As the Department of Energy weighs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission\u2019s request to its sister agency to hand over its transmission corridor authority, states are claiming their control is at risk. California, though, doesn\u2019t appear too threatened by the move. \u201cIt is a potential political controversy,\u201d Laura Azar, DOE senior consultant to the secretary, told Current Sept. 8. FERC\u2019s request to its sister agency at the end of last month riled up several state regulatory agencies. They assert that delegating the transmission corridor authority infringes on state sovereignty. On the flip side, transferring authority could consolidate the siting of new transmission projects. It also could help renewable energy rich states export their electricity, said Azar. Many state governors and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners oppose FERC\u2019s move. \u201cTo the extent that this proposal is motivated by a desire to reduce barriers to transmission, it fails,\u201d Chuck Gray, NARUC executive director, stated Sept. 8. Some environmental groups support FERC\u2019s request. It could speed up renewables transmission siting without cutting corners on the National Environmental Policy Act, said Carl Zichella, Natural Resources Defense Council director of Western transmission. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 requires DOE to publish an electric transmission congestion study every three years. Studies were issued in 2006 and a second in 2009, and a third study is due in 2012. According to Azar, DOE is leaning towards handing over to FERC its triennial congestion study duties. DOE designated two National Interest Electric Transmission Corridors in 2007. They were invalidated by a federal appeals court earlier this year. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on a 2-1 vote Feb.1 held that DOE failed to properly consult with California and other affected states. It ordered the agency to redo its congestion study for areas potentially impacted. The court also ruled that the corridor designations must be accompanied by at least an environmental assessment. Pacific Gas & Electric and other state utilities are staying out of the fray for the most part.