Cap and Trade Pork in Senate’s Wall Street Reform Bill

by Kurt Schulzke on June 1, 2010

Lurking in the Senate version of HR 4173 , the so-called Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2009, is a juicy chunk of pork for the global warming lobby: the commissioning of a “carbon markets” study to be conducted by an “interagency working group” that includes Chairs of the CFTC, SEC and FERC.  Secretaries of  Treasury and Agriculture plus heads of  EPA, FTC and EIA round out the working group’s roster. 

EIA?  I wondered about that one myself.  It’s the Energy Information Administration.  Apparently Congress figured the Department of Energy was not enough so we have an EIA, too.  Funny that the DOE isn’t included in the working group.  Surely we are on the verge of running out of acronyms and dollars to pay for them.

The specific mandate of the interagency group is laid out in Section 750(d) copied below the jump.  That would be on page 748 of the Senate’s 1,615-page monstrosity.  Here’s the essential language:

The interagency group shall conduct a study on the oversight of existing and prospective carbon markets to ensure an efficient, secure, and transparent carbon market, including oversight of spot markets and derivative markets. What is not so clear is how a carbon markets study could possibly help reform Wall Street or protect consumers.

Here’s the extended version of Section 750.  The entire 1,615 pages of Senate language can be accessed through this link.  The 1,705-page House  version is here.  Not sure why the House needed extra pages as the word “carbon” does not appear.

SEC. 750. STUDY ON OVERSIGHT OF CARBON MARKETS.

(a) INTERAGENCY WORKING GROUP.—There is established to carry out this section an interagency working group (referred to in this section as the ‘‘interagency group’’) composed of the following members or designees:

(1) The Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (referred to in this section as

the ‘‘Commission’’), who shall serve as Chairman of the interagency group.

(2) The Secretary of Agriculture.

(3) The Secretary of the Treasury.

(4) The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

(5) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

(6) The Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

(7) The Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission.

(8) The Administrator of the Energy Information Administration.

(b) ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT.—The Commission shall provide the interagency group such administrative support services as are necessary to enable the interagency group to carry out the functions of the interagency group under this section.

(c) CONSULTATION.— In carrying out this section, the interagency group shall consult with representatives of exchanges, clearinghouses, self-regulatory bodies, major carbon market participants, consumers, and the general public, as the interagency group determines to be appropriate.

(d) STUDY.— The interagency group shall conduct a study on the oversight of existing and prospective carbon markets to ensure an efficient, secure, and transparent carbon market, including oversight of spot markets and derivative markets.

(e) REPORT.— Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the interagency group shall submit to Congress a report on the results of the study conducted under subsection (b), including recommendations for the oversight of existing and prospective carbon markets to ensure an efficient, secure, and transparent carbon market, including oversight of spot markets and derivative markets.