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California Carbon Auction Raises $297 Million

California companies paid about $297 million to release carbon emissions at the state’s most recent cap-and-trade auction, according to data published Friday.

The state’s fifth auction on Nov. 19 sold all 16.6 carbon allowances, with firms including Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical paying $11.48 per allowance to release 1 metric ton of carbon as early as this year. An additional 9.6 million permits that can’t be used until 2016 sold at $11.10 each.

The Nov. 19 carbon price was lower than the previous sale in August, at which the state’s largest emitters paid $12.22 per metric ton for the right to release carbon this year.

The five carbon auctions have raised a total of $1.4 billion.

The latest auction results come a week after a Superior Court judge rejected a legal challenge to California’s carbon auctions. The California Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Legal Foundation, on behalf of a dozen clients including Morning Star Packing Company and Dalton Trucking, had filed lawsuits in Sacramento Superior Court to block the carbon allowances.



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9 thoughts on “California Carbon Auction Raises $297 Million

  1. A) This is not a tax – it’s an auction of carbon allowances and it is entirely optional as to whether or not companies choose to participate in that auction.
    B) The monies paid to buy carbon allowances definitely do not come from the “working poor” as CO2Good claims. As noted, the money paid comes from companies of all sizes that elect to participate in the auctions.

  2. Dougie baby,
    So, CA AB32 & SB375 (C tax) are “optional?” They are called regulations for a reason.
    So, you actually think that when companies pay taxes, they are NOT passed on to customers? You must live in an amazing world. Like when a big oil company earns only a 4% gross profit margin, they are going to just lose money when they have to buy C credits (taxes)? They would not be in business for over 100 years if they had not been able to pass on taxes and costs, to customers, like the one who have to buy fuel to commute to and from work each day.
    Guess Dougie doesn’t buy fuel, nor drive to work, nor earn a living. Dougie must work for the W.H.
    Dougie, are you the one who designed the W.H. OboyngoDon’tCare web site? What, $633 million and counting for a web site that would have been free for the purchase of a $9.95 domain name. Maybe slightly more confusing, a lot easier to hack, but not much more than that.
    Dougie, tell us about the world you live in.

  3. Dougie,
    In case you don’t know that these are C taxes, here’s a list of the regs:
    California AB32 (effective 1/1/2012)
    2020: reduce to 1990 levels
    2050: reduce to 80% below 1990 levels

    Lieberman – McCain Bill S. 280
    2012: reduce to 2004 levels
    2020: reduce to 1990 levels
    2050: reduce to 60% below 1990 levels

    Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007 S. 1766 (targets decline in each calendar year):
    2012: 6,652 MtCO2e
    2020: 6,188 MtCO2e (approximately 2006 emissions levels)
    2030: 4,819 MtCO2e (equal to 1990 emissions levels)
    2050: 2,475 MtCO2e (60% below 2006 emissions levels, if president approves)

    Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act of 2008 S.2192
    2030: ~$0.53 increase in the price of gasoline
    2050: ~$1.40 increase in the price of gasoline

    The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act of 2009 S. 1733 &
    American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 – H.R. 2454
    2050: 83% below 2005

    Cap and Trade bill (if passed, is expected to)
    2020: reduce to 17 percent below 2005 levels

    E.P.A. (CO2 added as “pollutant”)
    2016: 35.5 mpg corporate fleet average fuel economy (light duty trucks to be included)
    2025: 54.5 mpg corporate fleet average fuel economy

  4. CO2Good seems to be going a bit off the rail here…
    I stand fully by my posting that CA carbon allowance auctions are not a tax. Under CA AB32, entities that emit significant amounts of CO2e are required to comply with a ‘carbon cap’ that will decrease in future years as the primary mechanism by which regional CO2e will be reduced. However, there are a variety of means by which they can comply. First off, emitting entities are automatically given a certain number of free allowances. If those allowances are sufficient to cover all their emissions for the year, they need not do anything to be in compliance. In the case that the entity emits more CO2e than are covered by their free allowances, there are several distinct ways they can comply. First, they can choose to buy additional carbon allowances in the CA auction. Second, they can choose to buy allowances from any other entity that has an excess and wishes to sell their excess allowances to others. Third, they can choose to invest in carbon offsets. Fourth, they can choose to reduce their CO2e emissions through suitable investments and/or by changing how they operate. Or, they can choose to employ any combination of the above.
    Notice the use of the word “choose” in the above, CO2Good? Last time I looked, paying a tax was not an option. Therefore, I stand by my statement that participation in the CA carbon allowance auction does not represent a tax.

  5. Furthermore, CO2Good’s original characterization was that the CA carbon auction represented “MORE taxes on the working poor.” But I stand by my first posting above: the carbon auction is not a ‘tax’, and no ‘tax’ is being levied exclusively in the ‘working poor’.

    The charge by CO2Good is patently false.

  6. Finally, CO2Good lists a number of items that he purports to support his false charge. But none of the listed items actually supports his statement. For one thing, every single one he lists (except for the first reference to CA AB32) comes not from CA but from the federal government – and federal regulations, real or imagined, current or anticipated; play absolutely no role in the CA cap&trade legislation. And the one reference to CA AB32 proves nothing with respect to his charge – in fact, I have already referenced CA AB32 and the auction proceeds investment plan that relies on it as proof that CO2Good’s original charge is just plain wrong.

  7. CO2Good’s original characterization that the CA carbon auction represented “MORE taxes on the working poor” can easily be further debunked:
    There are many types of regulations governing industry. For example, in many cases it takes money for a company to even apply for a license to operate in the first place. Does that represent a ‘tax on the working poor’? Other companies must follow various kinds of environmental regulations such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act. Does that represent a ‘tax on the working poor’? Additionally, other companies are required to submit their products to OSHA and/or FDA testing and approval (among other reviews), and often that represents significant expense to the company. Does that represent a ‘tax on the working poor’?
    The answers to the above are all obviously ‘no’. Most of these industry regulations stem from significant harm that the public has suffered at the hands of industry. For example, before the Clean Water Act, the Cuyahoga river in Ohio actually caught fire from the industry waste continually dumped into it. The FDA came into existence because of a mass poisoning when many members of the public died after ingesting a medicine made by an unregulated company.
    Forcing industries to reduce their carbon pollution is merely another example of protecting the public interest in the face of narrow industrial self-interests. And there is no ‘tax on the working poor’ involved.
    To address CO2Good’s latest question, I am a member of the public interested in calling out distortions, lies, fallacies, and other forms of falsehoods that are sometimes posted by others in an attempt to deny the reality of AGW and/or to attempt to sow confusion and delay in our societal response to that threat.

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