Just how much coal-powered generation the proposed ?Frontier Line? that would stretch from Wyoming to the Golden State may bring into California was the subject of debate at the Capitol this week. Lloyd Levine, chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee, grilled Joe Desmond, deputy director of energy for the Resources Agency, as to whether the administration?s transmission proposal announced last week would result in a ?shift to dirtier fuel? (<i>Circuit<\/i>, April 8, 2005). This multistate line is expected to boost coal-fired plants? prospects because of its access to coal-rich Wyoming. Desmond noted that half of the project?s estimated 12,000 MW of imports would be supplied by plants powered by ?clean? coal and nukes. The project will help reduce the state?s ?overreliance? on natural gas, he added. The other 6,000 MW could potentially come from renewable resources. ?Depending on the technology choices to be used in the construction process, such as AC versus DC, the location of the line, its proximity, and other factors, the transmission line would be capable of delivering energy from many different resources, including geothermal, central-station solar, and natural gas,? Desmond said. Levine took issue with the fact that ?clean coal? was not defined in the Western governors? April 4 memorandum of understanding. Instead, the definition of cleanliness will be determined by a committee of 29 members from the Western states. ?What if we don?t like their definition?? Levine asked. ?What if the consensus is the lowest common denominator?? Desmond said the issue presented a ?leadership opportunity? for California.