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  • Today’s Calamity: Carbon Offsets Do Not Offset the Economic Pain of Cap and Trade

    Cap and Trade Calamities

    “There’s a point at which you’ve got to ask yourself, what are we doing here? What’s the point?”

    That’s Elaine Kamarck, a former Clinton administration official and advisor to then-Vice President Gore, and she’s talking about the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill. In order to garner enough votes to pass the House of Representatives, policymakers made promises that have groups like Greenpeace questioning the environmental effectiveness of the bill.

    One of the most contentious provisions in the bill is the use of carbon offsets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Offsets allow carbon-emitting businesses to pay others to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

    Bob Barr, a columnist for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, explains: “A manufacturing plant in, say, Gary, Ind., that is exceeding its ‘permitted’ expulsion of CO2, could continue to commit this sin against humanity by paying for a Brazilian farmer to plant some trees in the rain forest. A more patriotic company might achieve the same result by paying an Iowa farmer to implement more ‘Earth-friendly’ farming practices. Of course, to guard against some nefarious polluter trying to cheat Uncle Sam and the world by claiming bogus ‘offsets,’ here must be a monitoring mechanism. Enter the ‘Offsets Integrity Advisory Board’—yet another group of scientific ‘experts’ that would be tasked with compiling a list of qualifying offsets around the globe.”

    Section 731a of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill creates this independent “Offsets Integrity Advisory Board” to help the administrator make decisions about the appropriate regulations. The board authorizes sector-specific allocations of international offset credits—which are highly vulnerable to politicization.

    Proponents of cap and trade are trying to convince farmers that they will be the big beneficiaries of a carbon offset program because farmers can use cleaner technology, reduce nitrous oxide emissions, or simply not grow crops. But because so many sectors can take advantage of the carbon offset program, there will be little left for farmers. Page 60 of the Environmental Protection Agency’s analysis of the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill is projecting that most of the domestic offsets will come from forestry and growing trees.

    The reality is farmers use a lot of electricity, a lot of diesel fuel, and a lot of natural gas-derived chemicals and fertilizers to grow crops and maintain their farms. So it shouldn’t be surprising that a cap and trade program that artificially drives up the cost of energy will unfavorably affect farmers.

    If it sounds silly and fraught with fraud, it is. Even with an “Offsets Integrity Advisory Board,” offsets are difficult to monitor and regulate. They are also very easy to manipulate. For example, a country could build a coal plant and say they’ve created offsets because they were going to build a dirtier one.

    Bryan Leyland, chairman of the economic panel of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition, said, “I first heard about carbon trading at a conference more than 10 years ago. I got up and said ‘If I was the financial adviser to the Mafia, I would advise them to get into carbon trading.’ Nothing that has happened since then changes my opinion – rather the reverse.”

    In fact, the Italian mafia is getting involved in green energy.

    And let’s not forget Enron’s Ken Lay was a strong supporter of carbon cap and trade. He believed a cap and trade program would “do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative.” These carbon allowances that will be bought and sold have a value estimated at $50 billion to $300 billion annually, and the trade in them would be a huge new business. Enron may be gone, but others ready to take advantage of cap and trade—at the public’s expense—are not.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Today’s Calamity: Carbon Offsets Do Not Offset the Economic Pain of Cap and Trade

    1. Bobbie Jay says:

      NO MONEY IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO CHANGE A THING. THIS IS NOTHING BUT ANOTHER BOOK ON GOVERNMENT FRAUD AND CORRUPTION. ANY BUSINESS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR THAT IS FOR THIS FRAUD HAS BEEN MANIPULATED BY GOVERNMENT TO EXPECT TO BE BENEFITED FROM THIS HORRENDOUS CRIME. ALL GREEN-JOBS ARE NOTHING MORE THEN MAKE-WORK. COSTLY AND UNNECESSARY!

    2. Pingback: » Financial News Update – 09/22/09 NoisyRoom.net: Where liberty dwells, there is my country…

    3. Whicket Williams Kin says:

      We must eliminate the career politician This will require the greatest grass roots movement in history, as they have all the media and money on their side, and they have already decided we are powerless and irrelevant, as evidenced by their words and actions, when we try to talk to them.Everybody needs to find one person that they know and trust to replace the career politicians who represent them that is up for reelection in 2010 Make sure this person wins. Everybody get behind one person, democrat or republican matters not, just that he/she is chosen by us, and not the corrupt machine that rules us all like serfs

    4. jim sardis,ms says:

      Just,another big government takeover to control and shutdown who they want to and eliminate free market manufacturing in the US. More fines,fees,penalties and taxes poured into the treasury for the corrupt to stick in their pockets. Only,after this is passed will the public understand how it will increase their cost of living. The only people that will be protected from increased energy costs will be the beneficiaries of the redistribution of wealth.

    5. Joey Johnson, LA says:

      This is a "get rich quick" scheme by politicians whose chosen leader is Al "I invented the internet" Gore. The only difference between this scheme and the ones featured on "Sanford and Son" is the level of complexity. Look at what the so-called "leaders" of this country are deeming as important. Not a day goes by that I don't find myself singing Merle Haggard's "Are the Good Times Really Over for Good." God Help us all.

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