As the congressional conference committee weighed provisions in the federal energy bill this week, Governor Gray Davis attempted to veer the bill toward his view of energy harmony?a vision that doesn?t include the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission?s standard market design, also known as wholesale power market platform. FERC should demonstrate ?it has learned the lessons from the western energy crisis before Congress allows it to embark on another risky market design,? said Davis in a September 22 letter to the conference committee. In earlier versions of the bill, Congress had denied FERC ongoing authority for creating a national free-market plan for wholesale energy. However, the most recent version of the bill is silent on the matter, and the governor fears it might reemerge with lawmakers? blessing. Another issue that concerns Davis is the Bush administration?s ?last resort? plan to allow the federal government authority to site new transmission lines if state and local governments turn them down. ?The expansion of federal authority? to transmission siting is ?unnecessary and unjustified.? The governor would rather see a focus on ?tangible incentives? for new transmission instead of state overrides. Meanwhile, the California Energy Commission is angling for transmission siting authority itself. On the other side of standardization, this week 20 Congress members signed a letter to the conference committee stating that FERC?s national plan for open markets is ?logical and necessary? and that delay will ?further injure much-needed investment in generation.? The letter was signed by Senators Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland), and Edward Kennedy (D-Massachusetts), among others.