By Dan Walters, The Sacramento Bee.
February’s quarterly auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances under California’s cap and trade program was another financial washout for the state.
Results for last week’s auction were posted Wednesday morning, revealing that just 16.5 percent of the 74.8 million metric tons of emission allowances were sold at the floor price of $13.57 per ton.
The state auctions emission allowances to polluters and speculators as part of its program to reduce greenhouse gases. The proceeds are supposed to be spent on public programs to slow climate change.
February’s auction is being closely watched by market analysts because the last three quarterly auctions in 2016 posted sub-par results.
Almost all of February’s proceeds went either to California’s utilities, who sell allowances they receive free from the Air Resources Board, or the Canadian province of Quebec, which offers emission allowances through California. Both are first in line when auction proceeds are apportioned.