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Scant Demand For California Pollution Permits

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California saw another three months of weak demand for pollution permits amid uncertainty about the future of the state’s cap on carbon emissions. California will take in only about $8 million from an auction that could have generated $592 million if all permits were sold. The Air Resources Board reported Wednesday that fewer than one in five permits were distributed at an auction last month. The vast majority were sold by utilities, which get them for free from the state. Some were sold to polluters in Quebec, the Canadian province that sells permits at the same auction.The program is a prime funding source for projects including high-speed rail and transit construction. But revenue has plummeted thanks to a glut of permits on the market, a lawsuit and legislative uncertainty.