Lawmakers in California are receiving strong demand from companies looking to emit greenhouse gases in the first quarterly auction since they extended the state's signature program intended to address climate change. The results of the auction were released Tuesday and were surprising, they showed that permits sold for the most they ever have, $14.75 for current emissions and $14.55 for future ones making them almost a full dollar more than last quarter.
The auction is set to raise nearly a billion dollars in revenue for the state, sixty percent of which is already marked for specific projects such as a high-speed rail. Lawmakers are expected to vote in the coming weeks on how the rest of the revenue will be used. In short, polluters have to get permits for each ton of greenhouse gas emissions that they release into the atmosphere. This program was set to continue until 2020 until lawmakers voted to extend it to 2030. If you want one of these permits, you might have to pay just to apply. Third party organizations are springing up like 'Green Plus' which are charging people just to register for an application. The 'Green Plus' certification buys you a couple fancy certificates, some promotional materials and a bumper sticker. Green Plus annual membership costs anywhere from $75 to $275 a year.
At the bottom of their website is the really important part, "Additionally, we partner with Chambers of Commerce around the country to provide Chamber members discounts to the Green Plus program." They don't draw much attention to this fact because they are essentially charging you hundreds of dollars for nothing, you still have to apply for the pollution permits separately.
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