It has been difficult to figure out who benefits from carbon trading exchanges designed to cap CO2 emissions in the name of fighting global warming. Most busineses and virtually all consumers will be penalized by higher energy costs, which will result in less economic activity and a further loss of United States jobs. Nor is the evironment a beneficiary of carbon cap-and-trade systems. Even many supporters of carbon trading admit that the environmental benefit of a cap-and-trade system in the United States is almost too small to measure — somewhere in the neighborhood of a projected drop in temperature of a few hundredths of a degree during the rest of this century.
It appears that the biggest beneficiary of carbon trading may be criminals. An article in USA Today reports that most carbon trading markets in Europe have had to shut down due to extensive criminal behavior on the part of hackers making bogus trades. According to the article, in one sting a gang stole $31 million from a Romanian company.
The U.S. Congress has been wise in not implementing a cap-and-trade system in the United States. With the U.S. economy still realing from massive fraud in the housing meltdown, the last thing we need is to provide another lucrative opportunity for cyber fraud that would surely occur if the United States follows the lead of Europe in creating a carbon trading system.