A coalition led by the state's two largest municipal utilities asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to throw out the California Independent System Operator's market redesign proposal. The group urged federal regulators April 7 to tackle market redesign in a phased approach to alleviate the burden on munis outside the CAISO control area. The grid operator has set November 2007 as its goal to make over the wholesale electricity market under its control. The primary concerns are the "seams" issues in the grid operator's proposed market redesign. Those are the processes required for transferring electricity between CAISO's control area and those under municipal jurisdiction. According to the muni filing, the grid operator's plan would "create or exacerbate" barriers to "interregional reliability and commercial trade." "There have always been 'seams' issues, where markets have trouble talking with one another," explained Stephanie McCorkle, CAISO spokesperson. The market redesign, she contends, will "make it much easier for Western suppliers to do business with the ISO." She notes that Pacific Gas & Electric and the California Public Utilities Commission support the redesign in their federal comments. The muni group includes the state's largest municipal utilities - the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. Also signing the federal request are the Western Area Power Administration, the Imperial Irrigation District, the Bonneville Power Administration, and the Salt River Project. The suing entities, particularly SMUD, have battled the grid operator over control area rights. SMUD and Western have their own control district, as does LADWP. "It is not the responsibility of the neighboring control areas to bear the full burden of accommodating the CAISO's market design, especially given the CAISO's proposed adoption of unique operating and market procedures that are not used by any of the other control areas in the Western Interconnection," states the pleading.