In the wake of last week’s Presidential energy trip to California, state officials are continuing their love-hate relationship with the Bush Administration, which Gov. Gray Davis credits with providing the “little things” needed to boost supply and cut demand, but avoiding “the big enchilada” of wholesale price relief.

Following the face-to-face meeting of the federal and state chief executives, the governor publicly praised President George W. Bush for promising to look into the natural gas price disparity at the California border compared to other receipt points (see Daily GPI, May 30). He followed up last Thursday with invitations to the president’s two newest Federal Energy Regulatory Commission appointees, Patrick Wood and Nora Mead Brownell, to brief them on the energy challenges facing California.

“I am optimistic that FERC might take a fresh look at its essential role in controlling wholesale prices in the West,” said Davis in releasing copies of letters he sent to the new commissioners. While the president’s offer to have Commissioner Wood review natural gas prices, Davis in his letter continued to seek help on wholesale electricity prices, too.

As part of his outreach to the FERC commissioners, the governor said he would wait at least 30 days before taking his already committed legal action to force FERC to act under the Federal Power Act. “We’ll give FERC 30 days at least and then file a lawsuit because I’m sure they won’t do as much as we need,” the governor said.

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