Sunday, August 2, 2009

Allow the Chicago Climate Exchange & Goldman Sachs to Broker Your Gas

(Photo credits TreeHugger)

-Gas collection and control extraction well at the Tontitown, Arkansas landfill-

SOMEBODY Has to Broker Your Gas...

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. writes in The American Spectator how "Sanity from the Indian Subcontinent" is prevailing over the Obama Administration's proposed carbon limits.

LWOH reported last month how Hillary Clinton recently visited India where she apologized for U.S. “mistakes” and encouraged India to adopt our 'American Carbon Serfdom Act' otherwise known around here as cap-and-trade. She was, as we reported here, treated to a verbal dress-down by the country's Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who dismissed her request for India to slow down their industrial development in order to protect the global environment. The Environmental Minister explained how this pressure to adopt emissions regulations such as the U.S. cap-and-trade bill is not in his country's best interest:

"There is simply no case for the pressure that we, who have among the lowest emissions per capita, face to actually reduce emissions. And as if this pressure was not enough, we also face the threat of carbon tariffs on our exports to countries such as yours."

The article also describes our cap-and-trade bill, "which will not only impose economic costs (for Americans, $7.4 trillion in taxes, our largest tax increase ever)" but how it could start an international trade war by excluding imported goods from countries like India that reject our "environmental diktats." BTW, China and Brazil do too. (Maybe it's high time for the U.S. to put the brakes on imported goods from India, since their leading export has been in human trafficking with their citizens willing to work at U.S. corporations for a fraction of American prevailing wages.)

For those who missed Matt Taibbi's must read article The Great American Bubble Machine, here it is via way of Corrente. (What Matt left out were all of the juicy details about the same players and Democratic heroes caught up in the Tech Bubble, who are now knee deep in the climate change bubble. Maybe he'll get around to that in his next article...)

Why the frenzy, then, for the U.S. to impose a global carbon trading scheme? Who will benefit? LWOH offers a few of several answers here and here and here and here. Another answer is an overcrowded, global population competing for scarce resources who can breath clean air and drink clean water - but that answer is too pedestrian. The true benefactors of such a scheme are the global oligarchs who will invest and profit from a little known, emerging financial market whose citadel (with a global business plan) is headquartered not on NYC's Wall St. but in Chicago, IL and is called the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).

Remember Obama's Goldman Sachs filled administration? Well, CCX is a safehouse for Goldman Sachs insiders like Hank Paulson, along with a host of other CCX founding members including American Electric Power (AEP), Dupont, Baxter International Inc., the City of Chicago, Equity Office Properties Trust, Ford Motor Company, International Paper, Manitoba Hydro, MeadWestvaco Corporation, Motorola, Inc., STMicroelectronics, Stora Enso North America, Temple-Inland Inc. and Waste Management,Inc.

Perhaps the least publicized yet famous carbon broker CCX founder is none other than President Obama, who served on the Joyce Foundation's board of directors. In 2000, the Joyce Foundation provided a grant through Northwestern University to conduct a feasibility study for a voluntary carbon trading pilot program. “The Joyce Foundation Named Barack Obama Of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland A Director.” (Chicago Sun-Times, 11/28/94). The Joyce Foundation’s Annual Reports list Barack Obama as one of the 12 members of the Board of Directors from 1998 until 2001. Wikipedia lists that Obama served from 1994 to 2002 on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation.

In general, creating a new dragon to slay (climate change) brings with it all sorts of offset revenue generating solutions in the form of software, consulting, rebates and tax credits.

Here's how garbage behemoth Waste Management does it with their methane flaring project in Tontitown, Arkensas. According to Treehugger, a BusinessWeek article raised questions about whether the methane flaring project "would have taken place even in the absence of offsets." The article explains selling carbon offset credits to customer, TerraPass here:

"Since 2005 Waste Management, Inc. (the credit seller) has sold over 15,000 tons of carbon offset credits related to the Tontitown to Chicago Climate Exchange (the broker) from which TerraPass (the customer) purchased them."

Great. But where are all the green jobs that were supposed to be created? (Per their website, San Francisco based Terrapass btw, like just about every "green technology" startup, has no job openings.) But Terrapass apparently does have a few employees, and from their website defines what they do here:

"TerraPass Carbon Management Services works with project developers to develop greenhouse gas reduction projects in a variety of industries. We have extensive experience working with farms, landfills, and wind power installations and have flexibility in considering other types of projects.

To begin, TerraPass helps owners and operators define changes they can make to reduce their emissions and to qualify their work for carbon crediting. Using proprietary modeling tools, we assess these activities against recognized third party carbon credit standards, and fund promising projects by contracting to purchase their carbon credits."

Just a side note here, but Terrapass, a privately held startup, sounds like it does a lot of the same stuff that the non-profit government body known as the EPA could do, you know, as part of the job of protecting the environment and all. Hmph. This has me wondering if, by the time the Obama administration is through with us, most government run programs including everything from the U.S. postal service (think Fed Ex) to public school education (think the Singularity etc.) to local law enforcement (think Xe) won't all be dismantled and taken over by a few well connected, for profit insiders who are adept at knowing which line to stand in for TARP-ish government subsidy handouts. Soon, we will have a country that is not governed and run by and for the people but by and for the self-appointed, no -bid contract Beltway and Sand Hill Rd. sycophants.

Moreover, should it not be a red flag when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admits cap-and-trade won’t work without India and China cooperating?

So is carbon trading the new Darth Vader? If you forget about profits for a moment, the carbon trade market is not realistically expected to create a new industry where none existed before, but rathter serve as an incentive for those engaged in desirable outcomes (like clean air, water, etc.) to keep doing it and for a marginal number of those engaged in undesirable outcome behavior to consider switching over from the darkside. In its purest form, the model is admirable.

By encouraging companies that are already profitable to add revenue streams from carbon offsets, this would create other advantages that make offsets/credits worthwhile. Corporate programs can grow and profit through measuring, monetizing, and administrating carbon offset programs and a willingness to look beyond just one program to find the right fit. But the whole carbon credit/offset market house of cards is hardly sustainable without enforcement and geo-political buy-in. Tyrrell cites a global warming critic, Professor Plimer, who explains:

"When I try explaining 'global warming' to people in Iran or Turkey they have no idea what I'm talking about."

Tyrrell notes that "alarmists" like Gore and Clinton, and for that mater, President Barack Obama, are "a self-centered minority out of touch with human needs and with atmospheric conditions." He cites Plimer's observation:

"Eco-guilt is a first-world luxury," he told Spectator. "It's the new religion for urban populations which have lost their faith in Christianity."

I tend to agree with Plimer. Not over the debate on global warming and its acolytes, which, as a matter Lakoffian framing proportions, should emphasize the very real perils of global over-population's impact on global pollution. As much as credit should be given to Gore for spearheading the subject under the banner of "global warming", here is where I find the Gore, Clinton and Obama cabal suspect: If "global warming" were such an imminent threat, why have they and their insider pals not stopped their living the high life habits which they insist causes it?

Oh sure, they turn their AC down one degree and make their domestic staff buy cloth Whole Foods bags and keep a token Prius parked in the garage, etc. Those other bad, polluting habits like private jet travel, humongous, multiple dwellings, SUV transporation, and so on are only meant for the global oligarchs and their yes men? Is this what the new global climate exchange market supports? A means for a few global insiders to reap profits by exchanging lucrative, gov't. subsidized corporate credits through charging a tax on the heads of billions of "polluting" civilian units? (I am all for a global carbon tax that taxes polluting corporations but against this cap-and-trade scheme.)

The new climate change market (CCX) sadly may be our crumbling Empire's last rabbit trick in the hat to push towards inventing a revenue generating market out of thin air. One that is not useful to mankind but to enslave mankind, with the exception of a very few "extremist" zealots with too much money:

Tyrrell writes:

A timely explanation for their self-centered hysteria now comes from an unlikely source, Cass Sunstein, a professor at Harvard Law School and recently appointed to be Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, by President Obama. In Going to Extremes: How Like Minds Unite and Divide, he deposits his finding that "like-minded people tend to move to a more extreme version of what they thought" the more they talk with each other. The liberal Democrats who now dominate the Obama Administration have pretty much sealed themselves off from criticism. They have been talking with each other for years, reaffirming their prejudices and getting ever more extreme. Now on the environment they would impose on the whole world taxes and regulations that will suppress economic growth and conduce to trade wars. Fortunately they are running up against the enlightened Indians and Chinese, ex-socialists who have learned the benefits of growth. The surprise is on us."

Are the Indians and Chinese really "enlightened" as the author states above or just good politicians for now? It could be that the surprise will be on them, the next time a natural or man made economic and/or climate disaster hits them and they come calling to the U.S. hat in hand. After all, under the old "we're all one big global connected world" circus tent, if India and China don't want to pay their climate change eco-guilt dues, perhaps the first world for better or for worse will have no other choice than to show them how things are done Chicago style.



Anonymous said...

The CCX has gone belly up via buyout. Yes, the stock option holders have reaped their reward. No what?

AllHat and No Cattle said...

We got a saying down here in Austin Texas:
If you can sniff it, sniff it. After all, Texas is full of blooming geniuses.

Anonymous said...

no keepin em down on the PLANTATION.