Greenhouse gas auction results show California cap-and-trade back on track

By David Baker, San Francisco Chronicle.

Its fate uncertain just a few months ago, California’s cap-and-trade system for reining in greenhouse gas emissions appears to have pulled out of its slump.

Results released Tuesday from the latest quarterly auction of cap-and-trade allowances — essentially, permits that allow a business to emit greenhouse gases — showed that all the allowances sold, with a closing price slightly higher than the previous auction’s.

The price for emitting a metric ton of greenhouse gases in California now stands at $15.06, up from $14.75 in the August auction. In the most recent auction, held Nov. 14, 79.5 million allowances were purchased for the program’s current compliance period, while buyers also snapped up 9.7 million allowances that can be used in future years.