The California Energy Commission this week unanimously approved the permit for the city of Roseville?s 160 MW power project, 16 months after the city submitted its application. Roseville hopes to have the plant on line by the summer of 2007. ?Today marks a major milestone in the city?s plans to build our first-ever locally owned and operated power plant,? stated Roseville mayor Gina Garbolino. The commission also deliberated California?s natural gas consumption, which it concluded is overrelied upon. ?We?re not heading in the right direction. We clearly need to take corrective action,? commissioner John Geesman said April 13. In the CEC?s 2003 Integrated Energy Policy Report, it warned that the statewide consumption of natural gas would likely increase to 46 percent by the end of the decade. Natural gas accounted for nearly 42 percent of the total fuel consumed in generating the electricity sold in California last year, compared to 36 percent in 2003, the CEC reported. By contrast, coal accounted for nearly 20 percent, large hydropower nearly 15 percent, nuclear nearly 13 percent, and renewables 10.6 percent of California?s total fuel consumption last year. The commission also reviewed the net system power report for 2004, which represents the generic mix of fuel sources in the statewide power supply, excluding self-generation and specific purchases by retailers. By contrast, gross system power refers to the sum of all in-state generation and imports by fuel type. Senate Bill 1305 enacted by the state Legislature in 1997 requires all retail electricity providers to disclose annually the sources of fuel in the power supply they sell to customers in the form of a power content label. The net system power is referred to as the California Power Mix. The commission noted that the suspension of direct access rendered reporting on net system power by retail electricity providers outdated and potentially misleading to customers. According to the commission, retailers should expand their reporting on specific purchases to customers and minimize the use of misleading net system power as a default power mix. Also during its business meeting this week, the Energy Commission postponed action until April 27 on a memorandum of agreement between the CEC and the California Coastal Commission to provide an opportunity for public review and input in siting cases. Representatives for generators expressed concern that delays by the Coastal Commission could create legal problems in the Energy Commission?s review of new projects. The agreement may contain provisions that the CEC must follow that are more environmentally protective than required by state law, said Chris Ellison of Ellison, Schneider, and Harris. He represents Duke Energy, owner of the Morro Bay and Moss Landing coastal power plants. Steven Kelly, Independent Energy Producers policy director, agreed that the legal issues need to be vetted. ?We are strong advocates for expediting Energy Commission action and defraying litigation,? Kelly said. The agreement is intended to coordinate each commission?s respective roles and facilitate ?timely and comprehensive? review and siting of proposed power plants. The agreement recognizes that the Energy Commission retains exclusive authority under state law to certify new power plants in California. Moreover, it delineates the Coastal Commission?s responsibility under the California Coastal Act to review thermal power plant projects proposed in the coastal zone. State law requires the Coastal Commission to report to the Energy Commission on whether a project is compatible with protecting coastal resources and the extent to which projects could be modified to mitigate for potential adverse impacts and to minimize conflicts with other coastal land uses near the project site. The Coastal Commission must evaluate a proposed project?s impacts on entrainment of marine organisms, coastal erosion, public access, and visual resources. The Energy Commission must adopt the Coastal Commission?s specific provisions as conditions of certifying a project unless the CEC determines that a provision would be infeasible to implement or cause greater adverse environmental impacts. The agreement establishes a process for resolving disagreements. Down the street from the Energy Commission, the Senate is set to vote on confirming commissioner Jackie Pfannenstiel, who was appointed by the governor in April 2004. The Senate Rules Committee unanimously approved her confirmation, and the matter was placed on the Senate?s consent agenda. A vote, which has been delayed for unrelated reasons, is expected to occur no later than May 4.