PR mini…Oligarchs Benefit from Big Climate Regulations & more

Here are some excerpts about the Paris Discord from today’s paper & my two-cents…

Leaving Paris Climate Accord Takes Time
Trump can’t get the U.S. out of climate deal until 2020

According to the Paris agreement, countries can only exit three years after the effective date of the deal. That was Nov. 4, 2016, 30 days after a sufficient number of countries ratified the deal, which was reached in Paris in December 2015….

If Mr. Trump had taken the “nuclear option” and withdrawn from the UNFCCC, he could have taken the U.S. out of the Paris agreement in a year….

The U.S. president could also change his mind by late 2019, just as the 2020 presidential campaign heats up.

After the UNFCCC receives Mr. Trump’s request, the U.S. will be out of the Paris agreement after one year, or as early as November 2020….

Environmental groups say the Paris agreement was designed to be durable, and a future U.S. administration could get Washington back into the pact, assuming the U.S. stays in the underlying UNFCCC.

The Paris Accord was originally reported as a big nothing-burger–looks like withdrawing from it maybe a nothing-burger too.

Why Paris Matters Less Than It Seems
President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement will have less impact than expected

Energy giants such as Exxon Mobil XOM -1.49% and ConocoPhillips , COP -1.34% both of which supported the agreement, may get hit on the margin, even though the conventional wisdom has it that they would be big winners.

Meanwhile, actual U.S. greenhouse gas emissions may not be too different from what they might have been under a Hillary Clinton administration, though probably not what were pledged under former President Barack Obama. Market forces, such as cheap natural gas, will have a bigger effect on greenhouse gas emissions than the agreement would have….

Meanwhile, U.S. regulations aimed at meeting Paris goals weren’t a burden for all. Exxon Mobil, for example, stood to benefit….stricter U.S. climate rules may have produced a slight drag on the demand for oil, a global commodity of which Exxon is only the sixth largest producer and far from the largest owner of reserves. But it would have been a definite boon to U.S. natural gas, a mostly landlocked market where Exxon was the No. 1 producer in 2015….[Also,] rules mandating the capture of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that escapes or is flared at some U.S. oil wells, hurts smaller competitors far more than it does Exxon or its peers. Big oil’s wells are in large fields near pipelines where the methane already can be captured and turned into valuable fuels….

That’s the big scam – regulations are often used by the big guys to keep the little guys out or down. They limit competition by creating high barriers to entry through the costs and requirements of regulatory compliance. This is actually called “regulatory barriers to entry” in business school.

Auto makers would likely have negotiated loopholes in fuel efficiency rules.

There is little doubt that some U.S. industries can celebrate the pullout. But governments around the world, and even in U.S. states such as California, may force U.S. companies to adhere to stricter environmental rules anyway.

Donald Trump Withdraws From Paris Climate Deal Despite Allies’ Opposition
Trump says nation will begin negotiations to re-enter Paris accord or start new deal

President Donald Trump said Thursday he will withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord in an effort to boost the nation’s industry and independence, making a dramatic shift in policy despite intense lobbying from business leaders and close allies….

It is  not the government’s business to boost anything, just to protect our rights, and keep our government within the confines of the Constitution.

Mr. Trump said he would begin negotiations to either re-enter the Paris agreement under new terms or craft a new deal that he judges fair to the U.S. and its workers.

Another repeal & replace? No thank you.

Several countries immediately rejected that idea. During a phone call Thursday, President Emmanuel Macron of France told Mr. Trump that the Paris agreement can’t be changed, and he issued a joint statement with the leaders of Germany and Italy that the accord “cannot be renegotiated.”

Sure it can.

Mr. Trump, framing his decision mostly in economic and political terms, pointed to the agreement’s lesser requirements for the world’s other leading carbon emitters, China and India. He voiced his concern for protecting the environment and eschewed any reiteration of his past claims that climate change isn’t real, but he said his decision is rooted in protecting the country’s interests.

Once they start stipulating that man-made climate change is real and that it requires government intervention, it’s only a matter of time.

…After Mr. Trump’s announcement, Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk and Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger said they would withdraw from the president’s advisory councils….

This gives Trump cred with his base: “He’s still tweaking the noses of the big wigs!”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pressed the president to keep the U.S. in the Paris accord, as did Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and leaders at the Pentagon, who have long viewed combating climate change as a matter of national security….

Only from the perspective of Report from Iron Mountain. National Security = maintaining the hierarchy.

But the president was resolute, telling his team that there were too many costs and that the U.S. would no longer be laughed at for participating in such deals, a person familiar with the matter said.

He said he wanted to deliver a campaign promise to “my people,” meaning his base of voters, this person said. “He looked at this like it was a union deal—slap them in the face, and then renegotiate,” the person said.

They always frame Trump as an irrational, emotional, ego-driven decision-maker–frees him up from having to explain real motives a la cui bono. Similarly, they always point to Ivanka as the woman behind the throne who is whispering vapid and mealy-mouthed sentiments from a bleeding-heart’s perspective. Where is Melania when you need her?

Categories: environment

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