The California Energy Commission's latest recommendation for expediting permits for new transmission facilities appeared all but dead on arrival at the California Public Utilities Commission this week. "That recommendation is na\u00efve," said CPUC member Dian Grueneich at a joint meeting of the two commissions on the state's Energy Action Plan in San Francisco December 11. She made the sharp remark immediately after the CEC presented its advice on how to spur new transmission facilities to link renewable energy facilities. Grueneich is the CPUC's lead member on transmission issues. The suggestions are outlined in the Energy Commission's Draft 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report Update. In it, the agency recommends that the CPUC undertake a series of steps to streamline the transmission siting process. They include expediting processing of applications, compelling Southern California Edison to build a transmission line from the Tehachapi wind development area by 2010 or turn over the opportunity to another company, and supporting the California Independent System Operator's bid to establish a new federal tariff category for transmission serving renewable energy facilities (Circuit, Nov. 27, 2006). The Energy Commission has been trying to wrest transmission siting authority from the CPUC for several years. Grueneich said it was na\u00efve to think the CPUC could license new transmission lines faster because the federal National Environmental Policy Act - not the commission's process - is the lagging factor in moving new projects forward. She added that Edison is expected to seek a permit next summer to build a new transmission line from the Tehachapis into its service territory after exhaustive meetings with the commission and other parties. Bringing in a new developer would delay construction of any new line by at least a year, she said. Adding another nuance to the transmission siting process, Yakout Mansour, California Independent System Operator chief executive officer, said the grid operator and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission "are close" to finalizing a new tariff category for renewable energy transmission that will help ease existing financing constraints. - W.J. K.