California utilities approve carbon rules

In a unanimous vote this past week, California utilities approved rules outlining how the state’s largest investor owned utilities (IOUs) can engage in the carbon market set to launch in 2013.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had been working on the draft regulation for the past several months to clarify exactly how electricity providers will be able to buy and sell carbon offsets and allowances.

The rules provide public utilities with increased flexibility in how they can manage the carbon credits. The CPUC confirmed that any carbon offsets to be used for compliance must be approved by the state’s Air Resources Board.

Pacific Gas & Electric issued a request for offer for carbon offsets earlier this year and fellow utilities Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric will likely be joining in the carbon trading action shortly.