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Friday, October 23, 2009

Great News: Sen. Gillibrand (D-NY): Cap-N-Trade Will Be Good For Wall Street, Economy

In a Wall Street Journal The freshman Democratic senator from New York that replaced Hillary Clinton recently tried to put her own spin on the cap-n-trade debate:

In this turmoil, it may seem hard to imagine a financial market poised to deliver significant growth. However, a rising number of investors and financiers see one in the trading and reduction of carbon. According to financial experts, carbon permits could quickly become the world's largest commodities market, growing to as much as $3 trillion by 2020 from just over $100 billion today. With thousands of firms and energy producers buying and selling permits to emit carbon, transaction fees for exchanges and clearing alone could top nearly half a billion dollars. If Congress establishes proper oversight of a carbon market, New York's financial talent, expertise and institutions are uniquely suited to provide the tools and innovation for a new commodities market of this size. Firms wishing to invest over the long term will need to turn to our financial sector to create the emerging products and provide the capital that would allow them to make green energy investments.

An infrastructure is already beginning to form, as entities like the New York Stock Exchange, J.P. Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and the new Green Exchange are developing carbon trading platforms or expanding their environmental trading desks. There are nearly 100 funds already focused on green investments.

Basically, what she is saying is that instituting a cap-n-trade policy will benefit us economically because it will be able to be traded on the market like any other commodity or stock. That sounds good in theory, but in reality, it will drive up the costs even more.

Let's consider that what she is describing is not unlike what the market is already with oil speculation. Because of oil speculation, the price of gas went up to $4-5 per gallon, needlessly, last summer, and the prices of everything oil-related skyrocketed, as well. The same kind of speculation could happen with the proposed "carbon market".

Carbon trading would be just as disastrous, if not more, than that. Everyone uses carbon-based energy at one time or another, especially when you consider that all of the aforementioned oil-based energy is, also, carbon-based. So, in a way, oil and its derivatives will be traded in the market not just once but twice, driving up the prices of just about everything in the process.

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