The vehicle for addressing and supposedly healing the interagency rift over transmission authority appears to be the California Public Utilities Commission's proposed 2006 long-term procurement process. CPUC member Dian Grueneich, who has taken the lead on coordinating transmission planning, touts the upcoming proceeding as advancing transmission policy agreed to by her agency, the grid operator, and the California Energy Commission while avoiding statutory changes. "We are not radically trying to change things," Grueneich told Circuit. She added that the commission is "trying to get a better idea of who does what and how we can change things for the better." Putting the question of transmission planning oversight in the CPUC's proceeding is the preferred mechanism for attempting to jump-start transmission planning because "it is where the rubber hits the road," added Aaron Johnson, Grueneich's consultant. Energy Commission member John Geesman - a foe of leaving transmission authority with the CPUC - let out a long laugh when asked whether there was anything new in the CPUC's proposal. "We have had years and years of good intentions brought to this very troublesome issue, but the institutional inability to move on remains the same," he said. For Geesman, who has criticized the transmission planning process and pushed to transfer siting authority to his agency, the only noticeable change in the CPUC's proposal was more involvement of the grid operator. When asked what was new in the proposed rulemaking released December 2, Grueneich pointed only to its articulation of the flow of transmission planning from the Energy Commission to the California Independent System Operator to the CPUC. "My good friend John Geesman," Grueneich sighed, has "a set ideology on transferring siting authority to the CEC." Hesitating to call the CPUC proposal a "deal," Energy Commission chair Joe Desmond said he "wouldn't dismiss it either." Desmond likened the CPUC proposal to the Energy Commission's Integrated Energy Policy Report process - a method to try to get all agencies, as well as the public, to advise on the transmission planning process. Although the dispute over which agency has transmission authority remains at the legislative level, Desmond added that it doesn't stop the planning process The proposal is a first cut and will be the subject of a public workshop on December 14 presided over by Grueneich, Desmond, and grid operator chief executive officer Yakout Mansour. Although the document was released at the end of last week, the grid operator had not provided comments on the draft decision by press time.