Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Chicago Climate Exchange Seeks D.C. Muscle on Climate Bill (CLE.L*)

*Goldman Sachs owns 19% of the CCX's parent, Climate Exchange Plc (CLE: London).
CCX's founder, Richard Sandor is always good for a quote, this one was caught by Jeffrey Ball at the Wall Street Journal:
...But the exchange acknowledges that on some of those outside projects, it is authorizing the sale of credits for cleanups that had been performed anyway. Richard Sandor, the exchange's chairman, says that doing so rewards "early action" and encourages other landfills to capture methane too.

Mr. Sandor says the exchange's main goal is to help develop a commodity that has financial value under any possible future U.S. law that to regulates greenhouse-gas emissions.

The debate over whether or not a polluter would have cut its greenhouse-gas emissions without the financial incentive of credit sales is "quite interesting, but that's not my business," Mr. Sandor says.

"I'm running a for-profit company."...

Links at our post "Richard Sandor, Barack Obama and the Founding of the Chicago Climate Exchange (CLE.L)"
From ClimateWire via the New York Times:
The Chicago Climate Exchange has hired its first Washington, D.C., lobbyists in an apparent effort to influence climate legislation.

According to congressional lobbying disclosures, the exchange this summer secured (pdf) both McLeod, Watkinson & Miller and Patton Boggs to play a role in climate legislation now pending in the Senate. Those looking out for the exchange's interests include former Deputy Undersecretary of Agriculture for International Affairs and Commodity Programs Robert Green.

Officials with the Chicago Climate Exchange, also known as CCX, declined requests for an interview.

"We're advocating for a well-designed cap-and-trade system in the United States," CCX spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin said in an e-mailed statement regarding the lobbying hires.

But the political move by North America's largest trading system for greenhouse gas credits is sparking concern among analysts who say CCX might provide a blueprint for a mandatory federal cap-and-trade system. Many said they are worried by three years of news reports that the exchange often relies on inadequate methods of measuring and verifying emission reductions, particularly in the agriculture sector.

Farm groups and other supporters say the exchange does an excellent job of protecting the environment. But critics fear that the lobbying push, if successful, could weaken the integrity of any global warming bill emerging from Congress.

"The Chicago Climate Exchange could substantially undermine the value and accomplishments of an entire cap-and-trade program," said Kenneth Richards, an associate professor at Indiana University who has written about the exchange. "They could help create a system where we spend a lot of money and not get many reductions.">>>MUCH MORE