Climate Roundup: First Carbon Rights Auction Set for Nov. 14

By Published On: September 21, 2012

It’s official. The California Air Resources Board Sept. 14 formally scheduled the state’s first carbon emissions rights auction under its cap-and-trade program. The Air Board gave 60 days’ notice that it would hold the auction on Nov. 14. Some 600 power generators, utilities, and other companies are to start complying with the cap-and-trade program next year, but first have to buy carbon rights to cover their emissions. The Air Board said that a total of 61.2 million emissions allowances are to be offered between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Nov. 14. They are to convey the right to emit greenhouse gases between 2013 and 2015. Following the auction, the Air Board said it would release the results, including the names of qualified bidders, the settlement price, and a summary of trading action. * * * * * The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power expects to spend $2 million this fiscal year--i.e., 2012-13--purchasing carbon emissions rights in the state’s cap-and-trade carbon auctions and $3.6 million next fiscal year--2013-14. The estimate is based on an expected price of $16/metric ton. LADWP stated that it expects to continue to layout funds each year to buy emissions rights until the cap-and-trade program either “sunsets or is terminated.” * * * * * SoCal Gas and Scripps Institution of Oceanography earlier this summer entered an agreement aimed at designing a system in which algae consumes carbon dioxide emissions from natural gas combustion and cost-effectively converts it into products, such as biomethane, biodiesel, and animal feed. If the preliminary analysis under the agreement proves positive, according to Scripps senior engineer Dominick Mendola, “we then hope to enter into a phase two agreement to help SoCal Gas build and operate a module of a commercially-scaled system and test its capabilities at a site to be selected within Southern California.” That system could be built at such facilities as natural gas power plants, large engines used in natural gas compression and water pumping, and boilers used to produce steam for industrial processes, such as enhanced oil recovery. * * * * * Rolling, rolling, rolling. Gov. Jerry Brown Sept. 14 signed into state law SB 1076 authored by Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Riverside). The law clarified a California Air Resources Board regulation adopted under the state’s global warming law that requires automotive businesses to check and inflate tires to the proper level in order to reduce greenhouse gases. Well-inflated tires reduce rolling resistance, improve gas mileage, and cut emissions. Emmerson’s bill exempts automotive service businesses from checking tire inflation on their customers’ cars if the tires are unsafe. In other cases, it would require use of a tire pressure gage accurate to within two pounds/square inch.

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