The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Aaron Huertas, 202-331-5458

Northeast Climate Program Shows Auctions Are Key for Cap-and-Trade, Science Group Says

First-in-the-Nation Auction Raises $39 Million


The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a partnership among 10 Northeastern states to reduce electric-utility global warming pollution through a cap-and-trade system, today announced the results of its first-in-the-nation auction of global warming pollution permits.

RGGI auctioned more than 12.5 million permits that fetched $3.07 each, raising nearly $39 million for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and consumer benefit programs in the six states that participated: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Vermont. The other four RGGI states -- Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York -- are expected to participate in the next auction in December.

Below is a statement by Ned Raynolds, Northeast climate policy coordinator for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS):

"This auction was a resounding success and provides evidence to state and federal leaders that auctioning is the way to go. Auctions like this one let the market put a price on pollution and generate funds to help consumers and businesses build a clean energy economy.

"RGGI set a minimum price for the permits of about two dollars each, but we saw enough demand to considerably exceed that price floor.

"Overall, last week's auction went off without a hitch, and the next one in December should provide yet another demonstration that auctioning is a vital piece of a cap-and-trade policy."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.