A SHOCKER! – Installment 10 – May 30, 2008
A SHOCKER! – Installment 10 – May 30, 2008
Re-post. Originially posted on May 29, 2008.
Soon, the Senate will hold hearings on a “Cap and Trade” bill, an effort to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and prevent further global warming. It will be costly (multiple billions) and have far-reaching consequences (many decades and possibly beyond). Whether Cap and Trade will have any real benefit to the globe is still as unclear as the science of global warmings’ existence or cause. Senate Bill 2191 is offered to the Senate by Barbara Boxer (D – CA), Joe Lieberman (D-CONN) and John Warner (R-VA).
The “Cap” part of the bill places limits or “caps” on how much CO2 a company is allowed by government to emit into the air. This is usually measured in tons. The limit will be determined by the government’s estimate of current total emissions minus the reduction goal which will be a steadily reduced percentage annually. S. 2191 requires that emissions decline to 15% below 2005 levels by 2020, without regard to population increases and rising energy demands. Each unit of emissions allowed is called a carbon credit.
Company A may be allowed to emit 500 tons of CO2 this year, while Company B is allowed 600 tons. What happens if Company A exceeds the goal and only emits 450 tons, a savings of 50 carbon credits? What happens if Company B is unable to reduce emissions enough and exceeds the cap by 50 tons? No problem. Company B purchases the unused 50 carbon credits from Company A and is considered carbon neutral. In reality, Company A has done part of the reduction work for Company B and Company B hasn’t done its share.
How does Co. B absorb the cost of buying the additional carbon credits from Co. A? It doesn’t. It simply adds it to the cost of its goods and services, and you and I, the consumers, pay for it. Does the government give the annual carbon credits to companies for free? Nope. The government sells them and, by some estimates, expects to collect billions in new revenue. Who pays the cost of buying carbon credits from the government? You guessed it. The consumers – you and I. Companies add all of their costs of doing business to the prices of their goods and services and we pay for it. Our lives are getting more and more expensive, especially as the rate of reduction is constantly tightened year after year, making it increasingly more difficult for companies to comply. The harder it is, the more it will cost – US.
Companies will have to become experts in CO2 emission reduction technology, science and engineering. Instead of concentrating their efforts on making their product or providing their service, they will have to spend time and resources on emissions reduction. Most companies will hire someone to figure it out and get it done, passing the cost of the new employee/s on to us, again. Like losing weight, the last 20% of reduction may be very difficult to do, resulting in costly efforts. Just because the government decided to make a company reduce emissions by a number they picked, doesn’t mean it’s possible in reality. Of course, they can always purchase whatever extra carbon credits they need – and pass the cost on to you and me.
How will companies buy and sell carbon credits? Will they need to hire someone to handle that? Maybe not, but if they do, they will pass that cost on to…you guessed it…you and me. The American Chronicle online has a good article explaining carbon credit trading, the “Trade” part of “Cap and Trade”, entitled “‘Carbon Credit Trading’ is the New ‘Derivatives’ Game”, by Ugur Akinci, Ph.D., May 14, 2007 http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/27045
A carbon credit is basically the right to pollute sold by those less-polluting companies to those who do not, for one reason or another, want to curb their carbon dioxide emissions yet. The prices of these credits probably rely more on the laws passed by legislative bodies in respective parliaments than on net corporate worths, or any classical technical ratios or interest rates.
The market to buy and sell such credits is especially hot in Europe where most countries have signed the U.N. Kyoto Protocol to curb CO2 emissions. The United States as of May 2007 still has not signed the Protocol.
To sell these credits as individual companies, you need to register your energy-saving and carbon-suppressing projects with the United Nations and get U.N. certification. Therefore, the U.S. companies cannot do that yet directly. That’s why London is right now the busy hub of the $25 billion carbon credit trading market where 60% of all transactions take place compared to only 10% in the U.S.
(MY NOTE: Al Gore’s company, Generation Investment Management is based in London (where all the money is flowing) with an office in Washington, D.C. (where he can push legislation in his favor.) This is a fund management company that trades “green” companies. Al Gore uses it to offset his own huge use of carbon fuels. He invests his money in these green companies thinking that he is investing enough in someone else’s effort to be eco-friendly and that will balance his “way out of the norm” use of energy in his mansion in Tennessee. He has two other homes around the country and I bet he flies to them. Maybe he drives a Prius between states? He invests his money in GIM, which then pays him a salary and a return on his investments. His “carbon neutral money scheme” keeps his money revolving from one of his pockets to another of his pockets, picking up more profit along the way. Clever guy, this Al Gore.)
However, the U.S. investors already take part in this new exciting market through various hedge funds that deal in the 200-member Chicago Climate Exchange, Inc.
(MY NOTE: The name ENRON keeps popping into my head. Carbon Credits bought and sold and they are not based on anything, just thin air. They have no concrete value.)
The pressures on Washington to sign the Kyoto Protocol and to participate more directly in the world-wide carbon credit trade comes from major states like California.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed in September 2006 a law that mandates cutting down the CA carbon emissions by 25% as of 2020. This would of course increase the attention paid to CC trading as well since it is a lucrative way to self-finance many alternative energy projects.
(MY NOTE: Just order companies to lower their emissions by a percentage every year and be done with it. Don’t create this new carbon trading industry, in which the people are fleeced andthe government makes billions, as do the promoters of this pyramid scheme. It’s a mass wealth re-distribution scheme that moves money from yours and my bank accounts to the government treasuries and the promoters bank accounts.)
A major development to spur Washington in that direction would be the launching of a carbon credit exchange soon in Beijing, China. I’m sure we are witnessing only the beginning of a brand new trading sector that will make itself felt strongly in the months and years ahead.”
(MY NOTE: By all means, we must keep up with the Jones’ or China.)
You probably get the picture that just like oil, whose price is affected by speculators and traders bidding up the prices, carbon credits will be traded on an exchange and the prices will be bid up as well. The more scarce and the greater the demand for carbon credits, the higher the price will go. And that expense will be passed down to… YOU AND ME AGAIN.
The bottom line for me is that global warming hasn’t been satisfactorily proven yet. It certainly hasn’t been proven that human activities are causing detrimental global warming. And financing this whole scheme is YOU AND ME. If it turns out that the globe is not warming dangerously, but is only experiencing normal cycles OR that humans can’t and don’t cause warming and cannot prevent it, then you and I have been fleeced again by politicans who pushed this into law. Al Gore opened Generation Investments Management to capitalize on global warming and stands to make millions and perhaps billions. He will never allow anyone or anything to interfere with it, not even scientists who can show evidence contrary to Gore’s theory.
THE SENATE AND CONGRESS SHOULD WAIT UNTIL WE HAVE ACCURATE AND CONCRETE EVIDENCE PROVING THAT THE COMPANIES THAT WOULD BE FORCED TO BUY CARBON CREDITS ARE INDEED THE CAUSE.
CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND TELL THEM NOT TO PASS LEGISLATION UNTIL WE HAVE THE PROOF. Remember, Gore’s professor and mentor, Dr. Roger Revelle said repeatedly that “there is no harm in waiting. It is not an imminent threat.” Another Inconvenient Truth for Al Gore and his buddies that hope to profit from this.