“Anti-Mafia magistrates in Sicily have opened a sweeping investigation into the wind power sector where local officials, entrepreneurs and crime gangs are suspected of collusion in the construction of lucrative wind farms before their eventual sale to multinational companies.

Italian and EU subsidies for the building of wind farms and the world’s highest guaranteed rates, ($240 per kwh), for the electricity they produce have turned southern Italy into a highly attractive market exploited by organised crime.

Prosecutors suspect the hand of the Mafia in fixing permits and building wind farms that are then sold on to Italian and eventually foreign companies.

In an effort to assert its control over the sector, the Mafia is suspected of destroying two wind towers that were in storage in the port of Trapani after their delivery by ship from northern Europe, local officials told the FT.”

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“Multinationals are starting to find out something that is well known to Italian investors: that concealed beneath Europe’s most generous system of incentives – supported by “green credits” that industrial polluters have to purchase – there exists a web of corruption and shady deals.”

The connection to a U.S. system of trading carbon credits to reduce global warming is stronger than you think. While not exactly mafia controlled, it is susceptible to fraud and corruption. This has been most evidenced by the EU’s carbon trading plan. As a result, electricity prices are up, windfall profits are plentiful, and carbon reduction is negligible. Consequently, environmental groups are upset knowing businesses profit, consumers suffer and there is no chance for environmental change.

Now that’s an offer consumers should refuse.