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Carbon Trading
By Pat CarlsonJan 26, 2008
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"Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb and we have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction" so says Al Gore in his global warming movie, "An Inconvenient Truth." As Gore travels all over the world convincing people that humans are causing global warming and that the American people are the worst offenders, many Americans have began to believe this lie and actually feel guilty for this supposed sin against planet earth.

Patti Saraniero and her husband, Ben who have three sons and live in San Diego, already recycle and compost their trash, but their family is so large that it won't fit into a small car so the family continues to drive their SUV. Feeling guilty and responsible for this transgression, Patti logged on to TerraPass, a retailer of offsets in San Francisco, used its online calculator to figure out the amount of carbon she needed to offset and paid the company $100 to do it. Patti paid for someone else to plant a tree or perform some other activity that supposedly reduces carbon emissions. This is called Carbon Trading and TerraPass is only one little member of a much larger group called the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) which claims to be the "world's first and North America's only active voluntary, legally binding integrated trading system to reduce emissions of all six major greenhouse gases with offset projects."

Nancy Pelosi really feels the burden of America's guilt and has created the Green the Capitol Initiative pledging to make the US Capitol carbon neutral by December, 2008. The Capitol's very own, very old coal-burning power plant emits 30,000 tons of carbon each year. So to lessen the Capitol's "carbon footprint," House Administrative Officer, Dan Beard has purchased from CCX at $2.97 per ton 30,000 tons of offsets at a final price of $90,000. The price of offsets can be as high as $20 per ton.

Of the half dozen or so bills in the Congress right now dealing with carbon caps and trading, the one that has received the most attention is S. 2191 otherwise known as the Lieberman/Warner America's Climate Security Act. It would require:

  • Emissions must be reduced to 2005 levels by 2012

  • 1990 levels by 2020

  • 65% below 1990 levels by 2050

  • Sets up a new government agency dealing in carbon

  • trading called "Climate Change Credit Corporation."

  • 20% of funds this taxing entity collects will go to the Energy Assistance Fund for low and moderate-income assistance programs.

  • 20% to the Adaptation Fund to support research and education activities to assist wildlife in adapting to and surviving the effects of climate change.

  • Sets up a Federal Reserve-like board that would monitor the US economy as it interacts with the carbon market.

The whole idea of carbon trading sounds really intimidating when equated to the stock market and trading, but it is really very simple when reduced to its basic purpose. It's purpose is rationing and taxing. We will pay a tax when we use more than our rationed amount of energy. This scheme will allow a very few to get very rich and will have absolutely no effect on global warming.

By the way, Al Gore is not going to miss out on this get-rich-quick-scheme. He has formed a company named Generation Investment Management. It is a associate member of The Chicago Climate Exchange.

The next time you have a any pangs of guilt about your excessive carbon footprint, just check in online and pay your hard earned dollars to some phantom company who will then purge you of your environmental sins.

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