Somewhere in Williston, N.D., there’s a person who sold a few too many carbon offsets. The locals are definitely not happy that they get stuck compensating for everyone else’s C02 profligacy.
No? Offsets don’t work that way? They don’t work at all?
Well, a debate worth having, a little accountability worth seeking. Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) raised the issue of $89,000 of House offsets today at a Heritage Foundation lunch, but we note he’s brought the question of efficacy before. Earlier this month, Barton and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked the GAO for a “thorough inquiry” into the carbon offset market, on which companies spend some $300 million annually.
“The generic concern is that you or I or anybody could start selling carbon offsets,” Shimkus’s spokesman Steven Tomaszewski said in an interview. “There’s no accountability. There’s no regulation, so it’s a matter of how are these offsets being certified.”
To the extent carbon offsets are a stalking horse for an economy-killing cap-and-trade system, accountability is the least the public should demand.
UPDATE (9:35 p.m.) Brian Faughnan looks at the issue at The Weekly Standard’s blog. And we note that
Divide Williams County, N.D. — county seat, Williston — is a stronghold of the North Dakota Farmers Union, which accounted for some of the House’s offsets. Brrr…it’s cold up there.
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