The Week Ahead: California to Hold Second Greenhouse Gas Auction


California on Feb. 19 will hold its second quarterly greenhouse gas emissions auction under the nation’s first economywide cap-and-trade program.

As detailed in a Dec. 4, 2012, Energy and Climate Reportarticle, the first auction resulted in all 23.1 million allowances offered for sale being sold for $10.09 a ton, just over the $10-a-ton allowance floor price set by the California Air Resources Board. The auction was hailed as a success.

For the 2013 auctions, CARB set a floor price of $10.71 per ton.

The upcoming auction, and the remaining ones to be held May 16, Aug. 16, and Nov. 19, will offer 56.8 million allowances for sale for use between 2013 and 2020 and another 38.2 million for use beginning in 2016.

According to CARB, its key task is to ensure the state’s cap-and-trade program becomes a successful model for curbing greenhouse gas emissions that can be embraced by other states, the federal government, and other countries.

Congressional Task Force Seeking Outside Views

More than 300 businesses and organizations were asked to respond by Feb. 20 to a congressional Bicameral Task Force on Climate Change request soliciting views on actions the government can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resiliency to climate change.

As covered in a Jan. 31 article, the House-Senate task force was formed by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D.-R.I.) to pave the way for congressional passage of climate change legislation.

“We invite all suggestions for action, both large and small,” the solicitation lettersays. “The window to prevent catastrophic climate change is rapidly closing.”

In the Senate, a bill—the Climate Protection Act of 2013— was introduced, as covered in a Feb. 14 article, by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would require the largest emitters of greenhouse gases--including several thousand coal, oil, and gas producers--to pay a $20-per-ton carbon fee.

However, any debate on the bill, which has yet to be scheduled, will have to wait until Congress returns from its constituent work week Feb. 25.

House Committee Asks for EPA Response

The Environmental Protection Agency has been asked by a House committee to report by Feb. 22 on steps it is taking to prevent fraudulent renewable fuel credits from entering the marketplace.

As covered in a Feb. 11 article, the House Energy and Commerce Committee is also asking EPA whether the 140 million fraudulent credits already identified have led to a steep decline in the price for renewable fuel credits since July 2012.

A slump in credit prices has been raising questions about whether further fraud and abuse is occurring in the renewable energy market.

DOE to Hold Webinars

On Feb. 19, the Department of Energy will host an Internal Revenue Service webinar on the availability of $150 million in advanced energy manufacturing tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the United States.

DOE also will hold public meetings in the week ahead on first-time efficiency standards for industrial and commercial pumps and blowers. On Feb. 20 commercial and industrial pumps will be discussed, and a Feb. 21 meeting will cover industrial fans and blowers.

Other Climate, Energy, Environmental Events

On Feb. 22, hydrogen refueling stations will be discussed during a DOE webinar. According to the department, more than 200 stations may be in operation in the United States, Germay, and Japan, which are leading the way in the technology.

The League of Conservation Voters will unveil its 2012 National Environmental Scorecard Feb. 20. The league also announced the launch of an interactive website allowing users to view congressional votes since the group's start in 1971.