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GREEN CORRUPTION: The Five Circles Of Carbon Tax Hell

Photo courtesy of Andy Semple and Steve Hunter.



John's newest update on graft, corruption and waste in the CLEAN energy sector.


Senate white paper says carbon tax an option

A Senate Finance Committee white paper on possible federal tax code changes for energy suggested establishing a carbon tax in place of most or all energy tax incentives. The paper offered the carbon tax with a range of other policy options to help chip away at a Congressional Budget Office-estimated $16 billion of foregone energy-related tax expenditures in fiscal 2013.

The paper, released Thursday, came with the disclaimer that the policy suggestions “do not necessarily have the endorsement” of committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) or ranking member Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Baucus said he would pour his efforts into overhauling the federal tax code when he announced Tuesday that he wasn’t seeking reelection in 2014.


The five circles of carbon tax hell

The carbon tax, a serious proposal supported by some thoughtful people, deserves careful consideration. This tax is the subject of an extensive and often technical literature with top scholars making proposals for Resources for the Future and for the Brookings Institution. The term “carbon tax,” however, has a chameleon-like quality, meaning something different in each of three different contexts.

In the context of economic theory, the carbon tax is a way to deal with an imperfection in the energy market. In this world, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions cause harm for which the emitter does not pay. The purpose of the tax is to impose the full cost of his activities onto the user of carbon-based fuel, so as to force him to incorporate the cost of the harm into the price of the fuel. Once the level of harm and its costs are included in market prices, then the energy market will work properly.

In this formulation there is no preconception about the proper level of the tax or the final outcome of the competition between sources of energy. The tax is set by careful assessment of the costs of the harm caused by the emissions, and the level of use of carbon fuels is then determined by market prices.

In the context of tax theory and government finance, the carbon tax has a different function. It is a way to finance government and replace other levies. In this world, the goals are to maintain economic efficiency and tax equity, while, as in any tax system, plucking the most feathers from the geese that squawk the least.

In the context of environmentalism, a carbon tax can reduce emissions of the “pollutant” CO2. In this world, the limitations, caveats, and subtleties of the contexts of economic purity or tax policy do not apply. The reduction targets are not limited by any empirical estimate of the harm caused by CO2 — or by any concern that the level of a tax might rise so far as to become economically destructive.


California and Quebec link cap and trade programs (May 2012)

It’s good news for proponents of cap-and-trade programs. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced last week that California’s cap-and-trade program will be linked to Québec’s cap-and-trade program. CARB recently released proposed regulations to link the two programs, and a 45-day public comment period started following the announcement. CARB will consider the proposed regulations at a meeting on June 28, 2012. The proposed regulations ensure that California and Québec permits are interchangeable at auction. The first linked auction is scheduled for November 14, 2012.

California adopted its cap-and-trade program in 2010, and designed it to link to other programs. The program is part of its Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, or AB 32. It covers major sources of greenhouse (GHG) emissions, according to CARB’s website, which include refineries, power plants, industrial facilities and transportation fuels. The program’s enforceable GHG cap will decline over time. CARB will distribute allowances, or tradeable permits, that will be equal to the emissions allowed under the cap. The program’s target is to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.


Billionaire to focus on cap and trade, climate issues

President Obama was hosted in San Francisco Wednesday night at the spectacular mansion-with-a-Pacific Ocean-view of private equity billionaire Tom Steyer, the scion of a wealthy New York family (say, isn’t this the guy Obama beat in the fall election?). Their goal? Raise money for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to help restore California’s Nancy Pelosi – also in attendance – as speaker in 2014.

“I think Mitt Romney and I share the same income bracket,” said Steyer, a passionate member of the Green Church, at last year’s Democratic Convention. “But the reason I’m here tonight is that Mitt Romney and I don’t share the same vision for the future, especially when it comes to energy. Thanks to President Obama, America is laying the foundation for the way we power tomorrow. So here’s my question for you:  Should we go back to the boom-and-bust, ‘drill-baby-drill,’ polluting energy policies of yesterday, or should we embrace an advanced energy economy that meets opportunity with innovation? ”

[Note from John: Obviously the latter. Why? Because green start-up businesses are where Steyer’s green venture capital firm has put its money. Renewable energy investor Greener Capital is the name, and rent-seeking is the game. More here, here and here.]



The end of the EU cap and trade affair

For some time, a divorce has been on the horizon. For years these sweethearts have soaked up the limelight on the international stage, but the sordid reality has sunk in. On Tuesday, a vote in the European Parliament confirmed that the love affair between the European Union and its climate policy may be well and truly over. This could turn out to be very good news for the world's climate.

The EU's cap-and-trade system is the main plank in its approach to dealing with greenhouse gas emissions and has inspired policy makers from California to Canberra. But while it's come at a high cost, it has done almost no good.

The European Commission and green groups have tried fervently to save the system, most recently with a proposal (voted down last week in the parliament, by 334 to 315) to jack up the price of carbon by postponing, and most likely cancelling, emission permits. The good news is that last week's failure could herald a global move towards smarter, cheaper solutions.

For the last couple of years, the EU Emissions Trading System has been in the doldrums. From a peak price of more than $40 per ton of CO2 in 2008, the price of EU carbon permits dropped to $20 at the onset of the financial crisis and has now slid to less than $5, trivializing the system.


All you need to know about Renewable Energy Credits (REC's)

The government has created a market in “Renewable Energy Certificates,” also known as a “Renewable Energy Credit.” RECs are yet another way that renewable energy sources take advantage of the public’s good graces, and the propensity for some politicians to be fooled into creative ways to burden unsuspecting citizens.

As far as RECs have a public purpose, two fundamental questions are:

1) Do RECs pay for the generation of new renewable energy as claimed?

2) Do RECs offset fossil fuels as claimed?


RECs are sold in two primary markets:

1) some of the states that have RPSs (Renewable Portfolio Standards) allow part of the renewable mandate to be satisfied by the utility company purchasing RECs (instead of actually buying renewable energy electricity), and

2) businesses and individuals purchase RECs for perceived public relations benefits, or to ameliorate their conscience.

The problems are that these are completely artificial “credits,” based on flawed assumptions, and often misleadingly marketed. This can be best understood by working through an example.

Wind Power Example

Here are the basics, using wind as an example. The example is from a utility company perspective using my home state of North Carolina since ithas an RPS that allows RECs to be purchased by utility companies to satisfy some of the RPS mandate. But essentially, the same realities exist for RECs sold directly to consumers and businesses… 1 REC = 1 MWH (Megawatt Hour) of renewable electricity produced…  The example below could use an in-state facility as well, but the out-of-state situation is easier to understand.


Lawmakers float renewable energy finance bill

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers revived legislation Wednesday that aims to spur renewable energy investment through a federal tax code tweak. Lawmakers unveiled the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act — spearheaded in the Senate by Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and in the House by Reps. Ted Poe (R-Texas) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) — during a Wednesday news conference. The bill would extend master limited partnerships to renewable energy projects ranging from wind power to energy efficiency. Currently, only oil-and-gas projects can use the financing mechanism.

[Note: how many times do I have to write about these guys...]


Carbon market Australia/New Zealand (PDF)

Here is a quote from a rather astute researcher...

"... because the finance guys have got it all set up and the government bureaucrats have “seen the light”, including forcing companies to buy offsetting domestic carbon credits at a much higher price than the international market. Australia is doing that now with A$23 per tonne versus Euro 2.50 per tonne on the Euro market and New Zealand looks like it is about to follow. Once Obama introduces a carbon tax, its done. Only major electoral changes across the OECD countries could reverse it. The fact that it is a scam is probably a moot point now. It's a bit like the introduction of Income Tax in WW1 to fund the imperial wars, on the recommendation of banks to western governments.”


Blythe Masters - Queen Bee of Carbon Tax


Carbon has worst quarter since 2011

Europe’s emissions market is likely to be left all but broken should the region’s parliament fail to agree next month on combating the surplus of carbon permits, after the biggest quarterly slide in prices since 2011.

Allowances, which have plunged 28 percent this year to 4.81 euros ($6.20) a metric ton, will average 5 euros in 2013, according to the median forecast of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg this week. Prices will probably drop below 2 euros if the European Union doesn’t enact a November plan to delay the sale of some emission rights, according to UBS AG.

The euro area’s second recession since 2008 has cut demand for permits, exacerbating a glut that drove prices in the world’s biggest greenhouse-gas market to a record low in January. Europe’s parliament votes April 16 on the first part of plan by the region’s regulator to support prices by withholding some allowances over the next three years and releasing, or backloading, them into the market at the end of the decade.


B.C. auditor general slams carbon offsets

B.C.'s Auditor General John Doyle has issued a scathing report on the provincial government's efforts to be carbon neutral, saying efforts to buy carbon offsets to counter its greenhouse gas emissions are not "credible." Doyle says despite its claims to the contrary, the B.C. government is not meeting its legislated objective to be carbon neutral.

The biggest concern to Doyle is that tens of millions of dollars that are being collected each year from schools, hospitals and other public sector bodies to buy carbon offsets are not being credibly spent.


$4 million wind turbine fire in Maine wilderness area

A fire destroyed a multimillion-dollar wind turbine at the Kibby Mountain wind farm in northern Franklin County, which has generated concern about the safety and reliability of turbines, and the process by which these fires are reported to government officials and the public. Companies that operate wind farms in Maine are not currently required to report turbine fires to any state agency.

TransCanada, the Calgary-based energy company that built the 44-turbine Kibby Mountain wind farm in 2010, confirmed for the Bangor Daily News that a fire in the early morning hours of Jan. 16 destroyed one of its wind turbines -- primarily the nacelle, which is the rectangular structure behind the blades that holds the gearbox and electrical components. With the capacity to generate 132 megawatts of electricity, Kibby Mountain is the largest wind farm in New England. (TransCanada is also the company behind the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.)

The fire's aftermath troubles Bob Weingarten, president of the Friends of the Boundary Mountains, an organization that has fought against the Kibby Mountain project since the beginning. He calls the company's handling of the event a "cover-up" and believes there should be an official notification system to inform all stakeholders, including the public, when such an incident occurs.

TransCanada wouldn't reveal the cost of the damage, but Veers estimates that a single turbine costs in the vicinity of $4 million. "These are capital-intensive investments," Veers said. "You pay for everything upfront except for minor maintenance costs and expect to get revenue to pay for that over 20 years, so the loss of a turbine is a big deal for the industry."

There are no incident reporting requirements for wind farm operators, so no reliable data exist on just how rare these fires are or what causes them, Veers said. He believes the most likely causes of turbine fires are lightning strikes and electrical shorts, but no matter the cause, figuring out a way to help prevent them should be given more attention.


Turbine fire illuminates need for reporting mandate

The Jan. 16 blaze that destroyed the gearbox and electrical components behind the blade of a Kibby Mountain turbine is the first reported case of a turbine fire at a wind farm in Maine, according to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Speculation about its cause and the possibility that repeat incidents could trigger forest fires is contributing to a heated political debate about wind energy in Maine. Objective, publicly accessible data, not politically motivated guesswork, should drive that debate.

The statutes that allow expedited permitting of grid-scale wind energy projects in Maine do not require notification of fires, but they should. Mainers have a right to know about fires or other potentially hazardous situations at large-scale industrial facilities like wind farms. A simple change to wind farm permitting rules to require that operators report fires at their facilities in a timely manner would help public safety and industry officials compile data that could be used to mitigate future hazards.

A template for such a reporting system exists with the DEP’s current guidelines for public notification of hazardous waste and materials spills. Because the DEP now has permitting authority over wind development, the agency would be an appropriate first point of contact — after emergency responders — that could relay information about the fires to the Maine Forest Service, Maine Emergency Management Agency, State Fire Marshal’s Office or other affected parties.

A fire reporting mandate would also keep the focus on public safety impacts of wind energy generation technology and help puncture the bellows of opponents whose conspiracy theories inflate with notions of a “cover up.”

[Note: As a former Fire Chief, former Town Forest Fire Warden for the Maine Dept of Conservation, Forest Fire service, Windpower Consultant and Power Lineman Transformer Technician, I have a great deal of experience in the industry. There are in fact cover-ups.  Maybe the good Editor-in Chief at the BDN should read my last few articles.]


Fiskar and Electric Car Updates

Documents show Obama was warned about Fiskar

Fisker Automotive, the struggling government-backed hybrid sports car maker, on Friday terminated most of its rank-and-file employees in what sources said was a last-ditch effort to conserve cash and stave off a potential bankruptcy filing. Fisker, which raised $1.2 billion from investors and tapped nearly $200 million in government loans, has "at least" $30 million in cash on hand, according to a source familiar with the company's finances.

About 160 workers were fired at a Friday morning meeting at Fisker's Anaheim, California, headquarters, according to a source who attended the meeting. They were told that the company could not afford to give them severance payments. "Unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary," Fisker said, adding that it was still searching for a strategic partner.

The mass termination triggered a lawsuit seeking class-action status from angry former employees. A lawyer for the fired employees said he expects the company to file for bankruptcy"sooner rather than later."

Related story

More on Fiskar

China can't appreciate Obama Biden vision for Fiskar in Delaware

Fiskar allowed to tap US loan after default

Fiskar the new Solyndra, Obama kept pumping taxpayer cash when company was failing

Fiskar the new Solyndra


Fiskars departure from Fiskar leaves it without a soul

Fisker Automotive co-founder Henrik Fisker is, by many accounts, an inspired designer with a devoted following –- unabashed ambassadors of the $110,000 hybrid Karma have included Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio –- but they no longer include his colleagues at the company. Fisker yesterday resigned from the green automaker and made the news public with an email to selected member of the press.

"The main reasons for his resignation are several major disagreements that Henrik Fisker has with the Fisker Automotive executive management on the business strategy," the email stated, according to Reuters’ Deepa Seetharaman, who points out that the departure comes at a “sensitive time.”

“In recent weeks, Fisker management has been looking into selling the company, weighing bids including a $350 million offer from China's Dongfeng Motor Corp., Joseph B. White and Neal E. Boudette report in the Wall Street Journal.

The company has been getting bad press since the Energy Dept. closed the tap on a $529 million loan in 2011 because of missed deadlines. “Fisker had borrowed about $193 million of the total at the time, much of which had been used for design work,” Fred Meier and James R. Healey recount in USA Today. “The rest was to have been spent to develop and build a second, less-expensive vehicle -- the $55,000 Atlantic sedan -- at a refurbished General Motors plant in Delaware. The loss of funding led to layoffs in California and Delaware and essentially put the Atlantic on hold.”


Raj, the non-scientist who runs UN Climate Change Circus Show


Are EV dreams going up in smoke? 

Yesterday Mitsubishi Motors issued two critical press releases on safety problems with the lithium-ion battery packs for its electric drive vehicles.

The first press release disclosed the March 21st discovery of a lithium-ion battery pack failure in an Outlander PHEV that was being prepared for delivery to a customer. One of the battery's eighty cells apparently overheated after charging and melted adjacent cells, destroying one of the vehicle's three battery modules. The second press release disclosed a March 18th fire at Mitsubishi's Mizushima plant where a lithium-ion battery pack for an i-MiEV overheated in the battery inspection room and caught fire an hour later.


Electric car maker, Coda, files for bankruptcy

Coda Holdings Inc., parent of the electric-car maker backed by billionaire Philip Falcone, filed for bankruptcy and will seek to sell its assets to a group led by a Fortress Investment Group unit for $25 million. The Los Angeles-based company, whose Coda Automotive unit also sought court protection, listed assets of as much as $50 million and debt of as much as $100 million today in the Chapter 11 filing in Wilmington, Delaware. The company said it intends to sell its assets within 45 days.

Coda was forced to seek bankruptcy protection because of production delays, insufficient capital to market and sell its sedan, and slow growth for the electric-vehicle market, which it blames on the scarcity of charging stations, according to a declaration by Chief Restructuring Officer John P. Madden. Coda will focus on its energy-storage business, Chief Executive Officer Phil Murtaugh said in a statement today.

Sales of the Coda sedan, built off China-based Hafei Motor Co.’s Saibao platform, fell short of expectations, with fewer than 100 units sold since entering the market in March 2012, according to court papers. Complications adapting the sedan to an electric platform and meeting U.S. regulatory standards delayed production until a year after originally anticipated in November 2011.

Closely held Coda, which counted former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as an investor, pitched its vehicle as a “real world” car with better range, battery-pack life and acceleration than competitors.


Analysis: Rethinking the lithium-ion batters over cost, safety

For nearly two years, a team of former Chevrolet Volt and Toyota Prius engineers has been working on the next big thing in electric cars: the latest version of the 154-year-old lead-acid battery. Their aim is to build a battery strong enough to power a wider range of vehicles, something they think the current cutting-edge technology - lithium ion - can't do cheaply, particularly given recent safety scares.

The focus of Energy Power Systems on a technology older than the automobile itself illustrates the difficulty with lithium-ion batteries. While widely used in everything from laptops to electric cars and satellites, a number of high-profile incidents involving smoke and fire have been a reminder of the risks and given them an image problem.


Report: Energy Department mismanaged stimulus backed climate program

The Energy Department’s (DOE) internal watchdog is attacking DOE management of a $1.5-billion stimulus program to help develop technology that captures industrial carbon dioxide emissions. An Office of Inspector General audit made public Tuesday examines $1.1 billion in funding for 15 projects. The audit notes three project recipients together received $90 million even though reviews of the proposals “identified significant financial and/or technical issues.”

“For example, the Department awarded more than $48 million to one recipient whose financial condition precluded it from obtaining a satisfactory merit review score. Rather than addressing the underlying issues, the Department accepted increased risk and lowered the recipient's required cost share,” the IG states.


Maryland Governor signs wind bill

Governor Martin O’Malley signs the wind energy bill.


Maryland Governor's brother-in-law pushing wind power

More on Joseph Curran

This was brought to my attention by DB regular Skinflint.





Why Wind Power Won't Work


The Mafia Is Moving Into Green Energy


Deutsche Bank Raided In Carbon Tax Fraud


John Kerry Comes Out Swinging On Climate Change



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Reader Comments (59)

Why Wind Power Won't Work


Great Photo
May 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
Outstanding job with the links John. Hope you don't mind, I added the photos for effect.
May 8, 2013 at 2:03 PM | Registered CommenterDailyBail
OUTSTANDING! Thank you. Lots more to come as I had to let the pot simmer for a bit. Time to stir it once again. I again want to thank Skinflint for passing along a really good one. Thanks Skin!
May 8, 2013 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Wind powered electric chair (video).


Clean energy investors shift focus and turn to drilling


First Wind goes solar in Massachusetts.


The next big thing (financial), fear of climate change.



The last big thing was green tech – from wave-power generators to the smart grid. It was hyped in the bipartisan stimulus bill, promising gobs of jobs, billions in revenues, and untold riches through the eventual market capitalization of these outfits. Private investors plowed in billions too. It ended up in a massive pileup of capital destruction. Fatalities were everywhere.

One was Solyndra that – after devouring close to $1 billion, including $385 million from the Federal Government and $25 million from nearly bankrupt California – declared bankruptcy in 2011. There were scores of other boondoggles. Some were startups. Others were projects run by mega-corporations like GE and Siemens. But the euphoria has since hissed out of the construct. Private investors and taxpayers alike grabbed what they could and fled. And not just in the US.

The PEW Charitable Trust reported that in 2012, G-20 green-tech asset financing dropped 20% from 2011. Within that, venture-capital and private-equity funding plunged 34%. And public-market funding plummeted 55%. I know several people with PhDs in arcane fields whose jobs evaporated in 2012 when their startups were shuttered or became mere skeletons. That industry was so ravaged that they had to move on to other industries.

Sure, the industry lives, but without the hype. Investors have jumped on to the next big thing: rather than profit from preventing climate change, they'd profit from climate change per se – or rather, the fear of climate change.

Interior increases estimate of oil in US


GE buys oil pump concern, Lufkin


GE to install first wind turbines with battery storage

May 9, 2013 at 6:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

Bait and switch carbon tax of 2013

May 9, 2013 at 7:00 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Warren Buffett scores again


From my last edition of the Green Corruption Chronicles...

Buffett's Mid American starts wind farm before credits end.


Another one of Buffett's projects to watch

Buffett Buys Pacificorp

May 9, 2013 at 7:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Maybe I am stupid here, but why in the name of all that is good, does the press wander around phillating the man member of that nasty dry skinned snake Buffet, while he continues to pick over the corpse of the US taxpayer with these horrific energy conservation schemes. Maybe they should be called green as in cash schemes. Piles of cash create good fire starters. Maybe that's the part I am missing.
May 9, 2013 at 8:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Great post John, keep em coming!
May 9, 2013 at 9:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterS. Gompers
Every time I read about the do-good green energy worshippers in legislatures I can't shake the visual of idiotic teenagers in a student council, bandying about uber-expensive proposals that come straight from their dads' contracting businesses, all while patting themselves on the back for the great work they do for humanity (never mind that everyone else pays for it).

And that's unfair to dumb rich high school kids.
May 9, 2013 at 11:10 AM | Registered CommenterCheyenne
Thanks everyone!

Glad to hear from you Cheyenne. Hows the new project going?

Anyway I have an update:

More on the new electric car failure that Hank Paulson, GM and other invested in...



Coda Automotive Inc., the Los Angeles-based electric-car maker backed by billionaire Philip Falcone, has filed for bankruptcy and will put itself up for sale.
Coda listed assets of no more than $50 million and liabilities of up to $100 million in the Chapter 11 filing in Delaware.

---------------- why is it that all these criminals incorporate in Delaware?------------------

Falcone is having a really bad week.

Phil Falcone's hedging days are over,

May 9, 2013 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
This is a pay walled article, but the headline says it all.

Solar Installer Sues for U.S. Grant Funds
In Turnabout Amid U.S. Inquiry, SolarCity Says Treasury Came Up Short on Promised Aid

May 9, 2013 at 7:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
LePage wants wind energy goals out of Maine law



AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage wants to strip from state law goals for increasing the state’s wind energy capacity over the next two decades.

LePage’s energy director, Patrick Woodcock, made recommendations Thursday to rewrite the state’s 2008 Wind Energy Act, shifting focus from growing wind energy capacity to lowering electricity costs and making sure Maine sees an economic return on its wind energy investments.

The Maine Wind Energy Act, a priority of LePage’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci, sought to expedite wind energy development in Maine.

The recommendation from Woodcock to the Legislature’s Energy and Utilities Committee came the same day the Energy Committee heard testimony on a number of bills meant to roll back portions of the 2008 wind energy law, including one measure to temporarily suspend permitting for certain wind developments and another that would eliminate the same wind energy goals LePage favors eliminating. Both of those measures are sponsored by Democrats.
May 10, 2013 at 5:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Industrial Wind and the Wall Street Cap and Trade Fraud



Financial scandals are not new. Schemes to leverage risk and cheat the public are mainstays of the mad “Cap and Trade” stratagem, in the ongoing war, against genuine free enterprise. The latest ploy is the industrial wind swindle.

In the essay, Wall Street Reaps Big Bucks from the Wind, the strategy to defraud the public is explored. “The latest rage out of the boiler room sharks that hawk new equity issues touts alternative energy. The hype that is coming out of Wall Street resembles the internet band wagon before the bust . . . Goldman Sachs rushes to finance the offers with their expertise – using other peoples’ money . . . Understand from the outset, that producing useful energy is not the prime objective of wind projects.”

To illustrate this point the pending First Wind Holdings Inc. SEC S-1 and S-1A application for an IPO readily admits that producing electricity it is not necessary to be profitable.
May 10, 2013 at 5:51 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Doesn't vegetation convert CO2 into O2 (i.e. photosynthesis)? Maybe we have CO2 overload because the earth (specifically the Amazon jungle) is being deforested for the sake of profits! Last I heard, the size of Illinois is being deforested from the Amazon every year. Why are we allowing this to happen? Could that be the true cause of climate change?
May 10, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterPauline
Pauline, the sun is responsible for climate fluctuations.
May 10, 2013 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
There was a very tragic event in Oklahoma yesterday and my heart goes out to those affected. The opportunists are out in droves again and will not go by unnoticed.

Boxer uses Okla. tornado to push carbon tax


Sen. Whitehouse puts foot in mouth.


note: Sen. Whitehouse is working hand in hand with organized crime for the Deepwater Wind project off of Rhode Island.
May 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
May 21, 2013 at 8:26 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
Buyer Liability Insurance Now Available for California’s Cap-and-Trade Offset Program



The Climate Action Reserve, North America’s premier carbon offset registry, and Parhelion Underwriting Ltd., the leading innovator for carbon market insurance products, today announced a unique, strategic alliance to support the delivery of the first insurance product for compliance offset credits in California’s Cap-and-Trade Program. Under this alliance, Parhelion is offering insurance against invalidation for compliance offset credits that were transitioned from credits originally issued by the Reserve and the Climate Action Reserve will share its unrivalled experience and deep insight in to North American carbon offset projects, thereby, supporting the wider market development and helping its clients solve a critical risk issue.

“We are very happy to see that such a product is now available and congratulate Parhelion and the Climate Action Reserve for their fine work.”
May 23, 2013 at 6:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
The Winners And Losers In Today's NEE And AEP Flash Crashes



(Milli)seconds after today's market open, utilities NextEra Energy (NEE) and American Electric Power (AEP) did what most stocks in the New Normal do when there is an unexpected event (like a 4 sigma plunge in the Nikkei): they flash crashed.
May 23, 2013 at 5:48 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
In light of today's flash crash mentioned in my last post, I wanted to do a comparison.


I have mentioned UPC innumerable times here and like Goldman, have tentacles that reach everywhere.
May 23, 2013 at 6:41 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
Second carbon trader leaves Morgan Stanley: sources


LONDON, June 21 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Morgan Stanley’s top carbon trader has left the bank as part of wider cuts to its European power and gas division, two sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday.
Jun 22, 2013 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Black clouds hang over Spain's small solar farms



(Reuters) - After retiring from a long career at IBM, Spain's Angel Miralda poured his savings into a small solar farm in the hilly northern region of Huesca, encouraged by government promises of stable returns.

Now Miralda fears a new government energy policy will deepen cuts to renewable energy subsidies, wipe out his savings and push his business over the brink.

Small-scale photovoltaic (PV) energy producers like Miralda started investing in solar panels when the government was offering lucrative subsidies under a decade-long drive to become a global leader in green energy.

But a prolonged economic recession and a yawning budget gap forced Madrid to pull back its support for renewables, and more cuts are on the way, threatening major losses on personal investments and even defaults on bank loans.
Jun 23, 2013 at 6:25 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Brokered EU Carbon Trade Plunges as Banks Scale Back



Carbon trading via brokers including ICAP Plc (IAP) and GFI Group Inc. (GFIG) plunged to its lowest since at least January 2011 as banks scaled back buying and selling amid tighter regulation and a record glut of permits.
The volume of EU allowances handled by six members of the London Energy Brokers’ Association dropped 61 percent in July to 84.1 million metric tons from a year earlier, according to an Aug. 8 report by the lobby group. Trading in Certified Emission Reductions, the United Nations-regulated offsets, plunged 81 percent. Activity on ICE Futures Europe in London, the biggest exchange for carbon contracts, slid 19 percent in the month.
Enlarge image
When the market started in 2005, much of the volume was handled by brokers, Harriet Leatherbarrow said. “Over time, much of the volume has migrated to the ICE exchange.” Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg
“A significant factor is that a few key players have exited,” Ilesh Patel, a partner in London at Baringa Partners LLP, said Aug. 9 by phone. “Banks need more money to trade carbon, power and other commodities because of new financial regulations that require them to set more risk capital aside.”
Banks are reducing trading in the 61 billion-euro ($81 billion) emissions market as the European Commission in Brussels struggles to deal with the oversupply. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. have shut commodity trading units because of tighter regulation in Europe and the U.S. after the global recession.
Morgan Stanley will exit power and natural-gas trading in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland as it scales back involvement in commodities, a person with knowledge of the matter said in June. Louis Redshaw, Barclays Plc’s head of carbon, coal and iron ore trading, resigned from the London-based bank in April.


EPA rules may create new opportunities for carbon traders.


(sorry folks, but this is a pay walled site though a free subscription is available).

I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to Christine D. for her tireless efforts.
Aug 15, 2013 at 8:42 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Aug 23, 2013 at 7:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
AWED Newsletter: August 26, 2013 (lots of stories here).

Sep 7, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
AWED Energy & Environmental Newsletter: September 16, 2013


Once again lot's of great reading material here on the energy side... John Droz has been doing an outstanding job with this project.
Sep 16, 2013 at 6:56 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Sep 29, 2013 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Shutdown can’t stop wind tax credit attacks


ON TAP WEDNESDAY: House Republicans will take aim at wind energy tax credits at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

And they’re using the government shutdown as ammunition for political attacks.

“With the federal government currently at a standstill over budget negotiations, it is imperative for Congress to continue to root out and address wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars,” states an advisory for the Wednesday hearing on the production tax credit.

A subcommittee is slated to hear from an IRS official, as well as both critics and advocates of the tax incentive that wind project developers call vital to continued growth.

Lots more there too....
Oct 1, 2013 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Firefighters alarmed by latest rescue risk: solar panels


Firefighters across the nation are alarmed at the prospect of battling blazes in buildings topped with solar panels, which can create new risks of roofs collapsing, an inability to gain footing and even potential electric shock.

Two recent fires involving structures decked with solar panels have triggered complaints from fire chiefs and calls for new codes and regulations that reflect the dangers posed by the clean-energy devices. A two-alarm fire last week at a home in Piedmont, Calif., prompted Piedmont Fire Chief Warren McLaren to say the technology “absolutely” made it harder on firefighters. Weeks earlier, in Delanco, N.J., more than 7,000 solar panels on the roof of a massive 300,000-square foot warehouse factored into Delanco Fire Chief Ron Holt’s refusal to send his firefighters onto the roof of a Dietz & Watson facility.

“We may very well not be able to save buildings that have alternative energy,” New Jersey’s Acting Fire Marshall William Kramer told The Star-Ledger.

"It’s critically important that firefighters know the products."
- John Smirnow, Solar Energy Industries Association

Experts told FoxNews.com that the biggest danger posed by the panels is that they continue to send voltage down from the roof throughout the building even after power is shut down. In a conventional building, firefighters typically cut off the electricity leading into the house before entering.
Oct 2, 2013 at 8:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Oversight of the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (Video of hearings held today)

Oct 2, 2013 at 8:47 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
First Wind moves into solar with 17MW projects


Massachusetts-based wind-farm developer First Wind has announced that the company’s first solar power projects, comprising 17MW capacity, have begun construction in the company’s home state. First Wind secured financing and a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the University of Massachusetts (UMass) and agreements for net metering with two local towns, Millbury and Orange.

The projects will be located in the towns of Millbury and Warren, with a 3MW installation in Millbury and 14MW spread across three sites in Warren.

First Wind claims that around 85 construction and related jobs can be created by the projects, which will be built by Borrego Solar Systems and are expected to be completed and operational by June 2014. The plants will generate enough electricity to power the equivalent of around 3,100 Massachusetts (MA) households, reducing yearly carbon dioxide emissions by around 19,000 tonnes.

The projects have been financed by a loan from KeyBank National Association with tax equity from US Bank. First Wind will pay taxes to Millbury and Warren each year, US$130,000 and US$50,000 respectively to each community.

The PPA agreement with the University of Massachusetts is part of the university’s plan to cut carbon emissions, with electricity supplied by the PV projects mostly powering the university’s Lowell and Medical Center campuses. Overall the university is also expected to save over US$1 million in energy costs each year through the projects. Millbury and Orange, the two towns that will also purchase electricity from the PV plants, will save US$110,000 and US$85,000 in electricity costs each year respectively.

Deval Patrick, governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has committed to the goal of installing 1,600MW solar power generating capacity by 2020, with the commonwealth having surpassed a previous target of 250MW by May 2013, four years earlier than anticipated.
Oct 2, 2013 at 9:03 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Oct 3, 2013 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn
John, I am not a big fan of the natural gas boom. There have been too many stories of contaminated ground water along with the HUGE problem of polluted rivers and streams especially after the flooding in Colorado. The natural gas we are currently pulling out of the ground is owned by the Chinese, which has been documented pretty well here on DB. There has to be a better way to extract this stuff that doesn't make your drinking water catch on fire. They also want to
put a huge LNG plant here in Maryland not far from the Calvert cliffs nuc plant. Call me stupid, but, if one of these were to blow off near a nuclear plant, I think we could all just kiss it all good bye.
Oct 3, 2013 at 9:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, I will respond later today.

Carbon Crooks: A new documentary about carbon trading


A new documentary, “Carbon Crooks”, will be broadcast on 9 September 2013 in Denmark. The film is directed by Tom Heinemann and documents the failure of carbon trading to address climate change and investigates some of the fraud in the carbon markets.

A trailer of the film has been released, and it looks great. The first interview in the trailer is with Daniel Butler, who was a carbon trader between 2004 and 2011. He broke the story about the stealing of €10 million worth of European Union emissions allowances (EUAs) from the Czech Republic’s carbon registry in January 2011. “In the early days it was a good business. I could make roughly €50,000 in five minutes,” Butler says.

The documentary team also interviews Ritt Bjerregaard, an EU Commissioner who was in Kyoto in 1997 as part of the EU team negotiating the Kyoto Protocol. The interview is available here (in Danish). Bjerregaard explains that the EU would have preferred a tax on carbon, coupled with guidance on reducing emissions and removing some coal-fired power plants. “It was an attempt to change our way to use our energy,” she says in the interview.

But it wasn’t to be. Al Gore led the US negotiating team and pushed carbon trading into the Kyoto Protocol. More than 15 years after Kyoto, greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere are higher than ever.
Oct 4, 2013 at 8:25 AM | Registered CommenterJohn
Movie Trailer: Carbon Crooks

Oct 4, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Another extraction ala the HUD program. Billions siphoned off to points unknown. Damn John. It'll never end.
Oct 4, 2013 at 4:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
As I have promised Skin, here is my response to your earlier post.

You know that I am an equal opportunity critic and to the best of my ability try to bring up hard facts. I am not paid by anyone nor do I have an agenda outside of exposing fraud, crime and bullshit.

Flood contamination hazards primarily consists of:

1. Raw Sewage

2. Pathogens from deceased victims of flooding

3. Chemical contamination from flooded households, business, manufacturing facilities and agricultural runoff.

4. Standing water after flooding are breeding areas for disease carrying insects.

One thing about the fracking side of things, is that fracking is also done to produce drinking water. I will do a write up on the oil/gas side of it later.

The flaming faucet and garden hose are something as a former fire chief, who has had to monitor air quality in man holes/ underground vaults and other confined spaces, feel I am qualified to comment on and call bullshit on regarding video and other propaganda showing such things.

If the concentration of gas (methane) were that hight there would have been numerous gas asphyxiation's reported for those in the confined space of a shower in their own homes (among other things). Here is something that should help clear the air a bit. If you need more technical info on methane gas concentration I will gladly provide it.


Agricultural runoff and naturally occurring RADON gas are the problems people should be concerned about. Other pre-existing manufacturing toxins should also be noted. Pcb's, Dioxin and Lead.

One thing both Barb and I have touched on here is that gas,oil and pipeline concerns are also in on the renewable frauds to further their original ambitions. More will be written on that subject later.

Thanks for keeping on and all the great links!

Oct 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Nasdaq OMX axes CO2 market maker programme over poor results
04 Oct 2013 15:34 Last updated: 04 Oct 2013 16:25


LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Exchange operator Nasdaq OMX has terminated its lucrative European carbon market maker programme due to disappointing results, the company said Friday, after its share of trade all but disappeared.
Oct 4, 2013 at 6:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Australia Releases Carbon Repeal Legislation


The Australian's Coalition Government has said that scrapping the carbon tax will leave the average household approximately AUD550 (USD521) better off in 2014-15.

The new Government had pledged that its first parliamentary act of business would be to introduce repeal legislation. This has now been released for public consultation.

The bills remove the carbon tax, end the carbon tax on fuels used in shipping, rail and air transport, and on synthetic greenhouse gases. The Climate Change Authority will be abolished, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be given further powers to take action against businesses engaging in post-repeal "price exploitation."

Unveiling the draft legislation, the Environment Minister Greg Hunt stressed that businesses and manufacturers will see their compliance costs fall by AUD100m a year, while the economy overall will receive a boost, employment will go up, and cost of living pressures will be eased. Around 440 pages of legislation will be axed.
Oct 16, 2013 at 8:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Just son of a bitch. Here I thought this guy was a moderate. On top of that he is an old school Anglican who can't help himself. I am sure if I looked hard enough I will find some familial connections to some other players in Maryland.gov.http://www.vanhollen.org/about-chris
Oct 17, 2013 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
Skin, and all. I have decided to retire from the DB and will no longer comment or submit articles. Thanks for everything.

Oct 17, 2013 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
I owe it to you why:


From comments:

You win O. I just resigned from commenting and providing articles at another fin-econ site re: energy.

Might be my last comment here as well, but that private/public partnership called Corporatism/Fascism/Cronyism/Exemptionism, (exceptional) /Insider Tradeism/ Spyism/ Greenism and every ofther fucking color you can think of), you will require one hell of a teleprompter to pull this shit off. Now you have the floor and I can't wait to see how this works out!

Oct 17, 2013 at 7:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
Well John that's a bummer. Obama doesn't stand for anything and the hits just keep rolling. Wonder if DB is gonna turn off the lights or what. Take care.
Oct 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSKINFLINT
The UK Insolvency Service’s Oddly-Timed Carbon Scams Press Release Highlights Its Own Slow Response


One of the roles of the UK Insolvency Service is to function as a sort of quick’n dirty enforcer of last resort against scam companies:

One of the main drivers of The Service’s enforcement regime is to clamp down on corporate abuse, whether by directors involved in companies which have become insolvent or by companies which are still trading.

In relation to companies which are still trading, we use powers under the Companies Act to conduct confidential, fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in England, Scotland and Wales. Since October 2009 we have also been responsible for the investigation of companies in Northern Ireland…

…At least the Insolvency Service investigation does have visible results: in the last 15 months, 19 scam companies, that ripped off 1,500 investors for £24M, shut down (at least until the former directors have got a new PC, web site and domain registration), 2 directors disqualified. In addition, the police have raided and closed another half dozen companies in the same time frame, if my info is up to date. So, 25 companies busted.

Let’s extrapolate. Assume the FCA’s exhausted the possibilities, with its 183 suspicious firms, less the 25 caught in 15 months. That still leaves 158 firms to be clobbered, lightly or firmly, at a rate of 25 firms every 15 months. At the current rate of progress, that means it’ll be another 95 months, call it 8 years, before all the scammers have either been tickled by the UK Insolvency Service (in which case, they’ll merely move on to the next scam), or bust by the police (which might actually discourage some).

To put a money value on the scamming, we’ll ignore upscale horrors (tens of millions each, or more) such as AGT or MH Carbon, which actually sought liquidation (oh dear, could it be that Insolvency proceedings actually suit carbon scam companies?). Based on the Insolvency Service sample of 19 firms, each carbon credit scam outfit pinches ~£1Mn a year. We’ll assume, perhaps gloomily, that the 158 remaining firms are just as successful, as scams, as the ones already busted. Even if they’ve stopped scamming, that’s another £158Mn of investor losses in the pipeline, and 158 companies to investigate and liquidate.

But if they haven’t stopped scamming, then, at the current rate of forced liquidations and police busts, we have 158 firms lasting (on average) another 4 years. On that basis, there is somewhere north of £600Mn worth of scamming to come, just in carbon credits. So we’re getting close to a billion dollars, ignoring any big single scams, such as MH Carbon or AGT.


Surely the Lotus F1 Team Isn’t Just Slinking Quietly Away From Its Embarrassing Team Partner, AGT?


By Richard Smith

Here’s an interesting timeline.
October 22, 2013: The web archive of Lotus’s Official Team Partner list includes a firm called AGT. (Update 11/11: the snazzy website formatting didn’t make it into the Wayback Archive that I usually consult, but a kind reader provided links to another archive with snazz)

November 6, 2013: Relying heavily on posts at the blog http://www.redd-monitor.com (posts that google.co.uk, under spurious legal threat from AGT, has redacted), Naked Capitalism suggests that AGT is an investment scam which is getting the wholly undeserved appearance of legitimacy from its association with Lotus F1:

…For instance, Lotus might want to clarify whether their deal with AGT included payments from AGT. Payments from AGT would have been, in effect, scam takings from hoodwinked investors. I certainly wouldn’t want to imply that Lotus were aware of this; though I do think they were pretty slipshod in their due diligence about their partner.

Alternatively, it might be that Lotus have overpaid for carbon credits, if they bought any from AGT, which would mean that Lotus were carbon scam victims, too, alongside another 1,000 victims of AGT in Dubai, and another 1,500 investors (and rising) who bought in to other carbon credits scams in the UK.

Either way, disclosure about their relationship with AGT, from a high profile outfit like Lotus F1, would be welcome: it would help educate a public both oblivious to the danger of carbon credits scams, and unprotected by the regulators. I hope Lotus F1 accept the opportunity to educate.

Meanwhile McLaren F1 continue to display the Carbon Neutral Investments logo. Wakey, wakey, McLaren!

…as do Sauber F1. Wakey, wakey, Sauber!
Nov 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
CBO: Carbon tax chops $1 trillion from deficit



The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) floated 103 ways to help cut the deficit Wednesday, and one option takes out a much bigger bite than any other: A carbon tax.

A $25-per-ton tax that rises 2 percent annually would raise slightly over $1 trillion over a decade, according to the nonpartisan CBO.

Its closest competitor? Increasing the payroll tax rate for Medicare hospital insurance by one percent, which would raise an estimated $859 billion between 2014 and 2023.
Nov 13, 2013 at 4:37 PM | Registered CommenterJohn
Carbon Tax ‘Killed’ Australian Manufacturing


Australia’s unpopular carbon tax has helped damage the country’s competitiveness, the Prime Minister’s chief business adviser has claimed.

Maurice Newman, chairman of Tony Abbott’s Business Advisory Council, told The Australian that “the scientific delusion, the religion behind the climate crusade, is crumbling.” He argued that the country had become “hostage to climate-change madness,” and warned that “for every ‘green job’ created, two to three jobs are lost in the real economy.”

The Council brings together leaders from the manufacturing, resources, logistics, retail, financial, and constructed sectors. Created in December, 2013, it will meet three times a year with senior members of the Government to help guide programs and policies that are sympathetic to the needs of both small and large businesses in Australia.
Jan 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterjohn
That is a rather flattering picture of Julia actually. It's a pity she was such a poor PM that they'll never make a film about her, because Jodie Foster was made for the part.
Jan 21, 2014 at 12:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterJoe

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