Archive | Climate Change, Carbon Taxes and ENGOs

Trudeau and Co. losing the fight on carbon taxes – by Lorrie Goldstein (Toronto Sun – May 16, 2018)

As polling across Canada shows support for carbon pricing plummeting now that it’s a reality as opposed to an idea, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must be wondering what went wrong? Ditto Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.

Last year, with great, self-congratulatory fanfare, she imposed a cap and trade scheme, another name for a carbon tax, on Ontarians. That’s one reason she’s poised to lose her job in the province’s June 7 election, her Liberal government trailing both the Progressive Conservatives and NDP in the polls.

An Ipsos/Global poll released Monday found more than seven in 10 eligible Ontario voters — 72% — believe carbon taxes are just an excuse by government to grab more money from them, with 68% calling them mere symbolism. Continue Reading →

Time for a serious look at Ottawa audits of anti-oil ‘charities’ – by Terence Corcoran (Financial Post – May 16, 2018)

Canada’s charitable regime is in need of comprehensive review and reform

For more than a decade Vivian Krause, a Vancouver researcher and writer with more determination than the Winnipeg Jets, has been following and documenting the activities of charities that fund opposition to Canada’s oil industry.

Krause has dug into the corners of the so-called charitable activities of a collection of powerful political organizations, funded by U.S. foundations, whose objectives include, among other things, “shutting down” Canada’s oilsands.

Readers of this page will be familiar with Krause’s work. The Girl Who Played with Tax Data lists more than a dozen of her FP Comment reports going back to 2010. Others followed. Continue Reading →

‘Carbon bomb’: Clive Palmer seeks nod for mine twice the size of Adani’s – by Peter Hannam (Canberra Times – May 17, 2018)

Mining billionaire Clive Palmer is seeking approval to develop a Queensland coal mine twice the size of the controversial Carmichael project – but has done so by drawing heavily on environmental work done by other mines proposed for the region.

The federal environment department told Fairfax Media it will decide by Monday whether the Alpha North mine proposed by Mr Palmer’s Waratah Coal company will require “detailed assessment under national environmental law,” according to a spokeswoman.

The monster mine planned for the Galilee Basin, abuts Adani’s Carmichael mine, and is separate from a proposal by Mr Palmer to develop the China First mine, also in the region. Continue Reading →

Large expanse of boreal forest straddling Ontario and Manitoba gets World Heritage recommendation – by Gloria Galloway (Globe and Mail – May 16, 2018)

A massive tract of boreal forest straddling the Ontario and Manitoba borders that has been home to the Anishinaabe people for 6,000 years has received the two key recommendations it needs to become Canada’s first mixed cultural and natural UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Pimachiowin Aki, which means the Land That Gives Life in Anishinaabemowin, covers 29,040 square kilometres (almost the size of Vancouver Island) of mostly untouched wilderness and is home to one of the largest herds of caribou south of Hudson Bay as well as many other species of mammals, birds, insects and fish.

A World Heritage mixed designation is a declaration that an area is so important to the world, both culturally and ecologically, that it must be protected. There is another such site in Mexico but none in Canada or the continental United States. Continue Reading →

The case for nixing carbon taxes – by David Black (Globe and Mail – May 15, 2018)

David Black is the chairman of Black Press Ltd. and founder of Kitimat Clean.

Our country must focus on three vital things: develop more good jobs, because many are disappearing; build new businesses that can be taxed, rather than increase the burden on existing taxpayers; and improve our physical environment while we do this.

One obvious way to achieve this is to encourage “value-add” in the oil industry. Instead of exporting our crude oil to other countries, let’s process it here.

Refineries can be built along British Columbia’s coast employing large numbers of workers in good-paying jobs for decades and generating massive new taxes for our governments. (It is uneconomic to build export refineries in Alberta, which is why there are none there. All export refineries in the world are built on the ocean.) Continue Reading →

Even environmentalists tell Trudeau his ethanol plan is terrible – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – May 11, 2018)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plan to replace fossil fuels with ethanol and other low-carbon fuels through a “clean fuel standard” — expected to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 30 million tonnes a year by 2030 — faces mounting opposition, especially from a powerful lobby south of the border.

No, not from U.S. President Donald Trump or the Republicans. At least, not yet — officially they’re pretty much in sync with Trudeau on this one, largely because the U.S. is a big exporter of ethanol to Canada.

The fierce opposition comes chiefly from the U.S. environmental lobby, which has awakened to one of the most colossal environmental mistakes in its history: the ethanol mandate, part of America’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which effectively mandates that 10 per cent of gasoline at the pump consists of ethanol. Continue Reading →

What do the Liberals know about carbon tax that they won’t tell us? – by John Robson (National Post – May 9, 2018)

The federal government seems to be saying even less than they know about carbon taxes. Which can’t be easy.

It’s a signature policy they insist will work. But they are exploiting a hard-won reputation for cluelessness on key promises from electoral reform to marijuana legalization to convince us they have no idea how this one would function either.

For instance, on April 30, Finance Minister Bill Morneau flatly refused to tell the Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women whether the government had even done a gender-based analysis on the carbon tax. Or, more precisely, he flatly refused to acknowledge that Conservative MP Michelle Rempel kept asking him that question. Continue Reading →

The U of A isn’t ‘brave’ for honouring Suzuki. Just the opposite – by Rex Murphy (National Post – May 5, 2018)

At the deep centre of conventional wisdom no concept is more hallowed, more warmly cradled in the blanket-robes of political correctness than the Green dogma of global warming. For millions upon millions it is grant-subsidized Holy Writ.

Governments fatten its evangelists with unheralded largesse. Its advocate-missionaries are legion, gathering in ritual conclave every year in rich, well-lit capitals to renew their fervour and refresh their zeal.

Rio, Geneva, Copenhagen, Rome are their jet-set Stations of the Cross, the United Nations their cathedral home, its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change a new curia stuffed with failed weathermen, cranky researchers, the blazing-eyed mystics of Gaia, all duly attended by a docile, uninquisitive, co-opted press corps. Honours drop on its prophet-priests as do “the gentle rains from heaven.” Continue Reading →

The War on Coal Is Making the World’s Top Mine Owners a Lot Richer – by Thomas Biesheuvel and Thomas Wilson (Bloomberg News – May 2, 2018)

The world’s war on coal is making its biggest producers a lot richer, at least for now. Anglo American Plc, Glencore Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd. are generating the highest profits in years from their coal mines. Income for the 37 coal producers tracked in a Bloomberg Intelligence index was the highest in six years.

It all comes down to the simplest equation in business: supply and demand. With governments from Asia to Europe setting stricter pollution limits as the climate change debate intensifies, output of the planet’s dirtiest fuel is dropping.

Some of the more significant declines are occurring in China, the top mine operator, and financing for new supplies is drying up. That’s creating a windfall for the producers who remain. Continue Reading →

Is David Suzuki a science denier? – by Margaret Wente (Globe and Mail – May 1, 2018)

Folks in the oil patch are mad as hornets over the University of Alberta’s decision to give an honorary degree to David Suzuki in June. Big donors are threatening to cancel cheques and pull the plug on future contributions.

A petition calling for the university to change its mind has garnered 14,000 signatures. Even the deans of business and engineering have issued anguished letters of apology to distance themselves from the decision.

Are they being too thin-skinned? I don’t think so. The U of A has just given them the middle finger. Mr. Suzuki has compared making a living in the oil sands to profiting off the slave trade. Continue Reading →

How Oman’s Rocks Could Help Save the Planet – by Henry Fountain (New York Times – April 26, 2018)

IBRA, Oman — In the arid vastness of this corner of the Arabian Peninsula, out where goats and the occasional camel roam, rocks form the backdrop practically every way you look.

But the stark outcrops and craggy ridges are more than just scenery. Some of these rocks are hard at work, naturally reacting with carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and turning it into stone. Veins of white carbonate minerals run through slabs of dark rock like fat marbling a steak. Carbonate surrounds pebbles and cobbles, turning ordinary gravel into natural mosaics.

Even pooled spring water that has bubbled up through the rocks reacts with CO2 to produce an ice-like crust of carbonate that, if broken, re-forms within days. Continue Reading →

Are solar and wind finally cheaper than fossil fuels? Not a chance – by Lawrence Solomon (Financial Post – April 27, 2018)

“’Spectacular’ drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost,” The Guardian headline reported last year. “Clean Energy Is About to Become Cheaper Than Coal,” pronounced MIT’s Technology Review. “The cost of installing solar energy is going to plummet again,” echoed Grist, the environmental journal.

Other sources declare that renewables are not only getting cheaper, they have already become cheaper than conventional power. The climate-crusading DeSmogBlog reports that “Falling Costs of Renewable Power Make (B.C.’s) Site C Dam Obsolete” and that “Coal Just Became Uneconomic in Canada.”

It implores us to discover “What Canada Can Learn From Germany’s Renewable Revolution,” as does Energy Post, an authoritative European journal, which described “The spectacular success of the German Energiewende (energy transition).” Continue Reading →

Carbon taxes come with a price — who knew?! – by Anthony Furey (Toronto Sun – April 23, 2018)

The average Canadian would be forgiven for thinking “carbon pricing” is some sort of intellectual notion that has nothing to do with the lives of regular people.

It’s not like we’re led to believe it’s at all connected to life at home. The feds are in their element discussing their climate action measures overseas at international gatherings and alongside people like French President Emmanuel Macron.

You don’t see Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna touring Tim Hortons to tout the merits of this endeavour to swing riding constituents. Instead, it’s all done in the far-and-away and the abstract. Continue Reading →

Radical environmentalism has containment problems of its own – by Rex Murphy (National Post – April 21, 2018)

Eco extremists are threatening the economy and even Confederation with their opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline project

For now your straws and swizzle sticks are safe. Prime Minister Trudeau is not (yet) going along with Britain’s Theresa May in her fierce campaign to ban the drinking straw.

It is a tribute to the wily manoeuvres and insidious influence of the international straw lobby that our PM “refused to be pinned down” and remained “noncommittal” on the menace of the common drinking straw to the planet’s ecosystems. On so grand a question he felt it better to defer till at least a full convocation of the world’s great economies, the G7. Wise man.

It was a severe disappointment to those hoping for Trudeau leadership on the straw cartel. After all, straws are, as one environmentalist noted, just small pipelines for CO2-saturated, atmosphere-degrading soft drinks. “Anyone can stand up to the oil lobby, but the gnomes of the international straw trade … ?” Well, that’s a different set of emissions. Continue Reading →

Alberta’s now copying Ontario’s disastrous electricity policies. What could go wrong? – by Kevin Libin (Financial Post – April 20, 2018)

Not every province gets the chance to live through the kind of white-knuckle excitement in its electricity sector that Ontario has enjoyed over the last decade: soaring power bills, fleeing industries and endless boondoggles in provincial contracts for solar and wind energy.

The dramatic climax arrived last week as David Livingston, the one-time chief of staff to Dalton McGuinty, the premier who imposed on Ontario the entire electricity fiasco, was sentenced to prison over a scheme to destroy evidence of the Liberal government’s political mischief in the power market.

But get ready, Alberta, because all the thrills and spills that inevitably follow when politicians start meddling in a boring but perfectly well-functioning electricity market in the name of pointless political symbolism are coming your way, next. Continue Reading →