Winning! New NAFTA deal ignores climate change… (And pretty well everything else unrelated to trade.)

Guest ROTFLMAO! by David Middleton

From the No Schist Sherlock files of the Huffington Post via Grist’s Climate Desk…

CLIMATE DESK

New NAFTA deal omits climate change, and hands oil and gas yet another win

By Alexander C. Kaufman on Oct 1, 2018

This story was originally published by HuffPost and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

President Donald Trump’s deal to tweak the trade agreement among the United States, Mexico, and Canada won early praise for changes meant to raise wages and improve safety regulations on cross-border trucking.

But on Monday, environmental groups panned the accord to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, arguing it includes “corporate giveaways” for fossil fuel giants, excludes binding agreements on lead pollution, and contains no mention of human-caused global warming.

Neither “climate” nor “warming” are among the words in the 31 pages of the new deal’s environment chapter.

[…]

Grist

 

As if that wasn’t enough winning…

Under the rules, firms that have, or may at some point obtain, government contracts to drill or build infrastructure like pipelines and refineries in Mexico ― such as ExxonMobil Corp. ― can challenge new environmental safeguards Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to erect.

“It’s like saying, ‘From here on, we’re going to protect the henhouse by keeping all animals away, except for foxes, they’re cool,’” Ben Beachy, director of the Sierra Club’s living economy program, said in a phone interview.

Under any “rules” based on the rule of law… Firms that obtain government contracts to drill or build infrastructure like pipelines and refineries in Mexico can challenge new environmental safeguards if they violate the terms of the government *CONTRACTS*.  This doesn’t guarantee that those challenges will succeed…. However, in any rule of law society, businesses have the right to challenge government policies that violate the terms of contracts that they have with that government.

Ben Beachy

Prior to becoming director of the Sierra Club’s living economy program, he doesn’t appear to have ever had a real job. (I love LinkedIn)…

Havard University Kennedy School of Government
Master in Public Policy, International Trade, Finance and Development
2010-2012

Goshen College
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies
2000-2004

He actually has a degree in Social Justice Warrior-ing!  Too fracking funny! That even made Data laugh!

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48 thoughts on “Winning! New NAFTA deal ignores climate change… (And pretty well everything else unrelated to trade.)

  1. FTA: “It’s like saying, ‘From here on, we’re going to protect the henhouse by keeping all animals away, except for foxes, they’re cool,’” Ben Beachy, director of the Sierra Club’s living economy program, said in a phone interview.

    Note: these NEW RULES — the USMCA — are NOT rules and regs — that is, here in the USA — UNLESS it gets through Advise and Consent of our USA Senate.

    This is in contrast to the mountain-high-pile of myriad oppressive rules and regs of the EPA — or any number of other such bureaus — where such rules and regs were NEVER approved, individually and respectively, by our Congress.

    If I understand correctly, in the USA, there have been virtually NO significant national environmental rules and regs, PASSED through Congress, since the 1970’s. [I cannot say this for certain, but, such is my understanding; where, if this is incorrect I believe that it is not by much.]

    I would be much more interested in Beachy’s comments if he was comparing our new USMCA “standards” — which pay little mind to the misguided notion of AGW — if he was indeed comparing same to environmental rules constructed “of, by and for the People” and/or our elected representation; however, what we have is the USMCA — to be ratified by our elected Senate — being compared to the mountains of rules and regs piled up by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats of the EPA and any number of other similar entities.

    Note: Congress, from me, gets no special kudos on this current USMCA effort — this is just part of their duty — where, for YEARS — decades actually — they have “lost” their backbone … where they have purposefully surrendered their Constitutional obligations to any and all of these BIG GOVT bureaucracies. Such was not done — and IS not done — for any particular reason except so that Congress can AVOID RESPONSIBILITY — for any and all EPA rules and regs —as much as possible. But, sadly, we are accustomed to this: this TOTALLY self-serving behavior — most likely BOUGHT OFF by some BIG DOLLAR lobbyist, representing some special interest group — which, in contrast, has next to nothing to do with them doing what is in the best interest of the legal American taxpaying citizen.

    • The problem is there are too many paragraphs in both the clean air and clean water acts the begin with the phrase “The Secretary shall determine…”, thus giving the agency way too much leeway to enact whatever the #$&%# they want and still be in compliance with the law!

    • ” they have purposefully surrendered their Constitutional obligations to any and all of these BIG GOVT bureaucracies”

      Exactly. The constitution vests ALL legislative power in the congress. The congress has no constitutional authority to turn over ANY of this to the executive branch. But for over a century we have allowed them to do so.

      • Amen, Mr. Whelan. You have written unmitigated truth.
        Now, how does that get changed? At least Trump has a decent start, with (as of August) 22 regulations cancelled for every new one created. Bad thing here: some were created, and that breaks the spirit of your message.

  2. “Neither “climate” nor “warming” are among the words in the 31 pages of the new deal’s environment chapter.”
    This is an outrage. Completely missing from the 31 pages of the environment chapter are the words “space aliens” and “high energy death rays”.

      • That’s an outrage. How dare they leave out the unicorns. Next you’ll be telling me the sasquatch/big foot where left out as well.

          • John Endicott,

            How dare you refer to Sasquatch, the noble savage, native, prehistoric survivor of all bad things caused by humans, by such a derogatory, racist, speciesist, condescending, insulting and labeling term as “Bigfoot.” Sasquatch must now retreat to his/her/xer safe space somewhere deep in the forests and club tree branches, tear apart little furry mammals, and let out primal screams until (s)he/xe regains his/her/xer self esteem. I hope you feel really proud of yourself!

          • Phil R, How dare you refer to Sasquatch with the derogatory term “savage” (The preferred/PC term is “civilized-challenged”). I hope you feel really proud of yourself!

          • “civilized-challenged”
            ===========
            a perfect example of why PC speech is double speak. once you finish school you become:

            “uneducated-challenged”.

            and by the same logic, by never going to school you are:

            “educated-challenged”

    • Also missing are universal phenomena such as “Worm Holes” [ref Farscape] and time travel related fluxes.
      Shame Shame!
      It was clearly not written by a Science Fiction author worth even thinking about.

  3. Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies from Goshen College

    Clearly it is a funnier place than even Firesign Theater could suggest with the non-sequitur line ‘Next stop: Goshen’.

      • As a friend once said to me, when I was arguing with him about a different subject, “We’ve got to put those people somewhere.”

      • He probably is one of the millenial minions who want us to forgive his student debt because he can’t get a real job. Not to say that all millenials are incompetent. Because of my offspring, I know many hard-working, bright and even conservative millenials.

        • JustSaying, as is usually the case, it’s the few bad apples that spoil the bunch. While many millenials are indeed bright and hard-working (conservative or otherwise) its the few who aren’t that give millenials a bad reputation.

  4. Not only does the new NA accord avoid “fighting climate change” it solidifies energy security and trade. This was well received by energy industries.

    American Petroleum Institute president and CEO Mike Sommers said: “We urge Congress to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada-Agreement (USMCA). Having Canada as a trading partner and a party to this agreement is critical for North American energy security and US consumers. Retaining a trade agreement for North America will help ensure the US energy revolution continues into the future.”

    There were concerns in the industry that Trump would scrap the NAFTA, which was pivotal in making Mexico the largest exporter of US oil, transportation fuel, and natural gas.

    Meanwhile, with support from the trade agreement, Canada is the largest supplier of foreign oil and a significant exporter of electricity to the US.

    https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/10/01/no-mention-of-climate-or-warming-in-new-na-trade-accord/

  5. Goshen College in Indiana is the Mennonites college.
    “The peace, justice and conflict studies (PJCS) program pulls together and gives full expression to the many strands of peace that permeate campus culture.”
    “As a PJCS student, you’ll study subjects like restorative justice, social change and war and peace in the modern world. ”

    Restorative justice? What is that?
    Sounds like this is a culture embraces the kind of “justice” that Zimbabwe applied to its successful farms in the 1990’s.

  6. Note that Canada provides 46% of the imported US oil while Mexico provides 10%, Venezuela 13%, Saudi Arabia 15% and multiple countries the remainder. this amounts to about 6 million bbl/day and we produce 11 million bbl/day crude and about 4 million bbl/day natural gas condensates. So imports are less important now than in the past. Domestic production will also increase as crude pricing stabilizes at >$70/bbl.

    • You want to mention that Mexico wants to build more refineries so as not to “export” oil to import refined products and Venezuela is in count down model for insolvency of Citgo and transfer of ownership.

      • Most of the 6 million bbl/day that the US imports is a grade of oil that the US cant get much of from domestic producers. This may change when the Gulf of Mexico gets exploited to the hilt.

  7. “Prior to becoming director of the Sierra Club’s living economy program, he doesn’t appear to have ever had a real job. (I love LinkedIn)”

    Maybe…

    I joined linkedin solely to give friends a link count and some recommendations.

    Even when using Linkedin for job opportunities, there is no requirement to put everything online.

    • When I trialled LinkedIn for their premium (paid) service, they continued to bill my bank account after the period I agreed to had expired.
      When I discovered it, attempts to get them to refund even a portion of the misappropriated money was like trying to squeeze blood from a stone. Do NOT give LinkedIn details of your bank account or credit card.

      • I only every used the free LinkedIn service. And only did it then to give a friend a link count and some pluses on their skills list. While, in the time since, I’ve occasionally used it to congratulate a friend on a work anniversary, I’ve never seen the need to join the premium service – I just don’t see any value for the money that would be spent.

        • I only use the free version… Initially to establish and maintain industry contacts… But the real value is in getting background info on the buffoons who call themselves science journalists.

  8. Not only that but …

    Canadian (ie. feminist Trudeau) efforts to include SJW issues in the treaty were rebuffed. link

  9. To most leftists, the rule of law is nothing more than a club with which to pummel those they don’t like.
    It was never intended to be applied to enlightened people such as themselves.

  10. The Sierra Club needs to find a new scary . Why are they opposed to a greening earth ? Hmm .
    Time for a new marketing plan . How about Bee’s or aren’t they cute enough ?
    Climate con -men and sleazy politicians have had a good run with the earth has a fever scam but it’s over .

  11. “New NAFTA deal omits climate change, and hands oil and gas yet another win”

    Well, what does a trade deal have to do with climate change anyway. I mean really? May as well ask Trump to be the Grand Marshal in a gay parade. Trade should be primarily about trade, not the details of a country’s pet positions on this flavor of the week. Maybe basic human rights and wage compensation, because that is part of the fair part of a good trade deal for everybody. Now Mexicans, like what Henry Ford said, that they are going to make a fair wage and hopefully be able to buy the car they manufacture. And that is good for everyone.

    But if the USA is going to continue ‘winning’ then it is absolutely critical that Canada never gets any new pipeline capacity built to either coast, and ensure that all Western Canada Select (WCS) heavy oil ever sent through through the existing pipelines or soon to be expanded Keystone Pipeline/Line 3 lands at the American terminal or refinery first and not be able to exported by Canadians through US ports at world prices. Do Canadians think Americans are stupid? Currently the WCS discount is only $40 USD per barrel, meaning that Canadians get more than half the world price which is more than fair, considering they use US railroads, pipelines and ports to peddle their oil. They should be happy that they have any market, lest we just ask the Canadians to donate the oil to USA for the money they owe us for cheating on NAFTA or not paying their bill for NATO. Or dozens of other things that Canada cheated us out of over the years. Canada has been so unfair to the USA over the years. They literally beat the crap out of us all these years, and we just took it.

    And one other thing…that new $40 Billion Kitmat LNG project that Canada just approved on Monday? That should be halted too because under the new USMCA Trade Agreement, the USA has to approve any foreign trade deal that Canada might make with a state run economy like China. We all know why that new Kitimat LNG deal got approved, because China sees it is in a long term trade war with the USA. And it is going to put tariffs on US LNG, while exporting its own cheap LNG from Canada, which it is a partner in the Kitimat deal. And it is more efficient processing LNG in the colder North Pacific plus several days less shipping time to Asia. This is just unacceptable and unfair trade practises and must be stopped. Plus it will just raise prices for domestic NG if Canada is allowing the Asians to just take Canadian gas. It would be far better for the USA just to take the Canadian nat gas and we will pay them the going North America market price. And save them from allowing $40 Billion foreign monies to be invested in BC that will just siphon of their nat gas in perpetuity and raise the domestic price of NG eventually.

    So much winning…you gonna win so much, you may even get tired of so much winning.

  12. Manitoba is one of the 10 provinces of Canada. Think of a province equal to a state in the US. Although Manitoba is not one of the big 5 provinces in Canada it is self sufficient in electricity because of a large hydro capacity.
    THE NEWS IS THAT THEY JUST TOLD TRUDEAU, OUR PM IN CANADA, THAT MANITOBA WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN TRUDEAU’S CLIMATE CARBON TAX SCHEME STARTING JAN 1 2019.

    There is now Ontario, Saskatchewan, and the 3 northern territories and now Manitoba, that are against Trudeau’s carbon tax.
    **********************************************************************************
    Standards, subsidies and taxes. The bane of the free market. Standards should only be used to prevent injuries or bad health effects. Subsidies should only be used to prop up a company that produces a domestic product that is key to national security. Taxes should only be used as a government income source. Too often however the government uses standards to interfere in the life of all its citizens. At the same time governments subsidize almost everything. Taxes are collected for all sorts of reasons. Ex: liquor and tobacco taxes, estate or inheritance taxes, gift taxes, company asset taxes, and carbon taxes.

    It is this last one that irks me the most. Carbon taxes are ridiculous. One of 3 things can happen. 1) The company can refuse to pay them and move out of the country or threaten to move out before they are enacted. In this case everybody loses. 2) The company can pay them and then raise their prices so that with business as usual no emission reduction of CO2 occurs. In this case only the company loses if it also exports its product. The consumers don’t lose because the carbon taxes are supposed to be given back to the public at large. However the general price level of all carbon related goods goes up so that inflation goes up. However since no decrease in CO2 emissions occurs, there was no reason to have the tax in the 1st place. 3) The company can change its source of fuel to a lower carbon entity at a higher cost and pass on its necessary price increase to its customers. The customers have no choice because all the competitors have to do the same thing. In that case there is a reduction in CO2 emissions but since the atmosphere needs more CO2 NOT less, everybody loses.

    It is this third scenario that factors into my main point. Even if you believe in AGW(human caused global warming/climate change) , here are the stark facts of trying to do anything about it. PM Trudeau in Canada plans on introducing a tax on the emission of CO2 and all greenhouse gases except water vapour, starting January 1, 2019. B.C. and Alberta are at present, the only provinces that have a carbon tax. The federal price on carbon will harmonize with those and will be forced on any other province that does not implement one by that date.

    Canada puts out 1.5 % of world total of CO2 and its level of CO2 emissions is as low as it was 20 years ago. Canada signed on to the Paris agreement on limitation of non condensing greenhouse gas emissions(CO2,methane,…etc) to a cut of 30% from its’ 2005 level of 732 million tons(CO2 equivalent) by the year 2030. That amounts to a promise to cut its’ emissions by ~220 million tons. China puts out 31% of the world total and increased their output 4.1% in 2017 and is on track for an equal 4% increase after the 1st quarter of 2018.

    In 1991 Norway was the 1st country along with Sweden to introduce a carbon tax, and they have found that their tax was responsible for reducing their increases of emissions by only 2.32% compared to a 0 rate on carbon. However Norway’s CO2 emissions still went up. To top it all off Norway found that the carbon taxes reduced their GDP by 0.06%.

    In the Norwegian scheme there were so many exemptions that the effective coverage of the carbon taxes was only 64% of industrial production. The Norwegian price for carbon is around $25 Can per ton. Trudeau has promised to introduce Canada’s carbon tax or CO2 equivalent tax at $20 per ton in 2019 and increase it $10 per ton every year until $50 per ton by the end of 2022. The government of Canada website says that there are ~ 600 industrial reporting facilities that report their CO2 emissions to the government. However they account for only 37% of all CO2 emissions in Canada. The others dont have to report because they are under the legal requirement of 50000 tons per year.
    However the differing prices between Norway and Canada will not have any significant effect on the results because there is very little opportunity for any company in Canada in at least 7 of the provinces, to switch to a non CO2 producing fuel because those 7(except Manitoba,B.C. and Quebec) do not have significant hydro power; so the companies will simply pay the tax to stay in business. Theoretically this should not amount to any significant reduction in CO2 because Canada is different from Norway in a fundamental way. In Norway any firm has access to hydro elecricity.

    In this 1st phase which will cover 75%(165 million tons) of the planned reductions until 2022 with the remaining 25% (55 million tons) being apllied after that until 2030 and beyond. However since only 37% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are generated by the large greenhouse gas emitters; and only the large ones are required to report them to the Government of Canada; that is only 75% of 37% = 27.75 % (61 million tons). That means that only 27.75% (61 million tons) of the emissions will be targeted for reduction for the 1st phase of the planned reduction of Canada’s contribution to the 2030 target. However as a result of industry pressure, the rules have been again changed so that companies will be required to pay tax on only 20% of their emissions with some companies like in the cement and steel industries being required to pay tax on only 10% of their emissions. So let us assume the net overall % will be a 18% requirement. So you have to take 18% of 27.75% which is roughly 5% of total emissions subject to tax for the 1st phase. For comparison purposes Ireland achieved a decrease in emissions only after 4 straight years of increased emissions despite a carbon tax. British Columbia despite having a carbon tax since 2008 has not achieved any decrease in CO2 emissions.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has said that that the average climate computer model forecasts an increase in temperature of 3C by the end of the century (82 years from now) if the world doesn’t reduce its carbon footprint. The said reduction of temperature goal is 1.5 C by end of century in order to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 C.

    Canada has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emmissions per Paris agreement by 2030 of 30%. 30% of 1.5 % = 0.45% of world total

    In the 1st phase of reductions which will culminate by 2023, this will reduce our greenhouse gas footprint by 5% of 30% = ~ 1.5% with the other 25% for the 2030 target being 25% of 37%(reporting emmitters) = 9 % * 30% = 2.775% * effective subject to tax of 19% = 0.05 % being part of a revised carbon pricing scheme between 2023 and 2030.
    5% (total targeted emissions) = 0.05 and 0.45% (of world total) = .0045
    So you have 0.05 * .0045 = 0.000225 which will be Canada’s contribution to world total reduction. Don’t forget that carbon trading and a carbon price dont actually guarantee that any reductions will ever occur.

    But if the promised reductions do occur then you multiply by goal of 1.5C so that you have 0.000225 * 1.5 = 0.0003375 C
    That is a reduction of a less than 4 ten-thousandths of a degree C at the end of the next 82 years. And the actual reduction in temperature will be negligble because most emitters will simply pay the tax. It is also a function of how many exemptions and what discount carbon tax %’s are actually determined in the future besides the already announded ones. Even so, since this is the 1st phase only, Canada’s goal in this phase is to cut 75% of 30% of its emissions which = 22.5% . However since only 37% industrial emitters have to report and the effective emissions subject to tax is only 18%; the real number is 18% * 37% * 30% = ~ 2 % This is awfully similar to Norway’s initial result of 2.32 % reduction. However Canada’s emissions have been flat since 2007.

    Since China’s increase last year as per the above is .3 * .041 = 0.0123 or 1.23% of world total
    Since Canada’s reduction will be 0.0225% (see above) of world total, that means China’s increase for 1 year is 0.0123/ 0.000225 = ~ 54.6 times the amount of Canada’s (total 4 year reduction) for each year if the emissions go lower in Canada to the same degree as the increased price effect after 4 years(assuming that no Canadian emitters actually pay the tax and instead substitute a 0 carbon fuel in their manufacturing process). Dont forget that Canada’s reduction is only at a maximum effect by 2022 because of the increasing price of $10 per ton per year. In the 1st year 2019 or any other year, the reduction could be the whole amount or any amount depending on how many firms simply pay the tax vs the number that switch to a non carbon or lower carbon fuel source. China has refused to decrease its output and only promised to try to limit their increases by 2030. China is not a developing country because it has 45% of the world’s skyscrapers.

    What will all of this cost Canadian companies if all pay the tax?

    Price of carbon by 2022 will be $50 per ton by 2022 and at 732 million tons * 37% reporting * 18% effective emmissions subject to tax * 75% = 36.56 million tons . So you have 36.56 million * $50/ton = 1.828 billion $ Can. However since the carbon tax will start in 2019 at $20 per ton, the yearly taxes will be 2019= 36.56 million * $20 = $731.2 million ; 2020= 36.56 million * $30 = $1.0968 billion ; 2021 = 36.56 million * $40 = $1.4624 billion; 2022= 36.56 million * $50 = $1.828 billion So total cost over 4 year period is $5.1184 billion and assuming no other increases, the yearly cost after that will remain at $1.828 billion per year until the 2nd phase starts before 2030. Of course all this assumes that there won’t be further exemptions to the 37% * 19% (effective rate subject to tax) of emmissions that are reported as of now. However the amount of tax will be less than that because some emitters will switch fuels. Assuming the 2nd phase has the same rules; the additional total will add another 33% (25%/75%) and will be $6.896172 billion of tax by 2030. However that will not meet the Paris commitment to cut emissions by 30%.

    So we are going to have to either tax $5.1184 billion in the 1st phase or have the companies spend more to switch to a non carbon fuel, to save 4 ten- thousandths of 1 degree C of world temperature as of the year 2100. The stupid part is that the higher the actual tax collected the more carbon dioxide emissions occur and the less the temperature gets reduced. So in the end , part of industry will pay the tax because switching to a non carbon fuel is impossible ( Ex: industrial kiln) and the rest will switch to a lower carbon source. Either way it raises inflation on all carbon source industries which then insidiously seeps into the prices of everything else in the country.

    After the 1st phase this will still leave Canada short 183 million tons of its Paris commitment to cut by 2030 and Trudeau has said that Canada will meet its commitment by 2030. Well the only way that would happen is if 37% 0f 732 million = 270 million tons and being 183 million short you divide by 270 million = 67% of the 600 largest emitters in Canada closed down and left the country.

    What will this cost each household in Canada per year?
    Minimum of $200 Can/yr and maximum of $475/yr Can. Since these costs are because of increased inflation; those costs will be borne by everyone every year going forward. Also, most provinces have promised to rebate all the money back to consumers. Well what is wrong, if we get all our money back anyway, you ask? Well, 6 things are wrong. 1) You have created a federal carbon tax bureaucracy which will never go away. 2) the carbon part of the economy will have been price inflated, thus inflating the whole economy 3) you have given free money to those people that were not using carbon based sources of energy because when you give the money back you have to give it to everybody. 4) As well as everyone getting the same rebate cheque, that cheque will not cover the costs of the increased inflation to those people that are buying and using products from the carbon based side of the economy. The reason is; because of No.3 above, that the people who are not buying and using products from the carbon side of the economy are getting some of that money that would have gone to those that were using products from the carbon side of the economy. 5) extra costs for each company affected in accounting for the taxes or in switching to a new fuel. 6) If the company is an exporter the export price will either have to be raised, or obtain an exemption on that % of the company product exported, or a new government subsidy created to cover the company’s extra export price. The other huge consideration is that since the global warming/climate change subject is a big hoax anyway, the whole exercise will have been a worse than useless activity.

    THIS IS ABSOLUTE MADNESS.

    Alan Tomalty

  13. Has Sierra Club noticed that the UN Paris agreement doesn’t mention ‘warming’ or ‘carbon dioxide’? Not once. Not even in the definitions.

    Check it out: https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/english_paris_agreement.pdf

    If the politicians agree ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ should include CO2, then the UN Paris agreement can be cancelled based on article 2(b) – reducing CO2 would threaten food production.

    Now there’s something to laugh about.

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