Cap-and-Trade Cronyism

Don’t believe the headlines. Cap-and-trade is not dead. It’s too important to fail. Why? Because well-heeled Democrat cronies are expecting an opportunity to score big bucks via the trading of carbon dioxide.

Cap-and-trade works like this: the federal government will examine every industry sector in America and determine how much carbon dioxide individual businesses and companies are allowed to emit annually—that’s the cap.  If an entity surpasses its defined cap it must purchase carbon credits on a government-approved exchange.  If that same business were to see its carbon emissions remain below the cap, it would gain credits.  These credits could be saved or sold like a commodity on the exchange.  Even trading carbon derivatives will be allowed.  The official exchange will likely be an existing corporation known as the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).

With each transaction on the exchange, the government will receive a fee, brokers a commission, and savvy investors a score.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, by 2015, the federal government alone will be hauling in $104 billion a year from cap-and-trade.  

And who are these investors awaiting their carbon-based lucre?  As I expose in my book, Climategate, foremost are Al Gore and his partners at the Generation Investment Management (GIM) hedge fund. These chums include former Goldman Sachs bigwigs like Philip Murphy, previously chair of the Democratic Finance Committee, and Hank Paulson, former Treasury secretary).

GIM specializes in “green investments,” is worth over $1 billion, and is said to have a stake in CCX and Europe’s official carbon-trading exchange.

No surprise, Goldman Sachs also holds investments in both CCX and the European exchange.

Another player lined up to cash in on carbon is the Silicon Valley’s most prestigious venture capital firm, Kleiner-Perkins (KP).  And guess who’s a partner at KP? Al Gore.  And guess who has an investment in CCX?  KP.

Now an additional element of cronyism has surfaced: former Clinton and Obama advisor—and former CEO of the government-sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae—Franklin Raines has positioned Fannie and a few of his friends with the opportunity to practically print money straight off the backs of the American homeowner.

Raines is one of several “co-inventors” for U.S. patent numbers 6904336 and 7133750, which give Fannie the exclusive rights for identifying and measuring energy savings in homes that can then be packaged and sold as carbon credits on the exchange.  The patents speak of “replacing older appliances with more energy-efficient appliances; upgrading domestic hot-water heating systems; upgrading heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems; modifying lighting … installing insulation in attics and exterior walls [and] installing more efficient windows.”

The patents say regulators will be able to measure ongoing energy use (likely through the new Smart Meters which measure and record energy usage on a minute by minute basis), and by “onsite” inspectors conducting “visual inspection.”

These onsite inspectors are what I refer to in Climategate as the “green goon squad”

Buried in the House version of cap-and-trade are federally mandated energy-efficient building regulations, which supersede all local and state codes.  These new codes will be enforced by thousands of new government workers, and funded by new energy taxes and an annual $25 million from the Department of Energy “to provide necessary enforcement of a national energy efficiency building code.”

The green goon squad will be trained by the secretary of Energy to “enhance compliance … concerning the national energy efficiency building code.”
Once your home is up to code, Section 204 of the House bill states you will receive a certificate of compliance—without the certificate your home will likely be blacklisted from being sold or refinanced. The EPA and Department of Energy will get a combined $70 million annually to enforce the program.

While Fannie gets the carbon credits, the holders of the patent will get the royalties—usually 1% per transaction. Multiply that times the 100 million homes in the U.S. (who knows how many carbon credits will be attached to each house or what the credits will be worth?) and you have a handful of people who can go on a lifelong tropical vacation.  

The patents’ co-inventors are:

• Franklin Raines.

• Scott Lesmes, former Fannie deputy general council.

• Robert Sahadi, former Fannie vice president who now runs a green investment firm.

• Kenneth Berlin, an Obama fundraiser and an environmental attorney who has worked for Fannie.

• Michelle Desiderio, developer of an associated Fannie scheme called the Energy Efficient Mortgage. Desiderio now directs the National Green Building Certification program, which will likely train the green goon squad.

• Elizabeth Arner Cavey, wife of climate change lobbyist Brian Cavey.

• Jane Bartels, widow of Carlton Bartels—who some refer to as inventor of carbon credit trading.

The co-inventors don’t believe in global warming; they believe in money.  And they want cap-and-trade.