Trade you some CO2 for a little O2

Summary:I wouldn't hold my breath on anything getting done about the atmosphere and climate change in the current configuration of power in Washington D.C.

I wouldn't hold my breath on anything getting done about the atmosphere and climate change in the current configuration of power in Washington D.C. But there are some rumblings that may hint about the next phase of American politics.

Tuesday, July 24, 230pm Eastern Time, there's a subcommittee hearing in the U.S. Senate. It will, naturally, lead to much expenditure of energy. At least four witnesses will travel from their homes to appear. Hot air will be emitted from some senatorial passages. Lots of CO2 will be released, perhaps more methane than you want to contemplate.

Here's the official verbiage: "Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection hearing entitled, Economic and International Issues in Global Warming Policy." Don't expect action desite all the ergs expended. But this hearing is perhaps a harbinger of one of the next big things, as in money.

Tuesday's hearing may shed some light on a hot topic of the future: carbon caps and carbon trading. Those clever Europeans have been at this for some time. Now there's building interest in an American equivalent that would put value on CO2 and other carbon pollutants. Think of it as a giant monopoly game with carbon credits instead of little paper money. A press release from Duke University explains the proposed system this way, "Cap-and-trade programs are those that set overall authorized caps on emissions and then allow the buying and selling of those emissions credits."

Now that press release is important because it quotes Timothy Profeta, head of the Nicholas Institute at Duke. That's a think tank on energy and environmental matters. Profeta really matters because he was once Sen Joe Lieberman's environmental policy guy in Washington. And Lieberman (D-Conn) matters because he's head of this sub-committee. Got it?

Profeta has already said in the same Duke press release he doesn't expect much action on this until the "next administration." But there could be big money in carbon trading and it's always good to plan, or lobby, ahead.

This subcommittee's part of the big committee headed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) who is vociferous in pushing for more action on issues around global warming. The minority's ranking committee member is Sen. James Imhofe (R-OK). We know he thinks all this hot air about global warming is just a sneaky attack on the economy of his home state. Top two products of Oklahoma: natural gas followed by petroleum.

We can presume greenhouse gas emissions from the Senators themselves depends on body size and metabolism, and not so much on political party.

Topics: Telcos

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