In the final issue of this year, Circuit's elves look ahead to 2007. Next year promises to be an action-packed energy year for the diminutive crew. We've given Santa's sleigh a lube job and are expanding our workshop to better handle the complexity of new laws, including the one seeking to slash greenhouse gases and protect our home and workplace. We're also bolstering our own roof to make way for more solar, as well as plowing ground for transmission for renewables, and more. So, to the big boss, from us wee workers, here's our wish list for success in tracking who's naughty or nice. Dear Mr. Energy Claus, To ensure that you remain generous, effective, and jolly, and to keep you from getting burned by futile, frustrating trips down the chimney, your elves suggest the following: California Public Utilities Commission: See if you can tie up a deal so commissioner Geoffrey Brown is replaced by our own Arthur O'Donnell. Arthur knows energy like Rudolph knows a GPS system. He's incredibly smart and incorruptible and has a warm heart. We urge you too to encourage commissioner Dian Grueneich to weigh in on decisions on which she is supremely capable - those involving the billions of dollars of utilities' nuclear investments. We recommend that you fill commissioner John Bohn's stockings with goodies for his close watch of the state's energy finances. And please, please, please require the commissioners to make the utilities stick to the game plan and shine sunlight on their power deals, be they for renewable or peaker juice. That way, we elves way up north and others closer at hand can see what is being wrapped up. California Energy Commission: With all its great resources invested in the 2007 Integrated Energy Policy Report, put under its tree an effective lobbyist and more outspoken friends in the Capitol to draw attention to that thoughtful report. Meanwhile, for the holidays, make sure that commissioner John Geesman's stocking is packed with treats for his persistent efforts to advance renewable power. And old Saint Nick, while you're at it, please make sure that as the CEC fashions an alternative-fuels plan in the coming year, it points to a future bustling with plug-in hybrids. That way, California and America can leave some food on the vine instead of putting it all in the tank as biofuel. By 2010, plug-in hybrid technology should power Santa's sleigh. May you help the CEC protect the tweeting birds, but also let thousands of windmills bloom across the Golden State. California Air Resources Board: The board is tasked with the job of "Going Boldly Where No Agency Has Gone Before." Therefore, Mr. Claus, it is essential that you quickly give it needed resources to cope with developing a market for cutting greenhouse gases. At the same time, don't forget all those generator stockings you filled with coal after the deregulated electricity market went haywire because of a lack of controls. So strings need to be attached. Assuming that a cap-and-trade market is created, get assurance that allowances will be auctioned off and the hefty income generated will be used by the state to increase energy efficiency, curb dirty power, and boost renewable resources. Remember the headache from trying to figure out how to find the road to a 20 percent renewables portfolio standard? Wrap up that complex law and return it to sender with an order to KISS (i.e., keep it simple, stupid). As you negotiate the details of updated clean-air plans with local air districts, make sure they do all they can to clean up stationary sources of energy and not blame their air pollution woes entirely on mobile sources. California Independent System Operator: We're keeping our mittened fingers crossed that the grid operator's new market works beginning in 2008. At the same time, we worry about the efficacy of a Balkanized grid - with Los Angeles, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, and others holding out for their own control zones. While we know it sounds rather socialist for us nonunionized elves, if the new market seems to work, ask the munis to reconsider their systems in favor of one that may work for the greater good of the state. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: You know, Nick, that it is now dominated by Western commissioners, but we have a nagging concern. We want it reined in so it moves as effectively as a herd of reindeer, not elephants. Liquefied Natural Gas Terminals: Dump a ton of black rock on the proposed LNG facility in Long Beach. If LNG facilities are needed, make sure they are built offshore - way offshore - to protect life and limb. Also grant that the LNG we grow to depend upon comes from friends, not foes, and remains forever subject to gas-on-gas competition. Once-Through Cooling at Power Plants: Plug up that chimney. The outmoded technology is as efficient as a gas-guzzling 1950s Oldsmobile. The avoidable killing of fish and other marine organisms by power plants' massive ingestion of coastal water isn't justified, especially with the marine environment near and far under siege. Pacific Gas & Electric: The anti-greenhouse gas rhetoric looks pretty on the big utility. Consider, though, before heading down that chimney that nukes are anything but green. The associated uranium cycle's effect on greenhouse gases will only get worse and more expensive. Southern California Edison: Wrap up a bunch of wires and poles and strongly advise them to build the overdue transmission line to the wind energy resource in the Tehachapis. San Diego Gas & Electric: Think about a trade over the Sunrise Powerlink line - that is, while the line might be necessary to bring in solar and other power from the desert, mitigate the impact of the line with environmental set-asides and localized solar investments. South Coast Air Quality Management District: Grant air regulators in the big polluted Los Angeles air basin the wisdom and courage to change their energy-efficiency and renewable energy views in the coming year as they seek to untangle their air pollution credit mess. Now their policies on air credits promise neither cleaner air nor needed electricity for the region's 16 million people. Help them see the sun through the smog and realize that they can create powerful incentives that lead to a giant leap forward for both energy and the environment. We greatly appreciate your attention to our 2007 wish list. Very truly yours, Your devoted elves.