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This is my effort to share my thoughts with readers about concerns facing our country today.  I believe there is a good chance my grandchildren may be the first generation in the history of this great country not to have a better standard of living than their parents. If so, our generation is to blame. The clock is running out for damage control. .

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Saturday
Mar082008

Cha-Ching A New Congressional Casino

Solving our country's problems is never easy in Washington. We must always make it as complex as we can. Speculators believe our nation's leaders will establish a carbon cap by 2010. This belief has created a new version of three card monte and anyone can play. It's called carbon offsets. A carbon offset, or credit, equals a ton of CO2 removed from the air. That should be real easy to measure, right? Is this smelling bad to you already?

The market for carbon offsets in the US was $200 million last year. In Europe it was $10 billion last year. It is expected to be as much as $175 billion in the US, the world's biggest carbon emitter, by 2020 if the cap is approved.

Scammers are drooling. How do I get an offset? I work with a farmer to generate 300,000 offsets when we burn methane produced by cow manure. We sell the offsets to an investment bank for $5 each or $1.5 million. I split with the farmer. The bank sells the offsets to a utility for $7 each or $2.1 million. Let's see, who pays the $2.1 million back to the utility. Gee, I guess I do on my monthly bill.

How can I create offsets if I don't want to burn cow manure? I could plant an acre of trees, through a carbon absorbing machine, or I could dump pulverized iron in the sea and create plankton which inhale CO2.

Question: How many government workers does it take to measure a ton of CO2 and how many do we need to make sure we really got an offset? And how many can be bought to create an offset when none exists?

Remember when Jimmy Carter got in the oil business and every gallon of gasoline was daisy chained 10 times before it got to the pump under the so-called DOE allocation program? This is even better. I dump a little iron in the ocean and claim I have a bizilllion plankton just sucking up that CO2. I estimate they are creating 10,000 offsets a day. I sell those offsets for $5 each to Merrill Lynch. They sell them to Com Ed and I pay Com Ed back for them on my bill.

Why is it every one of the deals involves manure?

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