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California Nets $860 Million From Carbon Auction

Rich Pedroncelli / AP / File

This Sept. 22, 2006 file photo shows the Conoco Oil Refinery in Rodeo, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP / File

(AP) - California permits to emit carbon sold out for the second straight auction, generating about $860 million for the state.

Quarterly auction results released Tuesday show demand remains strong for pollution permits since California lawmakers renewed the state's cap-and-trade program. The program requires polluters to obtain a permit to release greenhouse gases.

Auction proceeds pay for a variety of environmental, transportation and other projects including high-speed rail and clean-vehicle subsidies. Permits sold for $15.06 for current emissions, the highest price ever. That's nearly $1.50 above the auction floor.

Permits for emissions in 2020 and beyond sold for $14.76.

Lawmakers voted in July to reauthorize the cap-and-trade program through 2030. Before that demand for permits plummeted as businesses waited to see if the program would continue.

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