If they are worded correctly, applied without discrimination, and backed up with legitimate health and environmental interests, the state could probably adopt standards limiting carbon dioxide pollution from out-of-state coal-fired electricity plants, according to a California Energy Commission lawyer. "If California wants to use a procurement criterion related to environmental quality, it should be expressed in performance terms such as X tons per megawatt-hour of pollutant and applied to all plants regardless of location or ownership, rather than expressly applying it to power plants in certain states, or even only to coal-fired power plants," Jonathan Blees, CEC assistant chief counsel, told the commission's Integrated Energy Policy Report committee August 18. The briefing came in response to commission chair Joe Desmond's requests for legal advice on whether the state has the authority to set greenhouse gas standards for out-of-state coal power plants (<i>Circuit<\/i>, Aug. 12, 2005). The governor backs developing a major new transmission line, known as the Frontier Line, which would run from Wyoming to California. It would tap into power supplies in the Rockies. However, environmentalists fear that it would encourage burning coal and increasing CO2 emissions. Blees said that the U.S. Constitution's Commerce Clause would affect the state's ability to require certain activities from power plants in other states. For instance, he noted that the Commerce Clause would likely forbid California to mandate integrated gasification, combined-cycle plants, or carbon sequestration. He pointed out that if the state adopted requirements for overall power plant performance no matter where the power is generated, instead of specific requirements for coal plants, state regulation of CO2 emissions "would probably be constitutional."