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Dan McTeague

COP28 – The grand delusion continues

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague  Written By Dan McTeague

The 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) wrapped up this week in Dubai. That the two-week conference, whose object is to discuss the global phase-out of fossil fuels, is being held in one of the world’s top ten oil producers — the UAE — is only the first of COP’s absurdities.

The next is the sheer number of participants — more than 97,000 of them — flying to the desert, in most cases on the taxpayers’ dime, to talk about reducing carbon emissions in the hopes of cooling the planet.

The hyperbole from people such as Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, who said those at COP28 “are steering the course of our shared future but the science tells us we are in grave danger of bequeathing our children a completely unlivable world” is almost too much to bear.

And what did they actually accomplish? As has been the case for the past 27 conferences, very little. While there is a lot of grandstanding and speeches and promises from the 157 countries in attendance to phase out fossil fuels, no commitments were actually made.

Surely this comes as no surprise since all of the nations present run on fossil fuel users and have no real intention of abolishing them, especially not countries such as Saudi Arabia, China and India. There is no scenario where they would “phase out” the life blood of their economies for the sake of the quixotic goal of achieving Net Zero emissions so as to — maybe — reduce global temperatures by 1.5 degrees.

And as if to make the farce even more laughable, it has been announced that Azerbaijan will be the host for COP29. Oil, gas and related petroleum products account for 91% of Azerbaijan’s total exports. Is it at all likely that they will be getting rid of them anytime soon? Definitely not.

As was recently noted by Benny Peiser of Net Zero Watch, COP28 is happening while the Green Agenda is in deep crisis and is falling apart around the world.

  • There is a massive backlash against the cost of Net Zero policies. Renewable energy projects have been scrapped including major wind projects in the US and the UK.
  • Electric vehicle sales have slumped.
  • Germany is facing an energy crisis, frantically bringing coal fired plants back into service to replace the energy lost when they shuttered their nuclear plants for nebulous environmental reasons.
  • The Dutch Farmers party has made major gains in two successive elections after their environmentalist government in their obsession to achieve net zero tried to restrict them out of existence.
  • Argentina has elected a new president who has called climate change a “socialist lie.” Even French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for the EU to pump the breaks on net zero regulations.

Why? Because net zero policies are unpopular and damaging. It is all well and good to talk about targets and goals and objectives, but when rubber hits the road and daily lives are affected, that’s another story. People have come to see that pursuing these absurd policies comes at an enormous societal and economic cost.

If a country wants affordable, reliable power to keep the lights on and heat their homes, they need the baseload power that oil and natural gas provide.

Yet here in Canada the Trudeau government is doubling, no, tripling down on their punishing Net Zero Agenda.

Our environmental minister Steven Guilbeault even used COP28 as his stage to make two major regulatory announcements that will have a devastating effect on the Canadian economy.

Last week, he announced his methane emissions reduction plan and an emissions cap, without even consulting the leader of the province it would affect the most. Give me a break. The grandstanding, the virtue signaling — it would be laughable if it weren’t so damaging.

Canadians can’t afford groceries or pay their rent or buy homes. We are suffering an affordability crisis. The relentless taxation on our lives from a carbon tax to a second carbon tax (the Clean Fuel Standard), to Minister Guilbeault’s newest schemes, are all part of the Net Zero policies that are destroying our economy.

Remember this is all fuelled by the preposterous notion we can somehow affect the climate if we reduce our greenhouse gases from 1.4% of global emissions to 0.4%.

In light of all of that, the Trudeau government is more interested in how they are perceived on the world stage than how their policies affect the Canadians they are supposed to represent.

Danielle Smith and Scott Moe, to their credit, attended the conference with their own Alberta and Saskatchewan delegations to advocate for the industry that employs thousands of Canadians and is a major driver of the Canadian economy.

And, it should be taken as a compliment that Alberta was even given the “Fossil of the Day” award by activists at the summit for its temporary ban on large scale renewable projects.

At least Canada had a few representatives there with its best interest in mind, and that weren’t taken in by the grand delusion.

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Current EV strategy charging ahead to failure

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Dan McTeague  Written By Dan McTeague

For years now I’ve been saying that electric vehicles, and EV mandates, are bad for Canada.

Back in 2020, when the then-CEO of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, voiced his concerns that governments were moving too fast in their push for an all-electric car market when there were other good options available which didn’t require the same multi-billion dollar infrastructure overhaul or increase in electricity generation, I asked why we weren’t listening to a man who knows his own business.

When Europe found itself in an energy crisis in the winter of 2022, and the Swiss government asked its citizens to avoid driving their EVs, even considering an outright ban, to protect their fragile electricity grid, I said that with our already-strained grid we were seeing our future playing out before us in Switzerland and mandates or no, consumers just wouldn’t stand for it.

And more recently, as stories have piled up of EVs’ vulnerability to the cold — “We got a bunch of dead robots out here,” as one frustrated EV owner put it, surrounded by frozen EVs that had run out of juice while waiting for a charge in a cold snap — I’ve asked over and over again, why on earth our government is trying to force the large scale adoption of an automobile technology which functions so poorly in a normal Canadian winter.

I take no pleasure in being proved right, but nearly every day brings about a new story of EVs failing to meet the lofty expectations our leaders have set for them.

  • Recent headlines have trumpeted the difficulties EV drivers are having getting their cars fixed, because so few mechanics know how to work on them.
  • People are finding that the resale value of their EV is falling at a much faster rate than their neighbour’s reliable internal combustion engine vehicle.
  • Rental car companies like Hertz have been taking major losses after over-investing in EVs, that no one wants to rent. Apparently people don’t like the idea of pinning their vacation on a car they might not be able to charge.
  • And major auto manufacturers have been significantly scaling back their annual EV production, despite impending mandates which will force consumers to buy their product in just over a decade.

Even with the generous government subsidies handed to Ford in order to produce made-in-Canada electric SUVs, that company has decided to push their release date for the vehicles back two years — a decision that means layoffs for the majority of the 2,700 workers at the plant, according to the Globe and Mail. GM has followed suit, with recent  reports  claiming that they are “having a second look” at plans to build EV motors at their plant in St. Catherines, Ontario.

Those companies are beginning to accept reality, something various nations around the world have started to do, as well. The U.K., Germany, Italy, and other European countries, as well as the U.S., have had resistance to EV mandates play a big role in their politics lately. The Biden campaign was even forced to issue a statement saying, “There is no ‘EV mandate,’” after Donald Trump predicted to Detroit autoworkers that the White House’s pro-EV policies would put them out of work.

In the face of all of this, the Trudeau government continues to double down, reaffirming mandates and shovelling more and more tax dollars into the EV fire.

They should know better.

And maybe they do.

But maybe the dollars and the promises to their activist friends have just gotten so big that they feel like they can’t change course now.

Or maybe they are just too stubborn to admit that people like me were right all along, that they bet big and they bet wrong. And they can’t say they weren’t warned.

Buckle up.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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Dan McTeague

The Carbon Tax is part of a bigger plan to change the way you live

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From Canadians for Affordable Energy

Dan McTeague Written By Dan McTeague

On April 1, the carbon tax is going to rise from $65 per tonne to $80 per tonne, and it seems Canadians are noticing this jump more than those of the past few years.

Back in 2019, the Trudeau government announced its 566% carbon tax hike, starting at $15 per tonne and increasing yearly until 2030, when it would reach a staggering $170 per tonne. It received some attention at the time, but there was not a great deal of pushback. Presumably the numbers were too abstract to catch people’s attention and 2030 seemed a long way off.

But today things are different. It helps that Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre has been campaigning aggressively against the tax, with rallies and petitions to ‘Axe the Tax.’

Even Liberal premiers, such as Andrew Furey of Newfoundland and Labrador, have been pleading with Justin Trudeau to hit pause on the increase. In fact, a total of seven premiers in the country have spoken out against the tax, asking for a delay in its increase.

That’s because they recognize the tax is hurting Canadians. The cost of everything has gone up. It’s gotten so tough for businesses that some restaurants have begun adding a ‘carbon tax’ line item to the final bill. And if Canadians think it is bad now, wait until 2030 when the carbon tax will more than double its current rate.

The other reason people are more aware of the increase is because, well, the tax is working. It’s doing what it was designed to do, though maybe not in the way you might think. The goal is not simply to reduce emissions — in fact emissions have gone up. The goal is actually more nefarious than that. Let me explain.

The carbon tax is one of the pillars of the United Nations, World Economic Forum (WEF) Net-Zero-by 2050 agenda. In order to achieve their objective, they need all of us to fundamentally alter the way we live our daily lives. They want us to drive less, fly less, eat less meat (and more bugs). The carbon tax is a punitive means of achieving this.

In fact, the Trudeau government’s own Healthy Climate, Healthy Economy plan articulates the logic of the tax quite well when it says, “The principle is straightforward: a carbon price establishes how much businesses and households need to pay for their pollution. The higher the price, the greater the incentive to pollute less, conserve energy and invest in low-carbon solutions.”

It’s worth noting that they’re using a pretty loose definition of ‘pollution’ here, because we all know that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — it is a gas which makes life on earth possible.

Even so, their intention is clearly stated — they figure that, if the price of fuelling up your car, going on a vacation and heating your home gets high enough, you will have to drastically alter the way you live your day-to-day life.

You will stop flying, cut back on driving, use fewer appliances. And really, you’ll just get used to having less money, until — following the slippery slope to its conclusion — you will “own nothing and be happy,” in the words of that infamous WEF tweet.

Which is to say, the carbon tax is a punishment for participating in normal economic activity, for living a regular life. Of course, for the time being you can catch a break if you live in Atlantic Canada and heat your home with oil, but if you live in the prairies and heat your home with natural gas, sorry, but you’re out of luck. You aren’t in a Liberal riding, after all!

And even then, the Liberals and their activist friends are banking on Canadians reducing their carbon emissions in order to achieve their Net Zero 2050 target.

So good for Pierre Poilievre, Andrew Furey and the other premiers for pushing back on the carbon tax.

But let’s not forget that, as noxious as it is, it’s only one small part of the Liberals’ Net Zero agenda.

Eliminating the carbon tax is merely cutting off one head of the hydra. If Canada’s political leaders are really concerned with affordability, then they need to target the monster’s heart.

It’s time that we not only axe the tax, but we need to scrap Net Zero.

Dan McTeague is President of Canadians for Affordable Energy

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