A bill (S. 1399) introduced yesterday by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) would “give the Commodity Futures Trading Commission full authority over markets that buy and sell pollution permits issued to companies as part of a climate change plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Reuters reports.
It’s called the Carbon Market Oversight Act....
A press release issued on the bill states that it “is designed to prevent Enron-like fraud, manipulation and excessive speculation in the new federal, state and regional carbon markets that will be established by such a system.”
There was at least one Enron program that was supposed to be regulated by CFTC, but wasn't due to the ability of Enron to lobby (some would say bribe) powerful people to secure an exemption from oversight. We all know how that turned out, don't we.
Think of the opportunities for enrichment presented to the powerful and connected by a new and complex scheme of government mandated carbon emission levels, combined with government issued emission permits, traded on a governmentally regulated exchange. No doubt the folks at Goldman Sachs have already set up a war room from which to execute their strategy.
This is what is known as Regulatory Capture. For those of us that are doing neither the regulating nor the capturing, the end result isn't good.