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3 billion a week! Bank of Canada buying bonds at same rate as federal government overspending

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At a committee hearing today, Opposition MP Pierre Poilievre showed how The Bank of Canada is helping the Federal Government drive up inflation. Poilievre pointed out the Federal Government is borrowing 3 billion dollars a week while the Central Bank is buying 3 billion dollars a week worth of government bonds.
Critics of this approach say the Bank of Canada is in effect helping the federal government to pay for overspending, punishing lower income Canadians.  Funding the government with printed money drives up the prices of  everything, boosting the cost of housing, food, and general necessities throughout the country.
In this exchange Poilievre asked Tiff Macklem, Governor of the Bank of Canada why the Bank of Canada is widening the gap between rich and poor.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Annual inflation rate rises to 4.8% in December, highest since 1991

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OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the annual pace of inflation climbed in December to its highest rate since 1991.

The agency says the consumer price index in December was up 4.8 per cent compared with a year ago.

The reading compared with a year-over-year increase of 4.7 per cent in November.

Driving the faster pace of price growth in December were higher year-over-year prices for food, passenger vehicles and housing.

Statistics Canada says that excluding gasoline prices from its calculations, the consumer price index would have been up year-over-year in December by four per cent.

Prices at the gas pumps were up 33.3 per cent year-over-year in December compared with a 43.6 per cent annual increase in November as tightening of public health restrictions related to the Omicron variant weighed on demand.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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Economy

Why Democrats Make Energy Expensive (And Dirty)

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Progressives say they care more about working people and climate change than Republicans and moderate Democrats. Why, then, do they advocate policies that make energy expensive and dirty?

Progressive Democrats including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, the head of the House progressive caucus, have sent a letter demanding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) investigate whether “market manipulation” is causing natural gas prices to rise 30 percent on average for consumers over last winter, an astonishing $746 per household.

But the main reason natural gas prices are rising is because progressives have been so successful in restricting natural gas production. Sanders, Jayapal, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), as individuals and as part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have successful fought to restrict natural gas production through fracking and to block natural gas pipelines, including the Atlantic Coast pipeline.

In 2020, Sanders celebrated efforts by progressives to cancel the Atlantic Coast pipeline. Today, New England is facing rolling blackouts and importing natural gas from Russia. “Getting [natural] gas to [progressive Senators Ed] Markey and [Elizabeth] Warren’s Massachusetts is so difficult,” reports The Wall Street Journal, “that sometimes it comes into Boston Harbor on a tanker from Russia.”

Democrats aren’t the only reason the United States isn’t producing enough natural gas to keep prices at the same low levels they’ve been at for the past decade. There is higher demand as the economy emerges from covid. There is greater demand for natural gas internationally due to a bad year for wind energy in Europe. And President Joe Biden, for his part, has resisted many progressive demands to restrict oil and gas production.

But the main reason there isn’t enough natural gas production is because of successful progressive Democratic efforts to restrict natural gas production in the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world in the name of fighting climate change, as I was one of the first to report last fall. Sanders and Jayapal talk about “market manipulation” and “profiteering” but to the extent there is any of either it’s because of inadequate supplies of natural gas and the pipelines to transport it.

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Successful shareholder activism, known in the industry as “ESG” for environmental, social, and governance issues, resulted in less investment in oil and gas production, and more weather-dependent renewables, which result in higher prices everywhere they are deployed at scale. Even ESG champions including Financial Times, Goldman Sachs, and Bloomberg all now acknowledge that it was climate activist shareholder efforts that restricted oil and gas investment.

Such efforts also directly led to increasing carbon emissions. Last year saw a whopping 17 percent increase in coal-fired electricity, which resulted in a six percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions. It was the first annual increase in coal use since 2014. The reason for it was because of the scarcity and higher price of natural gas, coal’s direct replacement, not just in the U.S. but globally, since the US exports a significant quantity of natural gas.

The other reason the U.S. used more coal in 2021 is because progressive Democrats are shutting down nuclear plants. “When a nuclear plant is closed, it’s closed forever,” noted Mark Nelson of Radiant Energy Fund, an energy analytics firm, “whereas coal plants can afford to operate at relatively low levels of capacity, like just 30 to 50 percent operation, and thus wait for natural gas prices, and thus demand for coal, to rise.”

Progressives like Sanders, Jayapal, and AOC claim to care more about poor people, working people, and climate change than either Republicans or moderate Democrats, who they defeat in Democratic primary elections. Why, then, do they advocate policies that make energy expensive and dirty?

Twitter avatar for @AOCAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC

Fracking is bad, actually

October 8th 2020

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Strategic Ignorance

A big part of the reason progressives make energy expensive appears to be that they just don’t know very much about energy. The fact that they are demanding that FERC investigate higher prices suggests they want to keep energy prices low. But it could also mean that their letter is just public relations cover so they are not blamed for raising energy prices.

Indeed, it would be naive to think that Sanders and other progressives didn’t realize that blocking pipelines, opposing fracking, and subsidizing renewables would make energy expensive, given that making energy expensive has been the highest goal of their main climate advisor, Bill McKibben, who subscribes to the Malthusian view that there are too many humans and we must restrict energy and development.

If renewables were cheaper than the status quo then the policies they advocate — no permitting of pipelines, restrictions on fracking, and subsidies for renewables — would not be necessary. Besides, mainstream energy experts and journalists today admit that weather-dependent renewables make electricity expensive

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