This development strikes at the heart of an essential cog in the European energy strategy.
How this one plays out may actually tell us more about recovery prospects on the continent than any action from the EU in Brussels.
On Friday, the Danish Energy Agency released some of what analysts in the region had surmised for a while. The agency is a lobbying group emphasizing EU policies affecting both energy producers and consumers.
Its director of EU affairs, Ulrich Bang, declared in an email that the European Commission (EC, the administrative arm of the EU) had to take immediate action to protect the internal energy market within EU states.
At issue here is the carbon trading system, what most observers acknowledge is the "cornerstone" of the inside energy balance among the 27 EU countries.
Bang said that the system has "almost collapsed," a view widely shared by other European-based specialists.
The statement testified to a rising strain in the energy sector resulting from the push and pull of an ongoing credit crunch on the one hand and sluggish economic recovery prospects on the other.
Trouble in the World's Largest Cap-and-Trade Program
Carbon trading sits smack in the middle of this tug of war.
And its inability to generate adequate pricing may be the clearest indications yet that there are new problems forming.
This is the world's largest cap-and-trade program.
It has become a barometer for levels of investment in market production infrastructure and a projection of expected prospects for manufacturing and consumption.