Northeast Cap-and-Trade Auction Called a Success

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Now that the Northeast Greenhouse Gas Initiative has held its third-ever auction, officials are calling the young cap-and-trade system a success. WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports.

REPORTER: The price of a single pollution credit ticked up 13 cents at auction on Wednesday. It now costs power producers $3.51 to emit one ton of carbon dioxide. Auction auditor David Patton says it shows polluters are willing to pay.

PATTON: There's more robust participation in the market, and that's what to me would signify that people have confidence in this market.

REPORTER: This was the the first auction for carbon allowances since a cap on emissions took effect in January. Europe has had a market for CO2 emissions since 2005. President Obama has said he'd like to create a cap and trade system for the entire United States. Wednesday's auction raised $50 million for energy efficiency programs in New York.

For WNYC, I'm Ilya Marritz.