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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.

Pickens Plan Phase I Standard

I’ve just returned from the CME Group’s Global Financial Leadership Conference in Naples, Fla., a top tier event in its second year which drew some some star power again. Among them was T. Boone Pickens, who addressed his Pickens Plan in a version I’d call Pickens Plan Phase I. Pickens touted the virtues of natural gas. That’s nothing new as natural gas, wind and solar have always been part of his plan. But he also mentioned House Bill 1835 and Senate Bill 1408, both of which are designed to encourage use of natural gas as a fuel for large trucks…

On the move / MF Global Weekly Carbon Outlook Standard

I will be out Monday and Tuesday to attend the CME Group’s Global Financial Leadership Conference and a unique chance to see T. Boone Pickens speak this week. I will be back on Wednesday. Rachel Koning Beals will take over the editor’s spot while I am away. On the move Aimee Barnes is now serving as a policy adviser in the Office of Climate Change (OCC) Strategy Team with the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), After leaving EcoSecurities in September, she is now developing a future financial strategy for DECC to ensure that the UK stays on…

Commentary: September 28, 2009 Standard

Another nice piece by Paul Krugman Sunday in the New York Times in today’s Lead Stories. I was at a cancer fund raiser this past weekend and got into a discussion with a two guests about global warming and cap-and-trade. One said he didn’t believe in global warming – that somehow CO2 is a natural phenomenon that comes from volcanos and other sources. He didn’t let me finish my argument that it also comes from digging up and burning coal and other fossil fuels. The other person said he didn’t like cap-and-trade becuase it’d raise his restaurant’s energy bills substantially…

Five Minutes with Thomas Lewis Standard

Tom Lewis was named the new CEO of Green Exchange on Monday. He spoke with Jim Kharouf about bringing his experience as former CEO of Ameritrade and Automated Power Exchange Inc. (APX) to the exchange. Q: Green Exchange hasn’t had a CEO since its inception more than 18 months ago. How will you approach this job in terms of building an organization? A: I would hope that we all look at this as a new day. Green Exchange was originally formed under the DCM of NYMEX and operates as a limited venture using NYMEX’s technology platform in partnership with a…

Cultural Differences Standard

After traveling to London and then attending the Swiss Futures & Options Association conference in Interlaken last week, one thing is clear from Europe. They have their attention on the United States and what may be coming from Congress regarding climate change. But what is also apparent from the discussion on the carbon market and sustainable investment is that there is a misunderstanding about what President Obama can do, and what legislators will likely do. Some panalists at Interlaken said it was a good sign that Obama has verbally committed to climate change policy. But what is often misunderstood outside…

Green Exchange – marks a date Standard

In the day after Green Exchange’s subtle move back into the carbon market with an announced three-month fee waiver, we took a look at volume on day one – September 2.The exchange posted volumes of 257 In Delivery Month EUA contracts on September 2 and five RGGI contracts. No volume on SOx and NOx contracts.Meanwhile, Chicago Climate Exchange posted volumes of 23,000 CFI contracts and Chicago Climate Futures Exchange posted volumes of 14,210 RGGI contracts, 1,518 SFI contracts, 200 NFI-A contracts, 5 CCAR-CRT contracts and 40 NFI-OS contracts.This isn’t about pointing a finger at puny volumes by CME Group and…

Carbon fists Standard

Today’s lead story US Congress inquiry reveals fake letters from ‘voters’ opposed to climate bill from the Guardian is not exactly a new story. (It’s a week or so old now.) But it does highlight one important trend and fact that needs to be dealt with by Democrats, Obama Administration and Cap-and-traders if they are serious about climate bill passage by the Senate. There was an interesting battle fought some years ago as the German exchange, Eurex, tried to enter the US with a separate exchange called Eurex US. Eurex US was eventually launched in 2004, with an eye toward…

How Congress has lost its mind Standard

A friend of mine in this space likes to say that “Congress understands cap, but they don’t understand trade.” And after reading today’s top story Goldman Faces Carbon Market Curbs in Senate Proposals from Bloomberg, it’s quite obvious some definitely don’t understand trade – as in trading the markets. The headline is misleading because its not just Goldman (Congress’ favorite profitable punching bag) that would be barred or limited from trading carbon if Maria Cantwell has her way, it would be all financial firms. What Obama and the Treasury Department has proposed in its latest regulatory overhaul is the regulators…

China’s climate dilemma Standard

So the US and China made nice on climate change right? On Tuesday they signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says “provides our countries with direction as we work together to support international climate negotiations and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.” Great. But then you read further down the Reuters story “U.S. and China sign memorandum on climate change” in today’s Lead Stories and State Department spokesman Ian Kelly says “It is not an agreement per se for each side to commit themselves to some particular target. It sets a structure…