In summary

Imposing needless program changes as a result of one carbon auction will adversely affect energy affordability and increase consumer costs.

By Frank Harris

Frank Harris is the manager of Energy Regulatory Policy at the California Municipal Utilities Association

Re “It’s time to fix California’s cap-and-trade – again”; Commentary, May 29, 2020

California’s cap-and-trade program is a successful part of the state’s efforts to combat climate change. Even during periods of economic hardship, the program supports the state’s climate goals with carbon prices that increase every year, and other well-designed market rules. The recession induced by COVID-19 has resulted in a significantly less demand for energy, one factor leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, there is less demand for carbon allowances. 

The low volume of carbon allowances sold in the May auction was an outlier. Notably, the two auctions preceding the economic crisis were robust. The results of one auction do not mean the program is broken and needs fixing.

Imposing needless program changes as a result of one carbon auction will adversely affect energy affordability, increasing consumer costs at precisely the worst time.  

Frank Harris is the manager of Energy Regulatory Policy at the California Municipal Utilities Association

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