State raises $18 million for energy-saving projects

December 20, 2008|By Timothy B. Wheeler | Timothy B. Wheeler,tim.wheeler@baltsun.com

Maryland raised $18 million this week in an auction of rights for power plants to release climate-changing pollution, officials said yesterday.

The bulk of the proceeds from Wednesday's auction in New York will finance energy-saving projects and help low-income residents pay their power bills.

The auction of allowances for power plants in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic to emit carbon dioxide yielded a total of $106.5 million for the 10 states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

This was the second auction held this fall. About 31.5 million allowances were sold at a "clearing price" of $3.38 each, an increase over the $3.07 price paid for rights sold in the first auction in September. Maryland received $16 million from the initial auction.

The regional initiative is the first mandatory "cap-and-trade" program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The participating states have all imposed caps, or ceilings, on carbon dioxide emissions from their power plants.

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