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Author Archives: Jim Kharouf

About Author

Kharouf is a Chicago-based freelance reporter and editor who was previously CEO and editor-in-chief of John Lothian News.

True Science Standard

I’ve had some interesting, and some uninteresting debates about climate change/global warming with readers, friends and others over the years. Some are stone cold deniers. Some, like one of EMN’s subscribers, is a skeptic who says he doesn’t know exactly who or what to believe, but that he just isn’t convinced. At the end of the day, this debate is being held in the public and political courts – to convince us that it is or isn’t happening “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Just last month, Hal Lewis, a distinguished professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara resigned…

Making Sense of Mid-terms Standard

With Tuesday’s U.S. mid-term elections drawing close and tight races still being duked out in several states, a New York Times tally is showing 46 solid and continuing Democratic Senate seats and 35 solid and continuing seats to the Republicans. That leaves 19 seats in play, most in coal and oil states or other pockets of the country not warming to the various incarnations of cap-and-trade legislation forwarded in the recent past. For the first time in nearly a decade, not one Republican running for the Senate supports proposals to limit carbon emissions and trade pollution rights, the Los Angeles…

Darkest before the… Standard

By Jim Kharouf One takeaway from the Carbon TradEx America Conference this week is that this market has likely hit its low point in the U.S. When we look back at things a year or two from now, market participants might say, “remember when?” Remember when we met in Chicago and experts in this industry were saying that there is not a single piece of moving legislation that will bring carbon, SO2, NOx or even renewable energy credits markets forward on a national level. Uncertainty was at its height.Remember when executives from the United Nations and European markets told the…

Brain Drain? Standard

Brain drain? One of the dangers I see with the departure of DiPerna and other carbon cap-and-trade proponents, is a knowledge-base that is essential for these markets. While it is understandable, given the political wilt in Washington, a market-based solution needs to remain a viable option. Just this week, there are stories reflecting a serious ebb among pro-market advocates in Washington. Politico quoted an unnamed lobbyist this week as saying “The era of the big bill I think is over.” The article, “Deep freeze ahead for carbon cap bills” also quoted Sierra Club’s executive director Michael Brune as saying “We…

The Evolution of Carbon Accounting Standard

By Uday Baral, principal Pioneer Solutions LLC In the past, the objective of carbon accounting has been geared towards one of two things: being eco-friendly and environmental compliance. Today, the facts are that environmental compliance is expected, and publishing a carbon footprint is meaningless without an active plan to manage and reduce that footprint. What then is the objective of carbon accounting, both now and in the future?Companies now realize that carbon accounting can be used to improve organizational efficiencies and reduce risks. That means a better and more predictable bottom line. Decision-makers realize that environmental risk is now a…

Five Minutes with John Streich Standard

John Streich

John Streich is president and chief executive officer Penson GHCO, a post he was hired to in January. He was previously a member of the firm’s senior management team and built the trading firms First Capitol Ag and Efutures.com. Jim Kharouf, editor-in-chief of JLN, spoke with him about his start, his plans for Penson GHCO and where the FCM business is heading. Q: How did you get started in the business? A: I started in 1983 as a runner at the Chicago Board of Trade. From there I went on to broker upstairs. And in 1989, I moved out of…

Are SO2 markets doomed? Standard

Interview with Gary Hart, a market analyst for ICAP EnergyGary Hart is one of the most knowledgeable people on U.S. emissions markets as an analyst with ICAP Energy since 2006 and in 28 years with Southern Company, where he served as manager of emissions trading.  With the US EPA’s replacement of the Clean Air Interstate Rule with the so-called “transport rule” or TR last week, EMN editor Jim Kharouf spoke with him about what it means for emissions trading and utilities.Q: The new EPA rules on air transport call for major reductions in SO2 and NOx from utilities. But why…

Commentary Standard

Cantor does a carbon switch After seeing the Point Carbon story this week titled “Cantor CO2e closes UK carbon desk” I called on Josh Margolis of Cantor CO2e to find out what’s up. Turns out, quite a bit. After a strategic review of its operations, Cantor CO2e decided to move its EU emissions services to its New York and Houston offices. But in this period of retrenchment in the carbon brokerage space, CantorCO2e sees this as an opportunity and is, in fact, looking for talent. Hiring in this climate? Well, turns out that by weaving its US emissions desk with…

Shooting big Standard

I attended the Pew Center’s conference in Chicago last Tuesday (April 6, 2010) and one thing is clear amidst all the doom-and-gloom in Washington today, companies are acting and saving substantial amounts of money. Outside the Beltway, Fortune 500 companies are working on the issue of efficiency, sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions. The Pew Center’s new report called “From Shop Floor to Top Floor: Best Business Practices in Energy Efficiency,” says that “efficiency is the largest near-term greenhouse gas reduction opportunity.” And studies cited in the report say that efficiency for industrial, commercial facilities and residential buildings, and vehicles comprise…