California's oil refiners and large industrial companies paid the state $10.09 a ton to emit greenhouse gases following the state's first-ever carbon auction last Wednesday.
According to the Sacramento Bee
, state regulators declared the auction an unqualified success.
Mary Nichols, head of the state Air Resources Board, said, “Our goal is to reduce carbon at a good price.”
Industrial companies were responsible for purchasing 97 percent of the available credits to comply with the cap-and-trade law.
Nevertheless, the auction met with hostility from the California Chamber of Commerce, which sued the state last week, arguing that carbon auctions are equivalent to an unconstitutional tax.
Loren Kaye, president of the chamber-affiliated California Foundation
for Commerce and Education, said just because the credits were cheap "doesn't make it any less illegal.”
The carbon auctions are scheduled to take place every three months and are expected to generate more than $1 billion per year in revenue.
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