Who was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system? Why, none other than Barack Obama, as he said in 2008:
I was the first to call for a 100% auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants that are being built, that they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted down caps that are being placed, imposed every year.
So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.
That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.
So, California Air Resource Board (CARB): you held your first auction of carbon emissions allowances yesterday. How’s that workin’ for ya?
CARB isn’t saying. They won’t announce the results until next Monday. Agency spokesman Stanley Young said briefly, "It opened at 10 and closed at 1."
The auction is part of AB 32, the state's climate-change law which forces more than 400 of California’s “largest industrial polluters” to implement a ceiling on carbon emissions. California extends one hand by giving them millions of allowances equaling tons of emissions, but then takes back with the other hand by auctioning off the rest.
How many is the “rest?” Yesterday, 62 million credits were up for auction, with another auction set for February. There are rumors that the bidding was squashed by a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the California Chamber of Commerce, which wants to stop the auction because it is unconstitutional.