Washington’s latest auction of carbon-emission allowances raised an estimated $260 million.
The state Department of Ecology announced Wednesday the results of its second special auction held last week because the previous quarterly auction in August exceeded a “trigger” price of $51.90 per allowance. It was the second time a special auction was triggered by the high allowance prices.
In all, about 31.9 million carbon allowances have been sold this year, hauling in more than $1.5 billion. Each allowance represents one metric ton of emissions from the state’s biggest greenhouse-gas polluters.
The carbon-pricing program is the cornerstone of the 2021 Climate Commitment Act, requiring the state’s biggest polluting businesses to reduce their emissions or purchase allowances to cover their emissions. Over the course of seven three-year periods, state officials will reduce the number of allowances sold, ramping up pressure on the industries to lower their emissions.