Posted on June 10, 2011

Demand for carbon allowances plummeted to an all-time low at the quarterly auction of the 10-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.  The numbers are striking – and raise serious questions about the viability of RGGI, the nation’s only mandatory CO-2 cap and trade program:

  • RGGI managed to sell just 30 percent of the allowances, or permits, it offered for sale at the June 8 auction.
  • The auction raised only $25 million, a fraction of the record high of $117 million set two years ago.
  • The price per allowance was $1.89, the minimum allowed by RGGI.

The June auction is the first since Gov. Chris Christie announced New Jersey is quitting RGGI.  The state plans to participate in the next two auctions scheduled for Sept. 7 and Dec. 7 before it pulls out of the program at the end of the year, according to a letter from Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin.  NJDEP will continue to require electric generators in the state to have RGGI permits for CO-2 emissions through Dec. 31, 2011.

However, the remaining nine RGGI states have not decided whether to honor New Jersey permits sold after this month’s auction.  “Additional information regarding other New Jersey allowances will be issued” before the September auction, according to RGGI.

The other RGGI states are New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland.  Under RGGI, utilities are required to obtain an allowance for each ton of CO-2 released by their electric generators.  The cost is ultimately passed along to businesses and consumers in the form of higher rates for electricity.

Follow these links to previous New Jersey Watchdog reports on RGGI:

THE SECRETS TEN STATES & WALL STREET DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2010/07/28/cap-trade-scheme-is-clouded-in-secrecy/

NJ WATCHDOG SUES STATE OVER CARBON AUCTION “SECRETS” http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2010/09/06/1016/

WHY RGGI IS FAILING & UNLIKELY TO CUT CO-2 EMISSIONS BEFORE 2030 http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2010/11/17/why-rggi-may-fail-to-impact-co-2-emissions-for-20-years/

NJ WATCHDOG SUES STATE OF $777 MILLION OF AUCTION SECRETS http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/01/09/1620/

NEW YORK OFFICIALS RELEASE 2,000 RGGI EMAILS TO NJ WATCHDOG; NEW JERSEY STILL CLAIMS THE RECORDS ARE CONFIDENTIAL  http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/02/20/new-york-releases-2000-rggi-emails-new-jersey-still-claims-records-are-confidential/

NOT DEAD YET!  RGGI REBOUNDS WITH $83M CAP & TRADE AUCTION http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/03/11/1740/

DEMOCRAT BACKS NEW JERSEY BILL TO REPEAL RGGI CAP & TRADE  http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/04/20/democrat-suppo…rggi-cap-trade

PSEG FIGHTS TO KEEP CAP & TRADE RECORDS SECRET  http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/04/25/2307

REPORT?  WHAT REPORT?  NJDEP IGNORES GLOBAL WARMING LAW http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/05/11/report-what-report-njdep-ignores-its-duty-under-global-warming-law/

PSEG & NJDEP TO RATEPAYERS:  IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/05/23/2365/

NEW JERSEY QUITS CAP & TRADE; FUTURE OF RGGI IS UNCERTAIN http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/05/26/christie-pulls…rade-uncertain/

NEW JERSEY TO KEEP $102 MILLION IN RGGI DIVORCE SETTLEMENT http://newjersey.watchdog.org/2011/06/02/2455/

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