The California Energy Commission this week approved a $1.5 million contract with Southern California Edison to develop a model to help the public participate in choosing routes for transmission lines. The model, known as the Planning Alternative Corridors for Transmission framework, will give stakeholders feedback on the trade-offs and environmental impacts of various transmission routes. ?Transmission is the single most contentious infrastructure,? said John Geesman, CEC commissioner. ?This is an important threshold.? Geesman said the framework will help the CEC better involve the public if it takes over transmission licensing from the California Public Utilities Commission under the governor?s energy agency reorganization plan. Concern that the shift might diminish public participation is a key hurdle for the plan in the Legislature (<i>Circuit<\/i>, May 27, 2005). The framework will be adapted from a model the utility built for its own use in analyzing transmission facilities, said Mary Deming, Edison project manager. In other action, the CEC approved $200,000 for the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to develop seasonal hydropower forecast models for both California and the Pacific Northwest.