Image source does not exist News Release: 2014-02-14 ARB takes action against cap-and-trade program bidding violations

Release #:14-12

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Dave Clegern
(916) 322-2990

ARB takes action against cap-and-trade program bidding violations

Violations are for confidentiality breaches and an insufficient bid guarantee

SACRAMENTO - The Air Resources Board today announced the resolution of four enforcement cases arising from cap-and-trade program allowance auctions. Enforcement action was taken after the Air Resources Board detected what appear to be negligent errors in the bidding process and improper disclosures of bidding information by auction participants.

“The rules are very clear that no information about auction participation or bidding can be shared,” noted Dr. Steven Cliff of the Air Resources Board staff, “even in private contracts with third parties.” He encouraged anyone with questions to contact cap-and-trade program staff.

The violations include the following:

Southern California Edison (SCE) will pay $75,000 for making public comments about participating in the first allowance auction in November 2012. The cap-and-trade regulation forbids any disclosure to third parties regarding qualification for or participation in an auction, and disclosure of any bidding information. Although none of the conduct appears intended to affect the market or benefit SCE, the Air Resources Board must enforce rules to protect the security of cap-and-trade program auctions.

Luminus Energy Partners QP, LP, will pay a $40,000 penalty for sharing bidding information with an advisor who had not been disclosed to the Air Resources Board. An investigation by the Air Resources Board indicated that, in connection with the August 2013 auction, Luminus discussed bidding information with an undisclosed third-party advisor. Auction advisors who have been disclosed to the Air Resources Board are the only third parties with whom auction participants may share information regarding auction participation.

CP Energy Marketing (US), Inc. agreed to pay $25,000 for disclosing to a third party some limited information regarding plans to purchase allowances at auction.  

The City of Riverside will pay $25,000 for submitting bids into an auction that exceeded the financial bid guarantee required by auction regulations. Submitting bids that are not fully backed by a bid guarantee is a violation of California’s cap-and-trade regulation.  

More information regarding these settlements is available on ARB’s website at

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.