As California regulators weigh whether to move ahead with a carbon cap-and-trade program, the price for greenhouse gas emission rights last week in Europe sunk to nearly an all-time low. The reason is plentiful supply and ongoing economic sluggishness. Benchmark certified emissions reductions stemming from offset projects hit 7.4 euros\/ton, or about $10.53. Meanwhile, European carbon prices, representing a ton of carbon dioxide emissions rights, fell to 10.65 euros, or about $15.15. Trading volume last year in the European market was $18.3 billion compared to $26.3 billion in 2008, the peak year in the market. Meanwhile, in California carbon allowances are trading from between $14.50\/ton and $17.50\/ton, with offsets going for $10.75\/ton, according to Evolution Markets. That was up from the previous month in anticipation of the California Air Resources Board finalizing its cap-and-trade program later this year. The Air Board is to vote Aug. 24 on a new alternatives analysis it developed for carrying out AB 32, the state\u2019s climate protection law, in response to litigation. Environmental groups sued over the Air Board staff\u2019s first analysis of alternative ways to carry out the law, claiming it did not explore any meaningful approaches beyond creating a carbon cap-and-trade program. The new analysis outlines a carbon tax or more direct regulations, but says that cap-and-trade is still the preferred alternative. Later in the fall, the Air Board is expected to vote on final amendments to its cap-and-trade program, initially approved late last year. Under the changes, the Air Board would not enforce the program until 2013, instead of the originally planed date of 2012. * * * * * Clean, mean, driving machines are creating jobs in California while cutting greenhouse gases, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council report issued Aug. 9. California\u2019s got 1,025 workers involved in manufacturing automotive components that improve mileage and cut greenhouse gases and air pollution, according to NRDC. Overall, 155,000 people work directly in making auto parts for today\u2019s cleanest autos in 43 states and the District of Columbia. California ranks ninth among them. * * * * * The Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Transportation\u2019s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Aug. 9 issued first-ever standards to cut greenhouse gas emissions from trucks and buses. The standards are to cut oil consumption for vehicles built in 2014 through 2018 by 530 million barrels and greenhouse gases by 270 million metric tons. The agencies estimate $50 billion in total fuel savings over the life of the vehicles for owners and operators.