September 24, 2008 / 4:27 PM / 11 years ago

First U.S. carbon auction results out on Monday

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The results of first auction in the United States for the right of power plants to emit the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide will be published on Monday, said the group of 10 states in the Northeast organizing the sale.

The states, which formed a group called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to regulate emissions from more than 200 power plants beginning in January, will hold the auction on Thursday.

“The clearing price and number of allowances sold for auction 1 will be posted here on Monday,” the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative said on its Web site on Wednesday.

It said that additional auction results will be made available to the public “after financial settlement” on October 8.

The auction will offer more than 12 million permits for the right to emit one ton of carbon dioxide. Power plants that cut emissions, through clean energy investments or efficiency measures, are expected to sell the permits for a profit to plants that could not make the cuts.

Futures prices for RGGI allowances were down about 50 cents to $4.00 a ton on Thursday, brokers said, on expectations that the first auction would be thinly traded. The credit crisis and the fact that emitters have several years to comply with the first RGGI emissions cap may prompt emitters to sit out the first auction, they said.

In addition, several states, including founding member New York, have said they will wait until RGGI’s next auction in December to sell permits because of delays in finalizing state rules.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner, editing by Gene Ramos

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