Comments on California’s Draft Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds for the Fourth Investment Plan

This submittal was made in response to a consultation call by the California Air Resources Board on their draft proposal for the use of revenues from their Cap-and-Trade auctions. This program covers approximately 80% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions from the largest polluters in the state.

California is right to be proud that it has one of the best carbon pricing programs in the world. Although most emissions trading systems give permits away for free to corporations, resulting in overallocation and a low price, California has in general avoided the low price due to its escalating price floor.

Even so, we believe that the program can be improved in several ways, including moving the point of regulation further upstream, auctioning 100% of permits while getting rid of whatever free allocation remains, and lastly – and this is the main point of this submittal – returning the revenues generated back to households as a carbon dividend.

Download the submittal

Featured image: Fog in the forest, Redwood National Park, California . Source:,_fog_in_the_forest.jpg

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