Legislators grilled regulators this week over utility contracts for renewable energy. \u201cWhat part of this is real and what part of this is on paper?\u201d asked Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) Senate Utilities, Commerce and Communications Committee chair during a February 26 hearing. Kehoe and others have criticized the California Public Utilities Commission for allowing investor-owned utilities to meet the 2010 renewables portfolio standard of 20 percent with contracts, although the underlying projects may not be on line. Legislators also expressed concern that the renewable energy, which may not be deliverable, is probably going to be more expensive than traditional power. \u201cIf we\u2019re serious about getting to 20 percent,\u201d said Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) then the market likely will create a higher cost. \u201cWe\u2019re just a couple years away from the deadline,\u201d he added. In another hearing this week politicians made it clear that bolstering electric transmission lines is going to be a high priority for the state to ensure the expanded use of renewable resources. Lawmakers also probed the California Public Utilities Commission president about the agency\u2019s decisions. Legislators appeared willing to allow higher costs if renewable power under contract is delivered. However, consumer advocates testified that the renewables portfolio standard may be a double-edged sword, raising consumer costs and not delivering the promised goods. In other legislative news, the Assembly Utilities & Commerce Committee heard its annual update from CPUC president Mike Peevey February 25. Lawmakers questioned Peevey on the state\u2019s lack of transmission lines, primarily for wind and solar energy in Southern California. Peevey acknowledged brutal opposition to transmission lines, such as San Diego Gas & Electric\u2019s proposed Sunrise Powerlink, and to a lesser extent, the line to pull wind power out of the Tehachapi Mountains via Southern California Edison. \u201cI\u2019m not sure there\u2019s legislative energy to do this without draconian measures,\u201d Peevey noted regarding any state attempt to overwhelm opposition. The Senate committee has a transmission hearing scheduled for March 11. According to the California Energy Commission, there are 180 energy-related bills coming up in the state Legislature this year--125 of which are new bills for 2008; the rest remain from 2007.