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U.S. Northeast States Buy Fewest Carbon Allowances Since 2011

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Carbon emissions in the U.S. Northeast were auctioned for $1.93, the minimum allowable bid, as the nine states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative purchased about half as many permits as were offered.

The quarterly auction, held Dec. 5, raised $38.1 million by selling 19.8 million of 37.6 million allowances, the fewest since September 2011, according to a statement today on RGGI’s website. Each permit gives a company the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide in a cap-and-trade program that includes the six New England states, New York, Delaware and Maryland.

States use the proceeds for renewable-energy programs, utility programs, assisting consumers with bills or to pad their general funds. Last year, New Jersey’s Republican Governor Chris Christie announced his state will exit the program and called it a failure because the CO2 permits never sold near their projected costs of $20 to $30.

RGGI investments made during 2009 to 2011 will help avoid emissions from the equivalent of 2 million passenger vehicles for a year, Collin O’Mara, a RGGI Inc. board member and secretary of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said in the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Doom in New York at jdoom1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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