In preparation for coming stories, may I present a cap-and-trade morality story: Anne Sholtz, RECLAIM, the free market, and good ol’ L.A. smog

Here’s a teaser opening from the Pasadena Weekly story about congressional interest in this case.

“A former Pasadena businesswoman convicted of engineering a fraudulent cap-and-trade pollution credit deal involving millions of dollars and one of the world’s biggest oil companies is at the heart of a congressional inquiry into the government’s latest response to global warming.

Republican Congressmen Joe Barton of Texas, a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and one of the Capitol’s leading critics of global warming, and Greg Walden of Oregon, a ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, want to know more about Anne Masters Sholtz, who in the early 2000s bilked investors out of millions of dollars through her now-defunct Old Pasadena-based companies EonXchange and Automated Credit Exchange.

Sholtz — as the Pasadena Weekly’s Chip Jacobs has reported — ultimately pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court in 2005 to one count of wire fraud related to a transaction in which Sholtz represented to New York-based energy trader A.G. Clean Air that Mobil Corp. (now ExxonMobil Corp.) needed a large number of credits to operate in Southern California …”

Without being coy or glib, all I can say is stay tuned. It’s about to get much more interesting. Though this case is delved into our book, Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles, details begging to come out had to wait until basically now.

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