California power generators and other companies bought $284 million worth of carbon emissions allowances in the California Air Resources Board\u2019s third cap-and-trade program auction May 16. \tVintage 2013 carbon emissions allowances sold for $14\/ton and vintage 2016 allowances for $10.71\/ton. The 2013 allowances can be used to comply with emissions caps through 2015 and the 2016 allowances from 2016 onward. \tAnnouncing the results of the state\u2019s third cap-and-trade auction May 21, the Air Board reported that all 14,522,028 tons of the 2013 allowances offered wound up selling. Of the 9,560,000 million tons of 2016 allowances, buyers snapped up 7,515,000 tons. \tOf the 2013 allowances changing hands in the auction, 10,839,537 were sold by the state\u2019s investor owned utilities, yielding $151.7 million. Publicly owned utilities sold 1,032,880 allowances, bringing in $14.5 million. The Air Board sold 2,649,631 allowances, yielding $37.1 million. \tThe 2016 allowances\u2014offered by parties not specified in the Air Board\u2019s report\u2014netted $80.5 million. \tGenerators, public utilities, oil companies, energy marketing firms, banks, and assorted others participated in the auction, according to the Air Board report. The independent market stated that the auction went smoothly, with no irregularities. * * * * * Gov. Jerry Brown urged University of California, Berkeley, political science graduates May 20 to take action against the impacts of climate change. He pointed to reported increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, averaging 400.03 parts per million, according to National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration\u2019s monitoring station May 9. \u201cIt was at least three million years ago that CO2 levels were ever this high. Then, the polar ice caps were much smaller and sea levels were 60 feet higher. If that happened today, the airport runways in Oakland and San Francisco would be under water,\u201d he said during his commencement address. He contrasted the speed of the warming climate with the slow pace of political action. \u201cOf course, the changes in our climate are not happening in political time,\u201d Brown noted. He told the graduates they could bring about change given their \u201cskills and the knowledge and a sense of the good. I tell you: get ready to be an active citizen.\u201d \tThree days later, the state chief joined more than 500 world-renowned researchers and scientists in calling for action on climate change at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. \u201cThis is an important challenge, cause and undertaking. We can do it, but we have to do a lot more than we're doing now,\u201d he said May 23. * * * * * \tThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency faces competing lawsuits related to its greenhouse gas rule for new power plants. EPA\u2019s proposed rule would limit emissions from new power plants to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide\/MW, making it difficult to build new coal power plants. The agency also has been planning to issue a rule to control greenhouse gases from existing power plants, but has put that on hold. \tThe effect is negligible in California where the power industry is under a state greenhouse gas cap, plus a law that\u2019s forcing utilities to phase out their interest in out-of-state coal power plants. \tIn the complex legal battle over the agency\u2019s proposed rule, on one side is a group of states and industries suing to stop the rules and on the other are environmental groups and another group of states promising to sue unless the agency begins enforcing them. \tThe agency delayed finalizing the rules last month under pressure from coal, other industries, and pro-coal states. That delay prompted environmental groups and Northeast states to threaten a suit unless it moves forward. \tThe controversy is taking place against the backdrop of political maneuvering in the Senate over confirmation of President Obama\u2019s nominee, Gina McCarthy, to head the agency.