California's ambitious program to curtail greenhouse gases launched Wednesday with a conspicuous lack of fanfare.
The state auctioned up to 62 million emissions allowances, each one good for spewing a ton of carbon, officially kicking off California's much-anticipated cap-and-trade market.
But the California Air Resources Board, the agency overseeing the auction, won't divulge any of the auction results until Monday.
Stanley Young, an agency spokesman, said the computerized sale lasted the scheduled three hours.
"It opened at 10 and closed at 1," he said, declining further comment.
Some experts wondered if bidding was dampened by an 11th-hour lawsuit filed the day before by the California Chamber of Commerce. The chamber didn't try to block the auction but is seeking to derail future sales, arguing that the state-run auctions are an unconstitutional tax.
But until results are released Monday, affected companies won't know how the market is shaping up.
"I'll be interested to find out how well the process worked," said Rob Neenan, president of the California League of Food Processors.