Will California’s Cap & Trade System Be The First One To Ever Work? Ehr, No, Stupid! Of Course, Not!

California, which has spent decades systematically crippling itself, is working on getting the details of its latest baseball bat to its own knee just right before it swings for the fences.

Nine months before California is set to finalize a trading system aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions, participants have the jitters.

Litigation threatens to delay the start of the multibillion-dollar program, and industry executives worry that its regulations will fall short of guaranteeing a smoothly operating market. Fear is growing that it could be susceptible to the fraud that has plagued a similar European system.

…The European system, which covers 12,000 companies in 30 nations, traded $123 billion in carbon allowances last year and is on target to slash emissions by 21% below 1990 levels over the next decade. But the market has been jolted by an estimated $6 billion in tax fraud schemes along with the recent cyber-theft of $50 million in carbon credits stored in the Czech Republic registry.

…A court decision last month temporarily halted California’s cap-and-trade program after local environmental groups contended the California Air Resources Board failed to analyze alternatives to trading. The decision is expected to be appealed, but any delay in the January start date could throw a wrench into the financial planning of hundreds of companies.

“There’s some uncertainty around when this program is going to start and maybe if it will ever start,” said Graeme Martin, a Shell Energy official.

Only California could look at a system riddled with $6 billion in tax fraud and say, “Wow, we really need to copy that!” It’s also worth noting that the claim that Europe “is on target to slash emissions by 21% below 1990 levels over the next decade” is mostly vapor.

Here’s a 2009
excerpt from the Wall Street Journal that explains,

Given the system’s inherent flaws, it comes as little surprise that the ETS didn’t quite work as intended. According to European Commission figures, emissions from the 27 member states rose by 1.9% in the first three years of the regime. Following criticism, the caps for the period to 2012 were reduced for the majority of member states, but only to a little lower than actual emissions in 2005, and the evidence is that the recession is having a much more direct impact on emissions than the trading scheme (incidentally putting a lot of low-priced permits on the market).

In other words, emissions were actually UP under Europe’s Cap and Trade system, not down, until the recession pounded their economies into submission and greenhouse gasses dropped along with the reduced economic activity.

The real mystery here is not whether California’s Cap and Trade system will be a success. We know the answer to that question already. The mystery is why sentient beings would want to implement an inordinately expensive system that was doomed to failure before it ever began.

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