By signaling his resolve to stop the “war on coal” with an executive order on Tuesday, President Donald Trump was also communicating to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Paris Agreement on climate change may just be a part of Obama administration history.
For Trudeau, Canada is not at war with ISIS but with climate change, and Trump’s plan to support coal-fired electricity will affect that agenda. According to The Globe and Mail, the new environmental policy at the White House is on a collision course with Trudeau’s environmental activism as well as a Canadian energy sector that has absorbed and parroted his climate change rhetoric. Trudeau’s plans to implement a carbon tax and to reduce methane emissions in 2018 will place an enormous burden on the Canadian energy industry.
While Trump is cutting regulations, Trudeau is increasing them; if the Republican-controlled Congress can cut corporate taxes for the U.S. energy industry, its Canadian counterpart will be on less than equal footing.
“There have been a number of hits on the oil and gas sector, particularly, on the policy side in Canada. In the U.S., you have exactly the opposite,” Jack Mintz, a fellow at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and a director with Imperial Oil Ltd, told The Globe and Mail.
If Trump can eradicate Obama’s Clean Power Plan, demand for coal will either remain the same or rise, compared with an estimated 40 per cent reduction that the Energy Information Administration recently predicted under the previous president’s plan.
That’s bad news for Canada’s hydroelectric industry that was hoping to exploit environmental regulations in the U.S. with increased American use of Canadian power. The potential demise of the Clean Power Plan means that demand for renewable energy like hydroelectric power cannot be artificially forced up and use of coal coerced downwards.
The environmental activists hope that Democrat-controlled states, big cities run by leftist mayors and corporations driven by climate change believers will pick up the greenhouse gas emissions chorus where Obama left off. California Governor Jerry Brown, whose state has been driven towards bankruptcy with the assistance of green energy programs, has already condemned Trump’s coal-fired executive order and vowed to continue his own plan to reduce greenhouse gasses.
Though Trump has not formally disavowed the Paris Agreement, his legislative efforts are increasingly pointing in that direction. Environmentalists are already quaking over the possibility of greenhouse gas levels under Trump not meeting the arbitrary reductions set by Obama.
The energy industry, both in Canada and the U.S., continues to reflect and advocate liberal environmental policies. In a letter released Tuesday, in response to Trump’s executive order, Exxon Mobil suggested the president stay true to the Paris Agreement, claiming quite optimistically that China and India will follow through on their commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Exxon Mobil supports the Paris Agreement as an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change,” wrote Peter Trelenberg, the company’s manager for environmental policy and planning.