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Carbon Tax poll reveals what we already knew

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Dan McTeague  Written By Dan McTeague of Canadians for Affordable Energy

The chickens are coming home to roost for the Trudeau government.

Last month (August 6th) Nanos Research released a new poll showing that two thirds of Canadians think that now is a bad time to increase the Carbon Tax. This is not exactly a shocking revelation. It really didn’t take a poll to determine what everyday Canadians already know. Adding a Carbon Tax to a struggling economy is a bad idea.

Anyone who has gone to the grocery store lately, or has filled up their vehicle, knows that the cost of living has skyrocketed. Social media is flooded with Canadians sharing their stories of how they are at the breaking point with the cost of living. It doesn’t take an economist to know that higher consumption taxes have the immediate effect of increasing the cost of everything.  That has not stopped the green Agenda driven Trudeau government that seems determined to make life unaffordable for Canadians.

But back to that Nanos poll –

Let’s break this down a bit more to understand what this poll is really saying about how Canadians feel about Carbon Taxes.

First, it is evident that Nanos is approaching this poll with a clear bias in favor of Carbon Taxes. Participants were asked three (3) questions: 1) Do you think a carbon tax on things like gas is an effective, somewhat effective, somewhat ineffective, or ineffective way to encourage people to use less fuel? 2) Is now a very good, good, average, poor or very poor time to increase carbon taxes on things like gas? 3) On a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is not at all effective and 10 is extremely effective, how effective do you think the federal government’s Carbon Pollution Pricing system, often called the carbon tax, is to combat climate change?

Notice the poll did not ask Canadians whether or not they think Carbon Taxes are a good idea or whether they want them at all.

The assumption is that Canadians buy into the narrative that climate change is real, and a “real problem” that requires government action, that “using less carbon” such as fuel is a key, if not the key, to reducing “carbon consumption”.

We know not every Canadian believes this; but the Nanos poll didn’t even ask.

That said, looking at the results of what they did ask, two thirds of Canadians say that now is a bad time to increase carbon taxes.

In the prairie provinces, this number was 79% and in Atlantic Canada 73% of respondents said the timing is “poor” or “very poor”.

Of even greater political significance: in Ontario, where the next federal election will likely be decided, a whopping 68.7% of respondents said that now is a bad time to increase the Carbon Tax. And yet Justin Trudeau keeps increasing this most hated tax.

In terms of effectiveness, 64.3% in Ontario think that a new carbon tax is not effective at encouraging people to use less fuel. This comes as no surprise. A majority of Canadians rely on their vehicles to get to work, the grocery store, kids practices, and family vacations. Normal daily activities for life in Canada. In most cases not driving is not an option. It only means that getting there is more expensive, and other items in the budget need to be sacrificed instead.

And as we know the Carbon Tax is one of the culprits for higher prices.

Conservative MP Kyle Seeback articulated it well in the House of Commons when he explained to Trudeau’s Environment Minister Stephen Guilbeault how the Carbon Tax is driving up inflation. “Mr. Speaker, it is incredible, he actually does not know how food ends up on his plate. The farmer pays a carbon tax, the truck that picks up the farmer’s food pays a carbon tax to take it to the processor, the processor pays a carbon tax, the truck that picks it up from the processor to take it to the grocery store pays a carbon tax, the grocery store pays a carbon tax and then Canadians cannot pay for food.”

Canadians for Affordable Energy has been advocating for affordability since 2017 and have known that Carbon Taxes are a threat to affordable energy in Canada and will drive up the cost of everything. And that is exactly what is happening. Fuel prices are skyrocketing, food prices are at record highs, and Canadians are struggling to make ends meet. Energy affordability is the key to success in Canada and therefore it is the view of CAE that there is never a good time to implement a Carbon Tax. Full stop.

Canadians are finally starting to connect the dots on a path that leads directly back to bad energy and environmental policies. Policies that have stifled our resource economy and punished working Canadians. Policies that are hitting Canadians’ pocketbooks really hard, especially when trying to fill up their vehicles and feed their families. Policies that won’t even help the environment.

Pierre Poilievre and his Conservative government have committed to scrapping the carbon tax. Let’s hope they follow through on this promise if they come into power in the next election. Because not all Canadians buy the narrative that Carbon Taxes are a good thing.

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Automotive

The EV battery ‘catch-22’

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From The Center Square

While setting aggressive goals for electric vehicle market share, the Biden administration also wants tariffs and or restrictions on the importation of vehicles and the minerals needed for their batteries – creating heightened concerns over supply chains in what can be described as a “Catch-22” situation.

Solutions to some of the problems include battery recycling and increased domestic mining, however, the U.S. is currently limited in its capacity for both. Federal funds are spurring new recycling plant projects, but questions remain on whether there will be enough used material to meet projected needs.

In his e-book, “The EV Transition Explained,” Robert Charette, longtime systems engineer, and contributing editor for IEEE Spectrum, says making the transition is harder than anyone thinks. He recently told The Center Square it is truer now than it ever was.

“None of this is simple,” he said.

His argument centers on the lack of planning and systems engineering on initiatives that are politically, not engineering, driven. While change is possible, he suggested it would require trillions more in government spending and enforcing those changes through law.

Charette identified many serious issues in setting up the EV battery infrastructure – and even if those challenges are met, he said, there may be tradeoffs between affordability, security and environmental concerns.

Profitability. Battery recycling is a still-developing process which is time consuming and expensive. The cost of purchasing recycled materials may be more costly than buying them new.

Manufacturing demand and potential backlog. The U.S. will require eight million batteries annually by 2030 to meet the government’s EV target, with increases each year after that.

Standardization. Batteries vary in configuration, size, and chemistry.

Domestic mining. While decreasing our dependency on outside sources, what are the environmental impacts? It can also take years to acquire permits and get a lithium mine up and running.

Mineral shortfalls. Secure and sustainable access to critical minerals like copper, lithium, cobalt, and nickel is essential for a smooth and affordable transition to clean energy. An analysis by the International Energy Agency indicates a “significant gap” between the world’s supply and demand for copper and lithium. Projected supplies will only meet 70% of the copper and 50% of the lithium needed to achieve 2035 climate targets.

The report said that “without the strong uptake of recycling and reuse, “mining capital requirements would need to be one-third higher. The agency also emphasizes China’s dominance in the refining and processing sector.

Transportation of discharged batteries classified as hazardous waste is one of the costliest steps of the recycling process. Experts suggest updates to federal EPA and DOT regulations for how battery-related waste is classified. In addition to health and safety, they say clearer definitions of what constitutes hazardous waste would help reduce transportation costs. Many recycling plants are being built in regions where production sites are located to address this.

Supply chain and skills gap shortages. The timetable set by the government is not aligned with the capabilities of the current supply chain. Software plays a key role in the management and operation of an EV battery, and automakers are competing for a limited supply of software and systems engineers.

Competing interests. The goal is to create a circular battery economy, reducing the need for raw materials. However, an EV battery that is no longer useful for propelling a car still has enough life left for other purposes such as residential energy storage. Experts propose a battery material hierarchy where repurposing and reusing retired EV batteries are more favorable to immediately recycling them, detouring them out of the cycle.

Charette says the biggest problem with recycling projections is that they are built on assumptions that have not been tested.

“We won’t know whether these assumptions hold until we reach a point where we are recycling millions of EV batteries,” he said.

Because most EV lithium-ion batteries produced through 2023 are still on the road, the International Council on Clean Transportation reports that the majority of materials being used as feedstock by recycling plants currently come from scrap materials created during battery production.

According to Charette, manufacturers also claim future generations of batteries will last 15 to 20 years, which he says would put a bigger kink in the used-battery supply chain.

Another issue contributing to consumers’ reluctance to buy an EV is the inability to determine the overall health of your battery. Current testing methods are inefficient and costly.

EV adoption has so far not met projections and with all the competing interests, Charette said the market will ultimately tell us what direction the situation is headed. He is also intrigued over the impact government pressure will have on the eventual outcome.

He said many individual components have yet to be worked out, adding that although there is a vision, “we’re a heck of a long way from that vision to getting where we need to go.”

In his opinion, battery recycling issues are even further behind than transitioning the electric grid to renewable energy sources.

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Automotive

Forget Tariffs: Biden Should Look to Domestic Mining to Thwart Chinese EVs

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Fr0m Heartland Daily News

By Rick Whitbeck

The Biden administration’s decision to raise tariffs on Chinese-manufactured electric vehicles, steel, computer chips, and other technological products is the epitome of a penny wise and a pound foolish.

To much of the nation, the news was a reelection flip-flop, or an attempt to prop up the electric vehicle industry Biden has prioritized since he took office, as part of his green agenda. The international supply chain for electric vehicles isn’t going to magically stop running through the Chinese Communist Party anytime soon.

If Biden really wanted to curb Chinese geopolitical power, he would make fundamental changes to his administration’s history of attacking domestic mining opportunities. Allowing development of copper, graphite, nickel, cobalt, and other critical and strategic minerals right here at home would go much further than imposing tariffs.

Biden has demonstrated affinity for promoting “net zero” policies and forcing transitions away from traditional energy supplies of oil, gas, and coal. In a nutshell, the attacks on domestic mining projects seem completely counterproductive.

According to the International Energy Agency, staggering quantities of subsurface elements will need to be mined by at least five times their current worldwide production by 2040 to meet the Biden administration’s green energy goals. Graphite, cobalt, and lithium all will be needed in quantities exceeding 25 times (or more) their current supplies. In the next quarter century, we will need twice as much copper than has been produced in the last 3,000 years. All of which is impossible when Biden won’t let us dig.

The U.S. has tremendous opportunities to have our own mineral resources. Yet, the Biden administration has thwarted their development at nearly every turn. For example, massive copper and nickel deposits could be developed in Minnesota at the Twin Metals and Duluth Complex projects, but Biden has ordered each of them off-limits for development. The Resolution Copper prospect in Arizona met a similar fate, with the Department of Interior placing on “indefinite hold” its approval.

The Western Hemisphere’s largest copper prospect is Alaska’s Pebble Mine. Kowtowing to environmental extremists—and ignoring a clean U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Final Environmental Impact Statement—the Environmental Protection Agency continues to stymie progress on a deposit worth more than $500 billion. All the while shutting down the possibility of 700 full-time jobs in an area of rural Alaska that has seasonal unemployment exceeding 20%.

Alaska has been the target of more than 60 administrative and executive orders targeting its resource-based economy since Biden assumed office. One of the most recent took place on Earth Day, when a congressionally-authorized road to the Ambler Mining District—an area rich in copper, zinc, and other strategic and critical minerals—was stopped by the Department of Interior.

Just like with the Resolution mine in Arizona, the Interior Department used “Indigenous opposition” as its deciding factor, even though many villages and tribes closest to the mining district publicly support the project and its future employment opportunities. In Alaska, the Biden administration literally blocks the road to the minerals Biden’s tariffs claim to protect.

Alaska’s governor, Michael Dunleavy, along with its entire congressional delegation, has been openly critical of the continued hypocrisy of the Biden administration when it comes to talking “net zero” and acting with vigor to oppose domestic mining projects. The same response has come from many within the Minnesota and Arizona congressional community. They’ve been unable to break through to the administration, as Team Biden chooses to listen to eco-activists and career bureaucrats with an anti-development agenda.

What would hurt China, empower America, and begin to chip away at the global imbalance would be mining and processing our crucial minerals and elements domestically. Let’s see if the Biden administration wises up to that fact, or if America tires of being subservient to the CCP and makes fundamental changes to federal leadership in November.

Rick Whitbeck is the Alaska State Director for Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs and fights back against economy-killing and family-destroying environmental extremism. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @PTFAlaska

This article was originally published by RealClearEnergy and made available via RealClearWire.

To read more about domestic mining to escape reliance on China, click here.

To read more about clean energy and mining, click here.

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