[Debate] (Fwd) Romney etch-a-sketches cap 'n trade, while Europe market crashes further

Patrick Bond pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Apr 4 09:24:14 BST 2012

(A dope then, a denialist now. Carbon trading is so 'effective' that the 
price per tonne of carbon just hit an all-time low in Europe this week.)

  Romney supported cap-and-trade in 2003 as a way to combat climate change

By Stephen Lacey <http://grist.org/author/stephen-lacey/>


Photo by Dave Lawrence.

/Cross-posted from Climate Progress 

A new document has surfaced 
[PDF] showing Mitt Romney's strong support for regulating carbon dioxide 
in 2003, when he called cap-and-trade "an effective approach" to 
combating climate change.

The comments were made in a letter from Romney to New York Gov. George 
Pataki (R) about a regional cooperative system for regulating greenhouse 
gases. In the letter, Romney agreed with Pataki on the need to "reduce 
the power plant pollution that is harming our climate."

But today, in trying to align himself with conservative political 
backlash against climate science, Romney says "we don't know" whether 
humans are warming the planet, and that doing something about the 
problem "is not the right course for us."

Here's the full letter 
[PDF] from Romney to Pataki:

    Thank you for your invitation to embark on a cooperative northeast
    process to reduce the power plant pollution that is harming our
    climate. I concur that climate change is beginning to effect on our
    natural resources and that now is the time to take action toward
    climate protection. Furthermore, I share your interest in ensuring
    that the economic and security contributions made by our electricity
    generating system are not negated by the impact of emissions from
    that system on the health of our citizens.

    As you may know, the commonwealth is making major strides to reduce
    the environmental impact of our power plants. Specifically, I am
    making good on my pledge to clean up the six oldest and dirtiest
    power plants in the state and bring them up to new plant standards
    for NOx, SOx, mercury and CO2. We are the first state to enact a cap
    on CO2, implementing regulations that, by 2008, will reduce these
    emissions by 10%, removing 6,750 tons of Co2 per day. Furthermore,
    Massachusetts, along with the other New England states and Canadian
    provinces, has a target of reducing greenhouse gases and improving
    the efficiency of the grid substantially over the next 20 years.

    I believe that our joint work to create a flexible market-based
    regional cap and trade system could serve as an effective approach
    to meeting these goals. I am ready to have my staff work with yours
    to explore how we might design such a system --- one that would keep
    the cost of compliance as low as possible, diversify our fuels,
    encourage energy efficiency and renewables, and keep our energy
    dollars in the region. Thank you for your initiative in proposing
    this project.

Mitt Romney is getting a lot of media attention 
for his contradictory stances on energy policy. Every week, there's a 
new document or quote surfacing from the past that counters all of his 
current campaign mantras.

This adds to the very long list of dramatic changes to Romney's energy 
policy. During his last bid for the presidency in 2007, Romney advocated 
aggressive fuel efficiency standards, electric vehicles, and 
public-private partnerships to develop clean energy.

In 2006, Romney said that high gas prices were good for discouraging 
consumption, explaining 
that he was "very much in favor of people recognizing that these high 
gasoline prices are probably here to stay."

In 2004, Romney introduced a climate protection plan 
<http://www.newamerica.net/files/MAClimateProtPlan0504.pdf> [PDF] for 
Massachusetts, laying out a "no-regrets policy" for tackling climate change.

And in 2003, the year the letter to Pataki was written, Romney set up a 
$15 million fund 
for renewable energy and criticized coal plants for creating jobs that 
"kill people 

With this barrage of information surfacing about the candidate, it's not 
likely he can simply Etch-A-Sketch his problems away 

Stephen Lacey is a reporter with Climate Progress 
<http://www.climateprogress.org/> covering clean energy issues. He 
formerly worked as a producer/editor at RenewableEnergyWorld.com 


  EC data reinforces oversupply in carbon market

Published online only

Source: Energy Risk <http://www.risk.net/energy-risk>

Author: Jay Maroo <http://www.risk.net/author/2109/jay-maroo>

Source: Energy Risk <http://www.risk.net/energy-risk> | 03 Apr 2012


*According to data published by the European Commission, the European 
Union Emissions Trading Scheme was oversupplied with allowances in 2011*

Data released Monday, April 2 by the European Commission (EC) through 
its Community Independent Transaction Log (CITL) showed, contrary to 
market expectations, that the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme 
(EU ETS) was oversupplied with emissions allowances in 2011.

The news resulted in carbon prices plummeting to all-time lows. The 
December 2012 European Union Allowance (EUA) futures contract trading on 
the ICE European Climate Exchange (ECX) settled on Monday at an all-time 
low of EUR6.34 per tonne.

"Any hope that the EU ETS could organically shake off oversupply was 
officially crushed today," said Jeffries Bache in its carbon report.

According to analysis by Thomson Reuters Point Carbon, the volume of 
emissions produced in 2011 under the EU ETS by its 27 member states (and 
Norway) fell by 2.6% over the previous year. This figure has come as a 
surprise to those in the industry, as the general expectation was for a 
small rise.

"It was a reasonably surprising [figure] yesterday and the market was 
always going to react relatively bearishly afterwards," says Trevor 
Sikorski, head of environmental market research at Barclays Capital.

Deutsche Bank had forecast a rise of 1.3% in verified emissions. On the 
back of the data release the bank has subsequently downgraded its view 
on EUA prices for Q2 2012 to EUR5-7/tonne from EUR6-9/tonne. "Now more 
than ever, the only value in EUAs lies in their political optionality," 
said the bank in a research note.

However, unlike Deutsche Bank, Barclays Capital maintains its forecast 
for EUA prices to average EUR9/tonne through this year. According to 
Sikorski, the newly released data does not alter Barclays Capital's 
forecasts significantly as the bank had forecast that the market would 
be long allowances by 776 million tonnes (Mt)** -- the current data only 
changes the forecast by around 50Mt.

"Everyone knew it was massively oversupplied going in and it remains 
massively oversupplied," says Sikorski.

Following the release of the bearish data, calls for market intervention 
are likely to gain more momentum. As a result, Sikorski believes 
participants now have to pay close attention to any news around the use 
of a set-aside scheme - a temporary removal of allowances from the market.

EU officials and law-makers will meet on April 11 to discuss the use of 
a set-aside scheme with a plenary vote expected on June 11.

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