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Fat Cat’s $90K “Carbon Offset” For Capitol

From a surprisingly skeptical Washington Post:

Daniel Beard, House chief administrative officer, will buy $89,000 in carbon credits at the Chicago Climate Exchange to offset the emissions from the U.S. Capitol’s power plant, the only coal-burning plant still in use in the District.

Capitol to Buy Offsets in Bid to Go Green

Republicans, Researchers Question System’s Effectiveness in Easing Global Warming

By Jonathan Weisman
Monday, November 5, 2007; Page A06

Daniel Beard, the House’s chief administrative officer, will cut a taxpayer-funded check today for $89,000 to buy credits that will offset the impact of 30,000 tons of carbon belched into the atmosphere by the U.S. Capitol’s antiquated, coal-burning power plant every year.

That is not much — out of a $2.7 trillion federal budget — to strike a blow against climate change, but Republicans are hot under the collar about it precisely because they are not sure it will do anything about global warming.

Daniel Beard, House chief administrative officer, will buy $89,000 in carbon credits at the Chicago Climate Exchange to offset the emissions from the U.S. Capitol’s power plant, the only coal-burning plant still in use in the District…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed this year to make the gleaming sandstone-and-marble Capitol “green” by the end of 2008. Shutting down the only coal-burning power plant in the District of Columbia is a priority, Beard says. But with powerful coal-state lawmakers protecting it, deep-sixing the plant will not be easy.

Buying pardons for its offenses is, however, thanks to the growing market for carbon offsets. You simply turn over some money, and the offsetters promise to absolve your sins by putting it to use on green technologies, planting trees, pumping carbon dioxide underground and the like.

But the carbon-offset trade is only as good as the offsetters’ word and the market’s police force. Beard will make his purchase on the Chicago Climate Exchange, which administers a voluntary cap-and-trade system, in which North American participants pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies that reduce more than their pledge can sell their good deeds on the market to those, like the U.S. Capitol, who are not doing so well. Projects claiming carbon-saving efforts can sell their gains on the exchange as “carbon financial instruments.”

Beard said he looked into investing the money directly into projects that reduce greenhouse gas concentrations, but he did not want to be in the position of favoring one technology over another…

In May, Reps. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) asked the Government Accountability Office to review the growing carbon-offset industry, a study that should be completed by April. In July, Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers (R-Mich.), the Administration Committee’s ranking minority member and a physicist, personally asked Beard to hold off purchasing the credits until the GAO reports back. On Friday, Ehlers dashed off another letter to Beard, urging delay.

“Using our limited House resources for purchases where the measure of return is so dubious makes me very wary,” Ehlers wrote.

But the purchase will go on, complete with a bipartisan celebration today at Chicago’s Field Museum.

“The chairman is supportive of the greening-of-the-Capitol effort and has confidence in Mr. Beard’s administration of the program,” said Kyle Anderson, spokesman for Administration Committee Chairman Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.).

Well, there is reason for the “bipartisan celebration.”

For while the Washington Post neglects to mention it, the owner of the Chicago Climate Exchange, Richard Sandor, has been very good about giving his own “offsets” to the right people on both sides of the aisle.

A search of the Federal Election Commission’s records reveals his contributions from the last few years:

Richard Sandor

Contributions to Political Committees

SANDOR, RICHARD
CHICAGO, IL 60603
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/ECONOMIS

   DURBIN, RICHARD J
    VIA FRIENDS OF DICK DURBIN COMMITTEE
    09/01/2007     1000.00     27020373290

SANDOR, RICHARD
CHICAGO, IL 60603
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/VICE PRE

   ILLINOIS REPUBLICAN PARTY
    10/27/2004     400.00     25990166712

SANDOR, RICHARD
CHICAGO, IL 60603
CHICAGO MERCANTILE EXCHANGE/ECONO

   HASTERT, DENNIS J.
    VIA HASTERT FOR CONGRESS COMMITTEE
    08/18/2005     2100.00     25971193824
    08/18/2005     2100.00     25971193825

SANDOR, RICHARD
CHICAGO, IL 60604
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE INC

   MCKENNA, ANDREW J
    VIA MCKENNA FOR SENATE
    11/13/2003     500.00     24020092468

SANDOR, RICHARD
CHICAGO, IL 60604
ECONOMIST

   DODD, CHRISTOPHER J
    VIA FRIENDS OF CHRIS DODD
    03/30/2003     1000.00     23020170979

SANDOR, RICHARD
CHICAGO, IL 60610
CENTRE FIAN PRODUCTS

   REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    02/27/1998     250.00     98032880442

SANDOR, RICHARD F. MR.
DENVER, CO 80209
RETIRED

   MCCAIN, JOHN S
    VIA MCCAIN 2000 INC
    02/10/2000     1000.00     20990076506

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60603
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE, INC./CH

   LUGAR, RICHARD G
    VIA FRIENDS OF DICK LUGAR INC
    05/11/2007     1000.00     27020201458

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60603
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/CHAIRMAN

   BOREN, DAVID D
    VIA BOREN FOR CONGRESS 2008
    02/14/2006     2000.00     26940078724

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60604
AEP

   DEWINE, RICHARD MICHAEL
    VIA MIKE DEWINE FOR US SENATE
    01/27/2005     1000.00     25020181727

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60604
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE

   OBAMA, BARACK
    VIA OBAMA FOR ILLINOIS INC
    06/17/2004     2000.00     24020462051

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60604
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE INC

   LUGAR, RICHARD G
    VIA FRIENDS OF DICK LUGAR INC
    01/06/2005     1000.00     25020123457

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60604
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/ECONOMIS

   KERRY, JOHN F
    VIA JOHN KERRY FOR PRESIDENT INC
    06/24/2004     2000.00     24971367677

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60610
CENTRE FIAN PRODUCTS

   REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    11/06/2000     250.00     20036564227

SANDOR, RICHARD L
CHICAGO, IL 60610
CENTRE FINANCIAL PRODUCTS

   AUCTION MARKETS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE OF THE CHICAGO BOARD OF TRADE
    08/22/1997     1000.00     97032394843

SANDOR, RICHARD L DR
CHICAGO, IL 60604
ENVIRON FIN PROD LTD

   BUSH, GEORGE W
    VIA BUSH FOR PRESIDENT INC.
    05/13/1999     1000.00     99034573429

SANDOR, RICHARD L DR.
CHICAGO, IL 60604
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE INC./ECO

   BUSH, GEORGE W
    VIA BUSH-CHENEY ’04 (PRIMARY) INC
    10/07/2003     2000.00     24990264211

SANDOR, RICHARD L MR.
CHICAGO, IL 60610
SELF-EMPLOYED/ECONOMIST

   REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    05/12/2005     1000.00     25970398916

SANDOR, RICHARD L.
CHICAGO, IL 60604
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/CHAIRMAN

   BOREN, DAVID D
    VIA BOREN FOR CONGRESS
    03/31/2004     2000.00     24991072911
    03/31/2004     2000.00     24991072911

SANDOR, RICHARD L.
CHICAGO, IL 60604
ENVIROMENTAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS L

   WERTHEIM, JOHN V
    VIA JOHN WERTHEIM FOR CONGRESS
    06/28/1999     500.00     99990057849

SANDOR, RICHARD L.
CHICAGO, IL 60604
ENVIROMENTAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS L

   WERTHEIM, JOHN V
    VIA JOHN WERTHEIM FOR CONGRESS
    06/28/1999     500.00     99990057849

SANDOR, RICHARDL. MR.
CHICAGO, IL 60610
CENTRE FIAN. PRODUCTS/ECONOMIST

   REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    06/11/2001     1000.00     21990206883
    02/11/2002     1000.00     22990546135

SANDOR, RICHARDL. MR.
CHICAGO, IL 60610
SELF-EMPLOYED/ECONOMIST

   REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE
    09/17/2002     750.00     22992311621

Total Contributions:    29850.00

Other Chicago Climate Exchange employees have also been generous, if more single-minded:

MACGREGOR, MICHAEL
BARRINGTON, IL 60010
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/VICE PRE

   RICHARDSON, BILL
    VIA RICHARDSON FOR PRESIDENT INC.
    07/19/2007     500.00     27931383871

MCANDREW, ROBERT H.
CHICAGO, IL 60614
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/VP SALES

   RICHARDSON, BILL
    VIA RICHARDSON FOR PRESIDENT INC.
    07/19/2007     500.00     27931383937

WALSH, MICHAEL J.
DOWNERS GROVE, IL 60516
CHICAGO CLIMATE EXCHANGE/EXECUTIV

   RICHARDSON, BILL
    VIA RICHARDSON FOR PRESIDENT INC.
    07/26/2007     500.00     27931384715

Yes, Mr. Sandor and his crew are clearly committed to protecting the environment.

Their own feathered nest.

By the way, note how they describe their own company:

Chicago Climate Exchange

Welcome to CCX: We are a financial institution whose objectives are to apply financial innovation and incentives to advance social, environmental and economic goals through the following platforms…

And note how well their stock is doing:

The sad thing is that is exactly what they want to do to the entire US economy.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 5th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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