A sluggish start for California carbon auctions?
In perhaps the most lackluster initial public offering since Facebook, California officials today released the results of last week’s landmark cap-and-trade carbon auction, in which a ton of carbon sold for $10.09. That’s one nickel and four pennies above the minimum the state had established.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
Mary Nichols, chair of the board, called the auction “a success” because it showed that California can reduce greenhouse gas emissions at an affordable cost. She said fears that the cost of carbon would “go out of sight” proved unjustified.
In a separate auction for 2015 credits, the price was the bare minimum: $10 a ton. Most of the 2015 credits went unsold.
Nichols said she was “delighted” by the results of the auction. Some companies bid more than $90 a ton, but the auction allowed buyers to get credits at the lowest possible price rather than the highest. Said Nichols, “The goal of this auction is not to raise money.” Except that one of the stated goals of the auction is to raise much-needed money for clean energy and community investments throughout the state.
Despite officials’ best intentions, this sale did raise more than $286 million. The auctions will continue on a quarterly basis.
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