
What environmental issues are of most concern to you?
I am constantly exposed to climate change issues as a matter of profession, but in a way I think climate-related policies have become the new normal, at least in California. These days I find myself personally drawn toward issues like biodiversity and wildlife trafficking. Issues like ivory poaching, shark finning, and rhino horn trade just break my heart.
What do you think are some challenges and opportunities facing women in the environmental movement today?
Have you ever counted the number of female versus male speakers at a professional conference? Or counted how many women are in leadership positions at energy, water, transportation companies? I highly recommend it. The sheer percentage is a challenge. But we can make our own opportunities – trails don’t blaze themselves.
What are your suggestions on how WEN members can become more involved in your sector and the environmental movement?
Invest in your own expertise and spend time to cultivate a professional support network. If there is an environmental issue you are passionate about, own the issue by investing in your own expertise on the matter, and nobody can ever take that away from you.