US carbon trading — not worth a plug nickel

Anthony Watts Meteorologist and Climate Blogger
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A few weeks ago I wrote:

The only lower price than today’s closing price on a ton of carbon is ZERO.

That’s more true now than ever. See the chart below from yesterday’s close of the Chicago Climate Exchange:

And it’s still crashing. Last week the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) announced that they were scrapping the existing carbon trading program and focusing on a new one that deals with directly-sold carbon offsets rather than open trading.

Of course, anybody with a lick of business sense could see this coming a mile away, especially after there were deep employee cuts at CCX in mid-August, all while the price of a ton of carbon dioxide continued to plummet.

According to Steve Milloy’s Green Hell Blog:

CCX was sold earlier this year for $600 million to the New York Stock Exchange-listed Intercontinental Exchange (Symbol: ICE), an electronic futures and derivatives platform based in Atlanta and London. ICE also acquired the European Climate Exchange as part of the transaction. The ECX remains open to accommodate the Kyoto Protocol-required carbon trading among EU nations. The sale of CCX to ICE allowed climateers like Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management and Goldman Sachs to cash out of investments in CCX.

At its founding in November 2000, some estimated that the size of CCX’s carbon trading market could reach $500 billion.

$500 billion trading thin air? Sure, yep, you betcha. Do you think there will be any confidence in buying carbon offsets directly when the free market runs from carbon trading like it is vacating a burning house?

A bag of charcoal BBQ briquettes is worth far more than a ton of carbon dioxide right now. Stock up, you might be able to sell them to some unsuspecting dupe, one briquette at a time, just so long as you provide a certificate to go with each one.

Mr. Watts operates the most visited blog on climate science in the world, www.wattsupwiththat.com now with over 57 million visits. He has spent 30 years on air in radio and television as a weather forecaster, and still does daily radio broadcasts. In 2007, he founded thesurfacestations.org project, which with the help of volunteers nationwide found that only 1 in 10 of the weather stations used for monitoring climate in the USA met the government’s own standards for station siting quality. He also operates a weather technology business, embraces energy efficiency with solar power on his home and drives an electric car.