RGGI (pronounced 'reggie') is a regional agreement between ten northeastern states to manage and regulate greenhouse gas emissions with a system that requires fossil-burning utilities to buy permits for the carbon they release into the atmosphere.
Although demand for the allowances was relatively high at the online auction, with four times as many bids as the available supply allowed, the permits sold for less than what some expected. One study predicted a higher price would be set for the carbon permits at the RGGI auction, but most estimates did not anticipate the severity of the current financial crisis.
The RGGI auction brought out 59 bidders, surpassing expectations of around 20 interested parties. The permits sold for $3.07 a ton, raising nearly $39 million for the state coffers of the six participating states.
Under the RGGI process, the carbon caps will be reduced incrementally for a total reduction of 10 percent by 2018. Emissions requirements will take effect Jan. 1, 2009.
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