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Latest Northeast carbon cap-and-trade program auction clears at $2.53/ton

In the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative's second quarterly auction of the year, 100% of the 14,597,470 carbon dioxide allowances on offer were purchased at a clearing price of $2.53/ton.

Results of the June 7 sale were released by RGGI on June 9 and showed the clearing price was down 47 cents, or almost 16%, from the program's prior auction price of $3.00/ton and to the lowest level in nearly five years since the RGGI December 2012 sale.

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Auction bids for the RGGI allowances ranged from a low at the reserve price of $2.15/ton to a high of $6.00/ton. There were 40 bidders in the June RGGI auction, with the ratio of bids coming in at 2.1 times the total amount of allowances.

RGGI said 49% of the allowances sold in the June auction were bought by compliance entities, or their affiliates. Compliance-oriented entities purchased 36% of the allowances in the recent sale.

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The auction clearing price was not high enough to trigger the sale of allowances from the cost containment reserve, or CCR. The CCR is a fixed additional supply of allowances that are only available for sale if CO2 allowance prices exceed certain price levels: $10 this year and rising by 2.5% each year thereafter to account for inflation

The latest RGGI auction netted roughly $36.9 million. Cumulative proceeds from all of the RGGI's 36 allowance auctions to date exceed $2.7 billion.

As of June 8, over-the-counter RGGI allowance prices were down slightly from earlier in the month, with the benchmark December 2017 vintage 2017 futures contract assessed in a bid-and-offer range of $2.50/ton to $2.70/ton.

The RGGI participating states use a market-based cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions from regional power plants, selling nearly all emissions allowances through auctions and investing proceeds in energy efficiency projects. RGGI is made up of nine states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Market prices and included industry data are current as of the time of publication and are subject to change. For more detailed market data, including power and natural gas index prices, as well as forwards and futures, visit our Commodities pages.