DEP says poor showing at CO2 allowance auctions affirms decision to exit RGGI

TRENTON – The state continues to press its case that Gov. Christie was correct to pull New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

The Department of Environmental Protection reported that at last week’s RGGI auction of CO2 allowances for the current period, less than 18 percent were sold.

In addition, DEP reported, none of the allowances for the next period were sold.

In four of the last five quarterly auctions, not all of the allowances offered were sold; in June, less than 30 percent were sold, DEP stated.

This confirms that the administration was correct to exit the Northeast regional compact of states designed to reduce carbon emissions and promote “green’’ energy, DEP stated.

“Climate change is real and it’s impacting our state, but RGGI is not the answer,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin.

Auction results

The results of the Sept. 7 auction, released on Friday, indicate that only 17.75 percent of the 42 million current control period CO2 allowances offered for sale regionally were sold, DEP reported.

None of the 1.86 million future 2014 vintage CO2 allowances offered for sale regionally were sold. The clearing price for 2011 vintage CO2 allowances was $1.89, which is the reserve price, DEP stated.

New Jersey offered for sale 5,524,735 vintage 2011 CO2 allowances and did not offer any vintage 2014 CO2 allowances.

A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one short ton of CO2 by a power plant regulated under the New Jersey CO2 Budget Trading Program or under the corresponding programs in the nine other RGGI participating states, DEP reported.

‘Green’ initiatives

The report comes at the same time that a Board of Public Utilities hearing was convened this week to solicit input from stakeholders in the process regarding whether or how solar renewable energy credits should be continued as a means to promote solar energy in the state.

Also, on Monday the Senate Energy Committee will hear a bill, S3032, sponsored by Sens. Bob Smith, (D-17), Piscataway, and Linda Greenstein, (D-14), Monroe that would actually increase the state’s renewable energy requirements.

As part of the governor’s Energy Master Plan, Christie has called for reducing renewable goals from 30 percent to 22.5 percent.

Previous coverage:

Solar energy subject of BPU meeting


  DEP says poor showing at CO2 allowance auctions affirms decision to exit RGGI