California officials call carbon auction success
California businesses required to cut emissions or buy pollution permits called "allowances"
State regulators say California's first auction of greenhouse gas emissions permits went smoothly, and that all of the pollution permits available for 2013 were sold.
The California Air Resources Board said 23.1 million permits - which allow for one ton carbon - sold for $10.09 each at last week's auction.
The permits are part of California's so-called "cap-and-trade" program - a central piece of the state's 2006 global warming regulations seeking to dramatically reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases.
Businesses are required to either cut emissions to cap levels or buy pollution permits called "allowances" from other companies for each extra ton of emissions discharged annually.
Petroleum refiners, manufacturing companies and other industries have been outspoken opponents of the program, calling it an illegal tax that will hurt California's economic recovery.
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