California Raises More Than $800 Million in Carbon Permits — Funding High-Speed Rail, Other Projects

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Construction workers at a viaduct being built to extend over State Route 99 and North and Cedar Avenues in Fresno County in this undated photo. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Construction workers at a viaduct being built to extend over State Route 99 and North and Cedar Avenues in Fresno County in this undated photo. (Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

California raised more than $800 million from selling permits to release greenhouse gases in the latest quarterly auction.

Auction results released Wednesday show all available permits were sold through California’s cap-and-trade program. The program requires polluters to obtain permits for each ton of carbon they release.

Sixty percent of the revenue is earmarked for specific projects including a high-speed train planned to run between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The remaining 40 percent is divvied up by state lawmakers for programs that address climate change, such as electric-vehicle subsidies.

Cap-and-trade is a central part of California’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. Demand for permits has been consistently high since lawmakers last year extended the program until 2030.

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