Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Somewhere Al Gore Weeps: The CCX Carbon Trading Scheme Collapses

Steve Milloy over at Pajamas Media reports on the blockbuster story that the mainstream media has completely ignored; namely, the stunning collapse of the Chicago Climate Exchange, that much-ballyhooed centerpiece of the cap and trade solutions for global warming.

As Milloy points out, the green movement had loudly, gleefully touted the CCX plan of "carbon trading" as a key answer to the climate catastrophe that was upon us. It was heralded by Al Gore, by Barack Obama (who was a board member of the Joyce Foundation that funded the fledgling CCX), by Goldman Sachs and many others. It was also promoted in thousands of stories in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio.

But the announcement a week before Halloween that the CCX would be ending carbon trading altogether (the only purpose for which it was founded!) created nary a ripple in the MSM...or anywhere else.

Milloy, in this brief but riveting piece, reviews the history of the CCX, the huge amounts of money which flowed into it, the high hopes it gave to environmentalists who saw in the CCX the path to the stars, its whimpering demise and what we might expect in the future. Very interesting stuff.

Here's a bit:

The CCX was the brainchild of Northwestern University business professor Richard Sandor, who used $1.1 million in grants from the Chicago-based left-wing Joyce Foundation to launch the CCX. For his efforts, Time named Sandor as one of its Heroes of the Planet in 2002 and one of its Heroes of the Environment in 2007...

But a funny thing happened on the way to the CCX’s highly anticipated looting of taxpayers and consumers — cap-and-trade imploded following its high water mark of the House passage of the Waxman-Markey bill. With ongoing economic recession, Climategate, and the tea party movement, what once seemed like a certainty became anything but.

CCX’s panicked original investors bailed out this spring, unloading the dog and its across-the-pond cousin, the European Climate Exchange (ECX), for $600 million to the New York Stock Exchange-traded Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) — an electronic futures and derivatives platform based in Atlanta and London. (Luckier than the CCX, the ECX continues to exist thanks to the mandatory carbon caps of the Kyoto

The ECX may soon follow the CCX into oblivion, however — the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. No new international treaty is anywhere in sight.

While we don’t know how well Al Gore and Goldman Sachs fared on their investments in the CCX, we do know that there’s no reason to cry for Sandor. He received $98.5 million for his 16.5% stake in CCX when it was sold. Not bad for a failure that somebody else financed...

With the demise of CCX carbon trading, only the still-pending Waxman-Markey bill is keeping cap and trade alive — technically, at least — in the U.S. According to’s Cap-and-Trade Death Clock, however, Waxman-Markey only has about 60 days of life left before it, too, turns into a pumpkin.

Despite this good news, opponents of carbon regulation will need to remain vigilant. While radical greens and the rent-seeking “clean energy” industry are
down, they are not out.

Though they will never again dare utter the term “cap and trade,” they will reformulate and rebrand carbon regulation in the form of a national “renewable electricity standard” (RES), a “carbon tax,” or perhaps something even more innocent and cuddly — like “free cotton candy for everyone (FCCE).”

The global warming mob will be back, with their old agenda and new deceit, in 2011. Given that Republican politicians have a long history of squishines
s on environmental issues, the rest of us will need to be prepared to continue the battle against Marxist/socialist and economy-killing energy rationing and taxes.