SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Sales of permits that California businesses need to emit pollution rebounded in recent months after a dip in May due to the pandemic, according to state figures released Tuesday.
California auctions off carbon allowances through its cap-and-trade program, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Proceeds of the program go to projects aimed at fighting climate change. Advocates had been worried those programs would suffer as businesses shut down due to coronavirus and needed fewer permits.
The state sold about 52 million of the 59 million carbon allowances for sale this quarter, according to numbers from the California Air Resources Board. That's more than double what it sold in May.
California also sold all 8.6 million permits it was auctioning for the year 2023, allowing companies to get a cheaper price for future pollution allowances. The state sold both types of permits for $16.68. That's slightly lower than the price of permits for much of 2019.
Together, the sales generated about $1.3 billion. Some of that money will go to utilities, while the rest will pay for things such as high-speed rail, efforts to put more electric vehicles on the street and projects to clean up contaminated drinking water in the Central Valley.