Ehlers Statement on GAO Carbon Offset Report

Sep 26, 2008

WASHINGTON – Today, the Committee on House Administration’s Ranking Republican Vern Ehlers, R-Mich., issued the following statement in response to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on the vulnerabilities of the U.S. carbon offset market and the House’s participation: 


“While increased oversight of the U.S. offset market clearly merits consideration, the House’s further participation in this market does not. The GAO report demonstrates that the rapidly growing offset market currently lacks necessary quality assurance mechanisms and consumer protection.”


“In addition to the GAO’s analysis, a recent investigation conducted by the Washington Post indicates that the carbon offset projects purchased by the House failed to generate additional carbon reduction.” 


“While I’m not opposed to the concept of carbon offsets, I feel that without the necessary quality assurances we simply cannot justify the investment of tax dollars.  I also believe that the Congress can much better achieve environmental progress by investing tax dollars in legitimate, energy-efficient, capital improvements that have been proven to save energy and reduce carbon emissions.


“Unfortunately, by investing tax dollars in a market with limited transparency and credibility, we are misallocating finite resources that could otherwise be utilized to achieve energy reduction requirements already assigned to the Architect of the Capitol.  I regret that the House Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) hastily entered into this market without the benefit of the GAO analysis as guidance. Until the credibility of the market can be assured, the CAO should refrain from future taxpayer-funded investments.”


For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.