BUYING & SELLING THE RIGHT TO POLLUTE
October 5, 2008
Forest lands and our oceans are becoming the newest victims of high-stakes money market shell games. Forest offsets are already being sold in California or used as a lure for venture capital investments. Venture capitalists are awaiting the pending passage of the Climate Security Act of 2007 (U.S. Senate Bills 2191 and 3036 supported by Senators Lieberman and Boxer), and other related bills, to begin reaping huge financial market benefits supported by United States taxpayers.
According to an extensive article in the San Francisco Chronicle dated September 7, 2008, “…Early buyers of California forest offsets have included high-profile politicians and businesses, such as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Pacific Gas & Electric Company…” Why did they purchase these offsets? “…Governor Schwarzenegger and Speaker Pelosi bought relatively small amounts in 2007, to offset emissions from some of their air travel. Other buyers have included carbon trading firms such as Natsource and CantorCO2e, a division of the financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald…”
Shouldn’t Speaker Pelosi and Governor Schwarzenegger be introducing legislation to make jet fuel emissions less polluting and to stop jets from flying at altitudes where their persistent jet contrails turn into man-made clouds that, according to NASA studies, exacerbate global warming and climate change? (NASA stated in an October 2005, newsletter based on their research studies, that increasingly persistent jet contrails turn into man-made clouds that are ”…trapping warmth in the atmosphere and exacerbating global warming…” NASA goes on to state that “…any change in global cloud cover may contribute to long-term changes in Earth’s climate. Contrails, especially persistent contrails, represent a human-caused increase in the Earth’s cloudiness, and are likely to be affecting climate and ultimately our natural resources…”)
Where is the legislation from California Governor Schwarzenegger, a true “Cap & Trade” promoter, and Speaker Pelosi designed to protect our oceans and marine life from artificial iron fertilization proposed by California companies, Planktos Science and CLIMOS, that produces harmful algae blooms? Why aren’t they enacting legislation that would fine polluters and reduce air pollution? It appears that they are only interested in “buying their own personal right to pollute”.
In addition, logging is to start in Jackson State Demonstration Forest in Mendocino County, California, next year. If trees are so beneficial to the health of our environment then why haven’t Governor Schwarzenegger and Speaker Pelosi joined forces to put forward legislation to protect this wilderness area? The Press Democrat on September 4, 2008, noted that this forest is home to ancient Redwoods, part of our old growth forest habitat, and a recreation area. It is California’s largest state forest and was “…established in 1947 to demonstrate sustainable forestry management…”
The San Francisco Chronicle stated that Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) is: “…The biggest buyer so far (of offsets) …PG&E made its purchase as part of its ClimateSmart program, in which homeowners and businesses can choose to add a small fee to their monthly utility bill to counterbalance emissions from their gas and electricity usage…Both the price and the demand for forest offsets could grow as the United States takes steps to combat climate change. California is currently developing a “cap and trade” system…” that allows polluters to pollute more through the purchase of emission carbon credits or offsets.
California corporate competitors, PLANKTOS Science and CLIMOS, both plan to fertilize the oceans, creating artificial “for profit” algae blooms harmful to our oceans and marine life. This allows them to sell offsets or carbon credits to individuals and corporations that want to exceed pollution limits. Venture capitalist funding is flooding into offset development corporations as these capitalists seek a way to make a fortune selling ocean fertilization offsets, forest offsets, and other offset project credits to polluters through money market schemes.
Our elected officials are so in love with the sing-song words “cap and trade” that they are echoing this catchy phrase across the country. Even our presidential candidates use the phrase which is used without a clear definition. “We will cap emissions” they say, at some high level and then allow anyone who wants to pollute above that level to purchase pollution credits. And our elected officials will pass legislation that will cost the taxpayer money by charging more for goods and services to fund allowing polluters to pollute more.
A quick read of Senator Boxer or Lieberman’s Climate Security Acts of 2007, detail in depth how the banks will be enriched, along with the taxpayer fleecing), to pay to fund a private corporation called the Climate Change Credit Corporation which will establish emission allowances and sell emission credits to polluters. According to this Act “…the Corporation shall not be considered to be an agency or establishment of the Federal Government…” It is run by an easily corrupted Carbon Market Efficiency Board which will not have public or congressional oversight. This “bait and switch” game is not a complicated scheme…however, its environmental consequences are enormous.
This Corporate Board will determine emissions allowances by polluting corporations or other entities and then require them to purchase offsets if they exceed these pollution levels. These offsets can be purchased from either U.S. or foreign greenhouse gas emissions trading markets. The perfect “bait and switch” scheme.
The “purpose” of this subtitle (2601), is to “…establish a Carbon Market Efficiency Board to ensure the implementation and maintenance of a stable, functioning, and efficient market in emission allowances...” The real goal of this bill is to establish an efficient money market scheme to make sure that polluters have all of the emission allowances and credits they need in order to keep polluting at current or higher levels.
The “bait”, in this “Bait & Switch” scheme, is that air pollution that is causing climate change and global warming is being reduced and that the profits from selling offsets may or may not be given to solar and other clean energy development. The “switch” is that emission offsets and allowances will be sold to polluters allowing them to pollute more while enriching venture capitalists and corporations selling offsets. The “patsy” in the scheme is the American taxpayer and the taxes they will pay at every level.
The “end result” is that corporations will pollute more…our oceans will be iron fertilized everywhere producing harmful algae blooms for private profit to sell pollution allowances to polluters. It makes perfect sense only to those who would benefit from these money market schemes. U.S. and State legislation is in the wings waiting to be passed. Your voice is needed because their lobbyists have descended on Washington, D.C., and many states to get this legislation passed. Senators Boxer and Lieberman need only five more votes in the U.S. Senate to pass the Climate Security Act this year (U.S. Senate Bills 2191 or 3036).
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An independent Shasta County, California resident was recently approached to place his Douglas Fir trees in an offset program. He said: “No, why would I want to sell emissions offsets to polluters whose increasing pollution will eventually kill my trees?” The solution is not “buying and selling the right to pollute,” it is reducing air pollution at is source.
WARNING…The FDA is not protecting the public and it is time that we protect ourselves from these toxic chemical experiments on our children from toxic baby bottles.
That Plastic Baby Bottle & Liners for Canned Goods “What do you do when one arm of the government says everything is O.K. and another tells you to watch out? That is what is happening with bisphenol-A — a chemical used in many plastics and epoxy resins now found in baby bottles and liners for canned goods. The answer is a truism in every family rulebook — when in doubt, especially when it comes to children, err on the side of caution. That means it is a good idea to keep the young away from bisphenol-A, or BPA…Then this week, the National Toxicology Program, the federal agency for toxicological research, reported that their research shows “some concern” about the effects of BPA on the brain development and behavior of fetuses and young children. A new study by the Yale School of Medicine is cause for even more concern. In tests on primates, researchers found that BPA “causes the loss of connections between brain cells” that could cause memory or learning problems and depression…”
2, San Francisco Chronicle September 7, 2008 – California “State’s Private Forests Sell Carbon Offsets…” Page 1 (Continued on Page 12 – No Link provided by the Chronicle.)
3, San Francisco Chronicle September 7, 2008 – California Forest Trees – Carbon Offset Tree Graph.
4, San Francisco Chronicle September 7, 2008 – California “In the Garcia River forest, Evan Smith, works for the Conservation Fund” (Brant Ward / The Chronicle)”
5, San Francisco Chronicle September 7, 2008 – California “The Garcia River forest in Mendocino County is one of two private California forests that have been certified as sources of offsets. (Brant Ward / The Chronicle)”
6, The Press Democrat – Mendocino County, California Logging to Resume in Jackson State Demonstration Forest - September 4, 2008 - California’s largest state forest.
9, CLIMOS 2008 Iron Fertilization of our Oceans – Will produce artificial algae blooms.
11, Los Angeles Times April 1, 2007 “Carbon Trading Won’t Work”
12, The Vancouver Sun Article: June 19, 2007 Planktos’ “Plans to Alter Ocean Chemistry Hits Rough Seas”
13, Page 1
14, Page 2
15, September 5, 2008 AP New Writer Burke California Sequoia Trees – Climate Change
16, New York Times August 8, 2008 (U.S. Takes Over Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac American Taxpayers to Pay $$$ in Takeover)
17, New York Times August 8, 2008 “WASHINGTON — The Bush administration seized control of the nation’s two largest mortgage finance companies on Sunday...It could become one of the most expensive financial bailouts in American history…The Treasury secretary, Henry Paulsen…would not say how much capital the government might eventually have to provide, or what the ultimate cost to taxpayers might be…the Congressional Budget Office gave a rough estimate of $25 billion. One senior government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, signaled on Sunday that even that figure was optimistic…”
18, “Permit to Pollute” September 12, 2008 Guardian.co.uk (Emission Credits – Cap & Trade Schemes)
19, September 12, 2008 Guardian.co.uk by David Adam
“…A flagship European scheme designed to fight global warming is set to hand hundreds of millions of pounds to some of Britain's most polluting companies, with little or no benefit to the environment, an investigation by the Guardian has revealed. Dozens of multinational firms stand to benefit from the windfall, which comes from the over-allocation of carbon permits under the European emissions trading scheme…”
20, “A Permit to Print Money” by Oliver Tickell September 12, 2008: “…Far from incentivising emissions cuts, the EU's carbon trading scheme provides a grotesque subsidy for the biggest polluters…”
“…There is a "magical logic" in the way hundreds of billions of pounds' worth of carbon allowances are given away to polluting companies…That company…was given twice as many allowances – tradable pollution permits created by the EU's Emission Trading System (EUETS) – as it actually needs to cover its own emissions. The remainder it will sell in the UK's dynamic carbon market, receiving a multimillion-pound windfall profit…”
“…But in the looking-glass world of the EUETS, the "polluters pays" principle is replaced by its mirror image – the "polluters get paid" principle…But the biggest winners of all are the biggest polluters, the power companies, which benefit to the tune of €30bn per year. According to energy regulator Ofgem, the UK's power companies will receive a £9bn windfall profit from their free allowances between 2008 and 2012. And now a broader range of industrial companies are cashing in on the carbon bonanza…Moreover, the system effectively bars new players in any industry that would have to buy all their allowances – creating unshakeable established monopolies…More fundamentally, we must recognise that the EUETS allowances are a form of money – tradable instruments like, for example, government bonds issued by the Treasury…”
21, “…Q&A: The European emissions trading scheme - What the ETS is and why it doesn't work, yet…” by David Adam September 12, 2008 “…What is the European emissions trading scheme (ETS)? The world's first large-scale carbon trading market, set up in 2005 under the Kyoto protocol as a way to use the market to reduce industry pollution….”
22. August 10, 2008 Guardian.uk.co “Fuel firms set for £11bn windfall in CO2 trading” by Time Webb
“…Energy companies are set to scoop even bigger windfall profits from emissions trading than originally predicted…Hard-pressed consumers could end up bankrolling most of this windfall through higher fuel bills…The European trading scheme was introduced to reduce industry's carbon emissions Companies are given free permits giving them the right to emit a fixed amount of carbon. They have to buy additional permits on the carbon markets to pollute more, or pay a penalty…” or they can sell their credits for a profit.
The United States Senate is set to pass Senators Lieberman and Boxer Climate Security Act (2191 or 3036), that would take the United States down this same path giving taxpayers one more financial market headache.
© 2008 - Rosalind Peterson - All Rights Reserved