First Auction Results Show WA Cap-and-Trade Program Costly, Needs Critical Improvements

WSPA President and CEO Catherine Reheis-Boyd on Washington’s first cap-and-trade auction results that were announced today:

“At an allocation price $16 higher than the Department of Ecology (DOE) predicted in January, Washington’s first cap-and-trade auction confirmed what we have been concerned about all along, that as designed, it is an unnecessarily expensive program that will deliver marginal environmental benefits while hurting the state’s consumers and economy.

“In fact, the first auction results demonstrated critical structural problems with the program, as the final price was near the “reserve” price of $51.90 which serves as a circuit breaker for the allowance price.  That the final cost of allowances were so close to the reserve price is a troubling result consistent with the warnings outside experts have been providing the state on the current cap-and-trade design.

“While the state is focused on the funds raised, today is not a day to celebrate and should be a warning for the viability of the program moving forward. There is a better way, and we hope that these expensive results will spur the state to make the essential improvements we have been advocating for, including the state’s need to provide immediate clarification for exemptions for agricultural and marine users.

“We stand ready to work with the DOE on our mutual desire to design a successful program going forward.”

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