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CO2 - Carbon Trading and Taxes (25)
By Patrick Henningsen
21st Century Wire
Plagued by a free fall in carbon emissions prices and the perennial failure of Washington to pass any binding Cap and Trade Bill, it seems that the Chicago Climate Exchange is on its last leg, announcing that it will be scaling back its operations.
Chicago Climate Exchange or CCX, is North America’s sole voluntary, legally binding greenhouse gas trading and carbon “offset” projects in North America and Brazil. Rueters reported on Aug 11th that Intercontinental Exchange Inc, the operating body who purchased the struggling CCX in May this year, will be scaling back major operations this month, a move that includes massive layoffs. This is likely due to the complete market free-fall of their only product… carbon emissions.
Anthony Watts from the climate watchdog website Watts Up With That posts a graph from the CCX which shows carbon prices dropping like a stone, bottoming out this week at the embarrassingly low figure of 10 cents per tonne. Compare this to trading prices during its brief hay day in May and June 2008 where market highs reached $5.85 and $7.40 respectively, and you can say that most investors will be evaluating carbon as one of today’s more worthless commodities.
As I have previously shown, speculative derivatives (especially credit default swaps or "CDS") are a primary cause of the economic crisis. They were largely responsible for bringing down Bear Stearns, AIG (and see this), WaMu and other mammoth corporations.
According to top experts, risky derivatives were not only largely responsible for bringing down the American (and world) economy, but they still pose a substantial systemic risk:
- A Nobel prize-winning economist (George Akerlof) predicted in 1993 that CDS would cause the next meltdown.
- Warren Buffett called them “weapons of mass destruction” in 2003.
- Warren Buffett’s sidekick Charles T. Munger, has called the CDS prohibition the best solution, and said “it isn’t as though the economic world didn’t function quite well without it, and it isn’t as though what has happened has been so wonderfully desirable that we should logically want more of it”.
- Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan - after being one of their biggest cheerleaders - now says CDS are dangerous.
- Former SEC chairman Christopher Cox said "The virtually unregulated over-the-counter market in credit-default swaps has played a significant role in the credit crisis''.
- Newsweek called CDS "The Monster that Ate Wall Street".
- President Obama said in a June 17 speech on his plans for finance industry regulatory reform that credit swaps and other derivatives “have threatened the entire financial system”.
- George Soros says the market is still unsafe, and that credit- default swaps are “toxic” and “a very dangerous derivative” because it’s easier and potentially more profitable for investors to bet against companies using them than through so-called short sales.
- U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters introduced a bill in July that tried to ban credit-default swaps because she said they permitted speculation responsible for bringing the financial system to its knees.
- Nobel prize-winning economist Myron Scholes - who developed much of the pricing structure used in CDS - said that over-the-counter CDS are so dangerous that they should be “blown up or burned”, and we should start fresh.
- A leading credit default swap expert Satyajit Das says that the new credit default swap regulations not only won't help stabilize the economy, they might actually help to destabilize it.
- Senator Cantwell says that the new derivatives legislation is weaker than current regulation
By Ian Talley
WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- U.S. legislators have obtained a court order unsealing documents in a case involving a multi-million-dollar cap-and-trade fraud.
Republican legislators say the records--due to be opened to the public in early January--could shed light on the potential challenges of policing a new, trillion-dollar commodities market that would be created under climate legislation that Congress is considering.
In a rare filing by House lawyers, Reps. Joe Barton (R., Texas) and Greg Walden (R., Ore.), the ranking members respectively of the Energy Committee and the Oversight Subcommittee, asked a federal district court in California to unseal all the closed records regarding the successful prosecution for fraud of Anne Masters Sholtz, a former California Institute of Technology economist.
Lawmakers say Sholtz's case could expose the weaknesses of a federal cap-and- trade system because it involved the same market mechanism meant to cut emissions.
In particular, said one Republican aide, the case may shed light on the challenges of prosecuting fraud in such a system.
Sholtz, who helped design a small California cap-and-trade program, allegedly hustled New York Investment firm AG Clean Air out of more than $12 million between 1999 and 2001 by selling fake emission credits.
Despite an estimated $50 million to $80 million in claims against her in bankruptcy filings and nine complaints, she pleaded guilty to one of six counts of wire fraud in 2005. Sholtz received what the lawmakers say was a veritable slap on the wrist for the felony--a sentence of five years probation with one year of home detention.
"Did they not have enough proof? Did they have good leads, but faced practical difficulties? Were there witness, evidence, strategic problems? These are the questions that we hope to answer with the unsealed documents," the Republican aide said.
-By Ian Talley, Dow Jones Newswires; (202) 862-9285; firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm of the opinion that there are very few "good ones" in Congress. They all take turns grandstanding so they can appear to be good ones. It's like a sick game where members actually stand up and tell us the truth about what they are about to do to us. It never stops what they are going to do to us, but it makes them sound as if they care and are on our side.
So with that perspective in mind, here's a glimpse into yet another massive bill that nobody is allowed to read and the kind of crap that in it.
By Matt Cover
The 1,400-page cap-and-trade legislation pushed through by House Democrats contains a new federal policy that residential, commercial, and government buildings be retrofitted to increase energy efficiency, leaving it up to the states to figure out exactly how to do that.
This means that homeowners, for example, could be required to retrofit their homes to meet federal “green” guidelines in order to sell their homes, if the cap-and-trade bill becomes law.
The bill, which now goes to the Senate, directs the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and implement a national policy for residential and commercial buildings. The purpose of such a strategy – known as the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance (REEP) – would be to “facilitate” the retrofitting of existing buildings nationwide.
“The Administrator shall develop and implement, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, standards for a national energy and environmental building retrofit policy for single-family and multi-family residences,” the bill reads.
It continues: “The purpose of the REEP program is to facilitate the retrofitting of existing buildings across the United States.”
By Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
Climatologist, former NASA scientist
I don’t think Al Gore in his wildest dreams could have imagined how successful the “climate crisis” movement would become. It is probably safe to assume that this success is not so much the result of Gore’s charisma as it is humanity’s spiritual need to be involved in something transcendent – like saving the Earth.
After all, who wouldn’t want to Save the Earth? I certainly would. If I really believed that manmade global warming was a serious threat to life on Earth, I would be actively campaigning to ‘fix’ the problem.
But there are two practical problems with the theory of anthropogenic global warming: (1) global warming is (or at least was) likely to be a mostly natural process; and (2) even if global warming is manmade, it will be immensely difficult to avoid further warming without new energy technologies that do not currently exist.
On the first point, since the scientific evidence against global warming being anthropogenic is what most of the rest of this website is about, I won’t repeat it here. But on the second point…what if the alarmists are correct? What if humanity’s burning of fossil fuels really is causing global warming? What is the best path to follow to fix the problem?
By Daniel Taylor
Mandatory home inspections could be performed by Obama's Clean Energy Corps if the controversial Climate bill is passed through congress.
The National Service bill, which Obama signed in April, established a "Clean Energy Corps" under AmeriCorps that is tasked with performing - among other things - home energy audits as part of their "national service". As the act states, the Corps is charged with "conducting energy audits for low-income households and recommending ways for the households to improve energy efficiency." As job losses accelerate daily, "Green jobs" are increasingly being offered as an alternative to the gutted American economy.
The original national service bill stated that service would be mandatory, but the language was later removed and added to a separate piece of legislation, HR 1444. As originally stated, a commission would be set up to investigate,
The one thing that is glaringly missing from most all the discussion going on about the Cap and Trade legislation is the fact that the entire premise it's all based on is a total, absolute FRAUD. The whole premise that CO2 is a toxic waste, a pollutant that drives climate change is the largest fraud ever perpetrated on the people of this planet! Please checkout our entire Global Warming/Climate Change Topic Section for a mountain of evidence to validate this fact.
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By David Edwards and Muriel Kane
A bill intended to limit greenhouse gas emissions and create clean energy jobs has come under fire from Republicans, who insist it would destroy jobs while raising the cost of energy for consumers. Some, like House Minority Leader John Boehner, have even taken to describing the legislation as a “tax.”
Few Republicans, however, would go as far as to describe the bill as “tyranny,” as Rep. Michele Bachmamn (R-MN) did when she spoke on the House floor Friday in support of an amendment offered by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA). Forbes’ plan would scrap the current bill entirely and replace it with a “New Manhattan project” to offer prizes for inventing more energy efficient technology.
Bachman began by citing figures apparently taken from the pro-business Club for Growth. “We know that this national energy tax will cost the American people two trillion dollars,” she insisted. “We know that. We know this will result in a lost of 2.5 million jobs.every year. We know that. We know this will result in a reduced standard of living for Americans. We know that.
Democrats off-loading economics to pass climate change bill.
Wall Street Journal
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has put cap-and-trade legislation on a forced march through the House, and the bill may get a full vote as early as Friday. It looks as if the Democrats will have to destroy the discipline of economics to get it done.
Despite House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman's many payoffs to Members, rural and Blue Dog Democrats remain wary of voting for a bill that will impose crushing costs on their home-district businesses and consumers. The leadership's solution to this problem is to simply claim the bill defies the laws of economics.
Their gambit got a boost this week, when the Congressional Budget Office did an analysis of what has come to be known as the Waxman-Markey bill. According to the CBO, the climate legislation would cost the average household only $175 a year by 2020. Edward Markey, Mr. Waxman's co-author, instantly set to crowing that the cost of upending the entire energy economy would be no more than a postage stamp a day for the average household. Amazing. A closer look at the CBO analysis finds that it contains so many caveats as to render it useless.
By John Tate
Campaign for Liberty
Congress is trying to skyrocket your cost of living while putting another 1 million-plus Americans out of work. And they want to do it before the week is out.
You see, the “Cap-and-Trade” bill currently in the House is really nothing more than a thinly disguised energy tax that will hit every single American.
And now Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats are pushing this tax hike toward a vote that could come as soon as Friday.
That’s why we need to act now.
I have included the number for the Congressional switchboard, but first I want you to understand the disastrous consequences of this Cap-and-Tax Scheme.
By invasively manipulating an already over-regulated energy industry, this legislation seeks to fix an alleged problem that has recently been discredited by over 31,478 scientists -- including over 3,803 with specific expertise in atmospheric, earth, and environmental sciences.
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