Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pollution permits: RGGI auction results

RGGI, Inc. reports on their first auction.

The WSJ environmental blog report, Capping Carbon: Northeast Utilities Pay to Pollute, But Does That Matter?, says that
"Six of the ten states in the scheme offered 12.5 million permits for power companies to pollute. Bidders actually wanted more than 50 million permits, a sign of serious interest among utilities in getting their hands on the permits. (And it was largely utilities that were bidding; organizers said power companies, rather than environmental groups or third-party traders, bought “most” of the allowances.)
But demand wasn’t strong enough to actually make the emissions permits expensive: The auction price of $3.07 a ton was a little bit above the minimum bid price of $1.86 a ton, and just below the $4-something figures bandied about ahead of the auction. In comparison, greenhouse-gas emissions permits in the European scheme are trading at about $37. "

A firm hired by RGGI to monitor the auction reports no problems. The report includes the following:
"Based on our monitoring of participant conduct in the auction, we find no
material evidence of collusion or manipulation by bidders. The vast majority of bids were submitted in line with competitive expectations."

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