- Describes itself as "North America's only cap-and-trade system for all six greenhouse gases"
- Received startup grants totaling $1.1 million from the Joyce Foundation in 2001-02, when Barack Obama sat on the foundation's board
- Closely tied to Al Gore's company, Generation Investment Management
- A key Chicago Climate Exchange board member is Maurice Strong, who has a history of insider-trading transgressions.
When it was launched in 2003, the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) became the world's first carbon-emissions trading company, equipped to regulate all transactions made under cap-and-trade energy plans designed to restrict and tax greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced by U.S. companies.
The earliest roots of CCX can be traced back to 2000, when Dr. Richard Sandor – an economist, a research professor at the Northwestern University, and the former head of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange – began to study the feasibility of initiating a cap-and-trade system in the United States. At that time, Sandor owned a firm called Environmental Financial Products (EFP). He also knew Illinois state senatorBarack Obama, who, in addition to his legislative duties, was a board member of the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, which had long been a major donor to radical environmental groups and causes. In 2001, Obama helped steer a $347,600 Joyce Foundation grant to Sandor's EFP. The foundation's president, Paula DiPerna, stated that this grant was intended to “suppor[t] the design of a pilot phase for a carbon dioxide emissions trading market, called the Chicago Climate Exchange.”
In August 2001, Carlton Bartels, a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald and the chief executive officer of a company named CO2e.com, filed for a patent on the software technology that would eventually equip CCX to properly monitor the trading of residential carbon credits. But before he could secure the patent, Bartels was killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. His widow subsequently located a buyer for the software technology: Franklin Raines, CEO of Fannie Mae, the mortgage-lending giant whose practice of purchasing risky mortgages from banks – and then bundling and selling them to its investors as mortgage-backed securities – would eventually send the U.S. housing market into steep decine. Raines not only oversaw that practice for six years, but he also manipulated profit-and-loss reports so as to enable himself and other Fannie Mae executives to earn gargantuan bonuses – nearly $100 million for Raines alone – even as the mortgage lender was imploding. Raines would eventually serve as the conduit through which Bartels' software would find its way to CCX.
In November 2001, Paula DiPerna stepped down from her post as Joyce Foundation president and joined CCX, where she went on to become executive vice president in charge of corporate recruitment and public policy, as well as president of an affiliated company, CCX International.
In 2002, a second Joyce Foundation grant – for $760,100 – was used to finance the 2003 “launch” of CCX with its 14 founding members, the most prominent of which were such corporate giants as DuPont, the Ford Motor Company, and Motorola.
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