Shocka: House spent $89,000 on carbon offsets that don’t offset jack

posted at 2:44 pm on January 28, 2008 by Allahpundit

The market is new but this storyline is already very old, as longtime HA readers will remember. Go read that post from April if you missed it at the time, as it shows how common this particular piece of knowledge about carbon-offset redundancy is. The fact that Pelosi et al. didn’t care enough to demand proof of “additionality” in the offset projects chosen means they’re either ignorant of the issue or that they know but just don’t care so long as they strike the right posture of good intentions for the lefty base.

On the upside, there’s no evidence that the offset projects actually increased global warming. Which is another little pothole in this area to watch out for, if you can believe it.

Many environmental groups say any offset must meet one all-important criterion, called “additionality”: Buying an offset must cause some new reduction in emissions that wouldn’t have happened if the money hadn’t been paid.

“If you don’t have additionality,” said Mark Trexler, a consultant in Portland, Ore., who advises companies on offset purchases, “you know what you’re getting. You’re getting nothing.”

A review of three projects that got about a third of the funds from the House’s offset purchases shows that, in all three cases, it did not appear that offset money was the sole factor causing any of the projects to go forward.

About $14,500 of the House’s money went to the North Dakota Farmers Union, some to pay farmers to do “no-till” farming. The farmers stopped using conventional plows and instead make tiny slits to plant their seeds. The practice increases the amount of carbon, a component in heat-trapping carbon dioxide, kept in the soil. But organizers said that some farmers had started the practice before the offset money came in because it saves fuel, brings in federal soil-conservation funds and could increase crop yields.

What to do? Dump even more cash down this money pit, via the magic of regulation!

In Europe, offsets are regulated and often expensive, more than $30 per metric ton. In the United States, offsets are hardly regulated and generally far cheaper…

“No one is changing any practices for carbon offsets right now, because it doesn’t make economic sense” with prices so low, said Ted Dodge, executive director of the National Carbon Offset Coalition, based in Butte, Mont., which handled the transaction.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

We need an offset for stupidity. The dems would run deep into the red on that one.

William Amos on January 28, 2008 at 2:50 PM

I am opposed to more government regulation, but if carbon offsets aren’t banned, like many swamp land deals, then they ought to at least be regulated so that the idiots purchasing them will know how stupid they are.

bopbottle on January 28, 2008 at 2:52 PM

This is one of the all time outrages. It’s one thing to earmark money for a bridge that does nothing (which is horrible behavior too) but quite another to pay someone taxpayer money for ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Every bum in DC, except Tom Coburn and Ron Paul needs to be tossed on their asses back to their home district for retirement.

RWLA on January 28, 2008 at 2:53 PM

“If you don’t have additionality,” said Mark Trexler, a consultant in Portland, Ore., who advises companies on offset purchases, “you know what you’re getting. You’re getting nothing.”

Yeah. It’s kind of like the church selling indulgences to get people out of purgatory…………..how long ago did they stop doing that?

You deserve the government you elect.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on January 28, 2008 at 2:53 PM

And what about the 3rd world entrepreneurs who start up some pollution-making activity for the express purpose of being paid to stop it by do-gooders lately? I can’t recall the article but I read about that happening already.

BuzzCrutcher on January 28, 2008 at 2:55 PM

You deserve the government you elect.

The problem is that we get dragged down with it.

RWLA on January 28, 2008 at 2:55 PM

Looks like Nancy is due some botox offsets.

Brat on January 28, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Shocka: House spent $89,000 on carbon offsets that don’t offset jack

I’m amazed at the possibility of offsetsindulgences that actually might offset jack. I’d pretty much assumed that the entire system was a giant fraud preying on hysteria, political correctness, and overt stupidity. But I repeat myself.

ReubenJCogburn on January 28, 2008 at 2:57 PM

What the hell doesn’t contribute to global warming nowadays?

Rick on January 28, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Man, I so gotta get into this. These carbon offsets are a license to steal from stupid, rich liberals.

Mike Honcho on January 28, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Carbon offsets are the “Rosary beads” of the environuts.

Talon on January 28, 2008 at 2:59 PM

I’m in the wrong business.

lorien1973 on January 28, 2008 at 3:00 PM

We’re lucky it’s only $90K. After St. Barak is crowned we’ll all look back on a mere $90K as a golden age of good sense and good governace.

Vote Sauron 08 on January 28, 2008 at 3:01 PM

As I’ve said before, if I was a real-life Tony Soprano looking for a new racket, selling carbon offsets would be a very strong candidate.

thirteen28 on January 28, 2008 at 3:02 PM

“you know what you’re getting. You’re getting nothing.” – Trexler.

That quote pretty much sums it up for me. A bit out of context, but, oh well, the media do that all the time, so it must be OK. Right?

forest on January 28, 2008 at 3:05 PM

As I’ve said before, if I was a real-life Tony Soprano looking for a new racket, selling carbon offsets would be a very strong candidate.

thirteen28 on January 28, 2008 at 3:02 PM

“Hey, you’s gots a nice environment, here…sure would be a shame if somethin’ happened to it.”

James on January 28, 2008 at 3:06 PM

Good to see we are once again returning to the glory days of $1000 toilet seats and $500 hammers.

pilamaye on January 28, 2008 at 3:08 PM

I’m selling carbon offsets.

I will throw some grass seed out of my window, USD48/handful.

I’ll make you an offah you can’t refuse, knowhuimtalkiabaht?

benrand on January 28, 2008 at 3:08 PM

And what about the 3rd world entrepreneurs who start up some pollution-making activity for the express purpose of being paid to stop it by do-gooders lately? I can’t recall the article but I read about that happening already.

BuzzCrutcher on January 28, 2008 at 2:55 PM

I currently building an internal combustion engine farm. I’ll just run the motors all day because I like the sound – I like to think of it as industrial performance art. I could be persuaded to stop, however…

Nosferightu on January 28, 2008 at 3:13 PM

You deserve the government you elect.

Oh my Lord! I haven’t heard that little gem in a long while. Kudos to you Doc, you’re absolutely right…unfortunately.

Oldnuke on January 28, 2008 at 3:20 PM

FOR SALE: CARBON CREDITS
Also have some oceanfront property in Arizona..555-BR549

kcd on January 28, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Allah: Green Pork, eh?

What immediately sprang to mind was:

“I do not like them in a box.
I do not like them with a fox.
I do not like them in a boat.
I do not like them with a goat.
I do not like them here or there.
I do not like them anywhere.
I do not like GREEN eggs and HAM.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am!!!

Shirotayama on January 28, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Not to mention the damage this is all doing to the English language…”ADDITIONALITY??????” Good Grief!

Blaise on January 28, 2008 at 3:28 PM

Not to mention the damage this is all doing to the English language…”ADDITIONALITY??????” Good Grief! Double Plus Ungood Grief!

Blaise on January 28, 2008 at 3:28 PM

Fixed it.

Nosferightu on January 28, 2008 at 3:30 PM

Offsets are like the snake-oil of the global warming era.

greekinfidel on January 28, 2008 at 3:35 PM

I’m not overweight. I’ve purchased calorie offsets by sponsoring a Kenyan marathon runner. :-)

cannonball on January 28, 2008 at 3:40 PM

People affirm belief in global warming because it’s stylish. I might believe they truly believe that crap if they will make uncomfortable lifestyle changes. . . Still waiting on congress.

snaggletoothie on January 28, 2008 at 3:53 PM

How much of that pork went to Algore’s carbon offset company.

petefrt on January 28, 2008 at 3:54 PM

Carbon offsets: the twentieth-century version of selling the Brooklyn Bridge. Kind of an environmental three card monty game.
I sure wish I could have gotten in on the ground floor, though…evidently, there’s a (liberal) sucker born every minute.

uncivilized on January 28, 2008 at 4:18 PM

We live in a kleptocracy.

Government by thieves.

Labamigo on January 28, 2008 at 5:06 PM

Wait until they are mandatory, unquestionable and coming from the government. They will be twice as funny.

[email protected] on January 28, 2008 at 5:12 PM

Who da thunk?

oakpack on January 28, 2008 at 5:24 PM

idiots

custer on January 28, 2008 at 5:28 PM

Blaise 3:28 “additionality”

I’m with you. Never heard that one before. Must be an example of languaging.

whitetop on January 28, 2008 at 6:01 PM

Everybody remembers Eisenhower’s warning about the, “military-industrial complex,” shoot, it has become the siren call of some.

Few if any recall — and it is never repeated — the second of the two specific warning he made in that very same speech:

“The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” (emphasis added)

The scientific-technological elite, Eisenhower truly was prescient. Read the speech, it could have been written today.
DKK

LifeTrek on January 28, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Carbon credits are just another way of taking MY money and giving it to someone the government thinks is more deserving!!

Bicyea on January 28, 2008 at 6:23 PM

So Al Gore uses as much power in his home as I use in a year, but it is OK because he buys carbon offsets.

Can a Christian preacher buy porn so long as he donates to the publication of Bibles?

Al Gore is the High Priest of global warming.
The press would have a field day with a preacher that bought “Porn Offsets”.

The Rock on January 28, 2008 at 6:40 PM

You all may see what you are doing as attacking the environmental movement. I see it as keeping the environmental movement honest. Keep up the good work!

As an environmentalist, I have more disgust for Al Gore and his electricity consumption than anyone.

thuja on January 28, 2008 at 7:46 PM

Follow the money.

These sham companies will gladly SELL an infinite number of carbon offsets, but have any of them ever BOUGHT any offsets?

Somebody needs to track the cash flow; 99% this money is being “absorbed” into somebody’s pocket.

logis on January 28, 2008 at 8:16 PM

I recently realized (I can be slow) that the right to bear arms was our founders’ way of ensuring We, the People are protected from our GOVERNMENT!
I now believe that the reason liberals are all about taking guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens is to ensure that we can’t protect ourselves from them stealing our money.
Carbon offsets is just another method of robbing from one group to give to another. Another modern day “Robin Hood”. Add this to the hundreds (if not thousands) of other Robin Hood programs and we are one step closer to the government keeping more of my earnings than I am allowed to keep.
I do not yet own a gun. I am seriously considering purchasing one.

MsDollie on January 28, 2008 at 8:30 PM