Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Raises More Than $117 Million in Third Auction
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) raised $117,248,629.80 in an auction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions allowances. The auction, held March 18, generated funds that will be invested in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies in 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states.
The 31,513,765 allowances, each representing 1 ton of carbon, were all sold at a clearing price of $3.51 each. The proceeds will be distributed to the 10 RGGI states in proportion to the CO2 allowances each state offered for sale. Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont participated.
In the second auction held in December 2008, all 31,505,898 allowances that were offered sold at a clearing price of $3.38 each. That auction raised $106.5 million. (See see the January 7, 2009 news story published by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.) A fourth auction is scheduled for June 17, 2009.
Pete Grannis, chair of the RGGI board of directors, said the successful auction "provides further support for President Obama's position that a national cap and trade program with allowance auctions is the right policy for the country and the right approach for addressing the most pressing environmental and economic issue of our time: climate change."
RGGI is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Participating states have agreed to cap and then reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector 10 percent by 2018. Limiting the emissions allowances enables the states to limit the GHG emissions. Participating states sell the emissions allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies. The goal is to spur innovation in the clean energy economy and create green jobs in each RGGI state.