The grid operator board voted December 13 to ask federal regulators to allow it to propose--and build--transmission projects to reduce electricity \u201ccongestion\u201d and increase economic benefits along the grid. If a utility does not want to sponsor a project deemed worthy by the California Independent System Operator, the grid operator would have the authority to solicit bids from third-party transmission companies to finance, build and own the project, with the grid operator operating the line. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission must approve the proposed tariff seeking transmission line building and financing authority. In another move, CAISO acted on a detail of the wholesale power market that could allow power generators to gain from market manipulation. Declining bids could mean that the grid operator would have to dispatch energy sources at a higher price. Thus, the move is an attempt to \u201cdeter excessive\u201d use of the \u201cdecline\u201d market. Meanwhile, grid management charges declined. The cost of using CAISO is going from 76 cents\/MWh this year to 75.5 cents next year. Much of the financing taken on at the beginning of the decade is expected to be concluded next year, allowing for some of the price drop. In the grid finance department, the Southern California fires were calculated to cost an extra $7.5 million. \u201cThe market impact of the fires was seen primarily in the cost of managing local reliability conditions through congestion management and [power plant] commitment,\u201d noted staff. And weighing in on greenhouse gas reduction, the director of the grid operator\u2019s Market Surveillance Committee, Stanford professor Frank Wolak, proposed that CAISO oppose any California Public Utilities Commission plan to saddle utilities with the burden of a cutting carbon under a load-based cap-and-trade program. \u201cIt is likely to adversely impact California ISO markets and unnecessarily increase the price of electricity to California consumers relative to other mechanisms available for limiting greenhouse gas emissions,\u201d he noted.