Western-wide regional transmission and resource planning is the best way to meet renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals, speakers told Western state public utilities commissioners at a conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, September 14. \u201cWestern states and provinces have made a pretty bold statement about renewables and a low carbon future, but haven\u2019t put the nuts and bolts in place,\u201d said Doug Larson, Western Interstate Energy Board executive director. Speaking to the Joint Western Public Utility Commissions renewable energy workshop, he urged states to work together, including through joint utility commission hearings, to identify prime renewable energy resource areas and plans for transmission lines to tie them into the western interconnection. A regional outlook, he said, would attract investment to transmission facilities that would open up new vistas for wind and solar projects. The problem now, he said, is that utilities put together their integrated resource plans in \u201cstove pipes\u201d that then are reviewed solely by state utility commissions. The result is that interstate transmission projects are left hanging. Instead, he called for regional studies on how to integrate wind into the western grid. He told the western commissioners that they must compare in-state integrated resource plans to interstate regional resource and transmission opportunities. Larson also called for expanding power system control areas to more efficiently integrate renewable projects into the grid. This could be accomplished, he said, through virtual integration that would stop short of actual organizational mergers. In another part of the regional picture, California Public Utilities Commission member Rachelle Chong said she is \u201csurprised\u201d that commissioners from other Western states are still skeptical about global warming when California regulators seem to be doing everything they can to address the issue and understand it as a fundamental problem.