California regulators voice support for cap and trade program

By Rory Carroll, Reuters.

Staff for California's air regulator on Thursday recommended the state extend its carbon cap and trade system beyond 2020, a move supported by utilities and some environmental groups but opposed by environmental activists representing low income communities.

The show of support comes after the state failed to sell any permits covering 2016 emissions at a recent state-run auction and market participants await the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the program.

Market regulators maintained that selling the permits, the proceeds of which fund low carbon programs like the state's bullet train, is not the primary point of the program – cutting carbon emissions is.