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Daily Archives: August 31, 2022

Infographic: America’s Best States to Do Business In

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Source : Visual Capitalist

Chart: The U.K. Has Europe’s Biggest Unicorn Stables

Source : Statista

Humour: News in Cartoons

Canada Set To Miss Out On A Massive LNG Opportunity

Alex Kimani wrote . . . . . . . . .

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, dozens of Eurozone countries pledged to heavily cut Russian natural gas imports or halt them completely as soon as they could afford to. These countries took several aggressive measures to replenish their natural gas stockpiles ahead of the winter season, including reaching a political agreement to cut gas use by 15% through next winter. It’s, therefore, little wonder that Germany–the country’s worst hit by the Russian energy crisis– is currently on a mad dash to secure alternate sources of gas before the onset of winter. But here’s the biggest irony of them all: Germany and Europe are more likely to secure future gas supplies from Mozambique, one of the world’s poorest nations with scant infrastructure, riddled with terrorism and located 8,140km away from Germany, than Canada, one of the biggest producers of the stuff, with more than a dozen potential LNG sites and a ‘mere’ 6,400km away.

Indeed, this might turn out to be one of the biggest missed opportunities in Canadian history considering that at current prices, just one Canadian port exporting superchilled gas could be adding nine figures to the Canadian GDP each day.

Love-Hate Relationship

Canada is the planet’s fifth largest producer of natural gas and ranks 15th in the world for proven natural gas reserves. The country’s biggest problem simply is lack of infrastructure–and political goodwill.

It’s somewhat shocking to learn that Canada does not own a single LNG export terminal, with virtually all the country’s natural gas exports delivered to the United States via pipeline. It’s not for lack of trying though. In recent years, Natural Resources Canada says it has received proposals for 18 LNG export projects, including five on the East Coast. Currently, just one terminal is under construction, with a second not quite poised to break ground.

In sharp contrast, Mozambique is gearing up for a $100B LNG windfall, with the country poised to ship its first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) overseas at a time when prices have soared to record highs with Europe desperately trying to cut energy ties with Russia.

According to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg, the BP-operated LNG tanker British Mentor was slated to arrive this week at a new floating terminal that Italian energy giant Eni S.p.A. is completing off Mozambique’s northern coastline. Eni has said that commissioning activities at the Coral-Sul FLNG vessel were progressing well, with first exports to be communicated in due course. The Italian company is already planning a second floating export platform in the southern African country that could be completed in less than four years.

All that progress despite the fact that Mozambique has been plagued by terrorism, civil strife and rampant systemic corruption for decades, to a point where it has been unable to exploit its vast fossil fuel reserves leading to its status as the world’s third poorest nation.

You can blame this state of affairs on Canada’s love-hate relationship with fossil fuels.

Despite the Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement in 1988, a sense of ambivalence towards fossil fuels prevails to this day. In the current geopolitical climate, oil and gas are both hated and adored. Hated because of their outsized role as the number one climate change pariah. Adored as an alternative source of natural gas, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the attendant threat that Moscow might cut off gas supplies to Europe.

Back in March, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced that Canada has the capacity to increase oil & gas exports by up to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this year to help improve global energy security. He also added that Canada is looking at ways it may be able to displace Russian gas with liquified natural gas (LNG) after requests for help from Europe. Currently, a Shell-led consortium is building a large LNG facility on the west coast at Kitimat which is due for completion around 2025, but the country exports zero LNG.

But it need not be this way. Canada’s energy regulatory framework is notorious for scaring away oil and gas projects, and in February turned down a $10-billion LNG export facility planned for Saguenay, Quebec largely on the grounds that it would increase greenhouse-gas emissions. All five of the now-languishing East Coast projects were in the planning stages as early as 2015 but have been held back by a hostile and byzantine regulatory climate.

At this stage, it’s not 100% clear whether Canada is ready to relax its attitude towards fossil fuels.

Recently, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went on record saying that exporting LNG from Canada’s east coast to Germany could ease Europe’s gas crunch: “It’s doable, we have infrastructure around that,” he said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz though he failed to offer a timeline when asked for one.

However, as Politico notes, doable doesn’t necessarily mean realistic, especially given that Europe wants to slash Russian gas purchases by two-thirds by the end of the year.

In the same vein, Trudeau conceded that weak business cases have kept proposed export facilities from moving forward: “Right now our best capacity is to continue to contribute to the global market to displace gas and energy that then Germany and Europe can locate from other sources,” Trudeau has conceded.

Recent comments by Canadian gas producers are also quite telling. In an interview this week, Enbridge Inc. (NYSE: ENB) CEO Al Monaco hinted at Canada’s infamous industry red tape when he said the country needs to “get out of our own way when it comes to energy and building infrastructure.”

Perhaps not even sky-high natural gas and LNG prices are enough to persuade Trudeau’s administration to change its stance on oil and gas. But as they say, you never really know, considering that the U.S. only began exporting LNG in 2016, and has managed to become the world’s leading LNG exporter in such a short space of time.

Source : Oil Price

Read also at Fraser Institute

Canada’s lost LNG opportunities due to dearth of export facilities . . . . .

Infographic: The State of Central Bank Digital Currencies

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Source : Visual Capitalist

China Is Weaponizing Chinese Worldwide to Support the CCP

Gordon G. Chang wrote . . . . . . . . .

“Promoting the great unity of the Chinese people is the historic responsibility of China’s patriotic united front work in the new era,” said Chinese ruler Xi Jinping at the end of last month to Communist Party cadres in Beijing. “To do the job well, we must… truly unite all Chinese people in different parties, nationalities, classes, groups, and with different beliefs, and those who are living under different social systems.”

“Different social systems” is Party lingo for “other countries.”

Xi’s words sound benign, but the intent is not. In short, Xi, at the Party’s United Front Work Conference, said he hoped to unite—in other words, mobilize—ethnic Chinese everywhere to support the CCP, to effectively make every Chinese individual a CCP agent.

“The Chinese Communist Party just doesn’t accept that people who adopt foreign citizenship are no longer beholden to the motherland as represented by the Chinese Communist Party,” said Charles Burton of the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute to “CBS Eye on the World” on August 17. “There is no escape from this ethnic identification based on being descendants of the Yellow Emperor.”

Xi’s predecessors also appealed to overseas Chinese, so in one sense there was nothing new in his words last month. Yet there is nonetheless cause for great concern. Mao Zedong in fact tried to use ethnic Chinese populations outside China to overthrow their governments. Xi reveres Mao, has adopted many of Mao’s tactics, and is surely as determined as Mao in using Chinese people to do his bidding. Xi is serious in seeing all the world’s Chinese as a single unified force.

Many of those “different social systems”—especially the United States—are squeamish when it comes to singling people out because of their race. Yet American policymakers cannot ignore the fact that the Communist Party’s appeal to overseas Chinese is overtly race-based.

“We all share the same ancestors, history, and culture, we all are sons and daughters of the Chinese nation and descendants of the dragon,” said Yang Jiechi, now China’s top diplomat, in 2013 to a group of overseas ethnic Chinese children attending a government-sponsored “roots-tracing” tour event.

The regime sponsors these tours to indoctrinate. Foreign children, in Taishan in Guangdong province during a tour late last decade, were asked to sing the 1980s-era “Descendants of the Dragon.” The appeal to race is unmistakable, as this portion of the lyrics makes clear: “With brown eyes, black hair, and yellow skin, we are forever descendants of the dragon.”

In fact, China’s regime asks, cajoles, threatens, and intimidates dragon descendants to commit crimes for “the Motherland.” As successful American prosecutions indicate, some ethnic Chinese are especially susceptible to those appeals.

In February, however, the Justice Department ended its Trump-era “China Initiative,” which concentrated law enforcement efforts on Chinese espionage. Yet given Xi Jinping’s call on overseas Chinese to work for China, it is time to reinstitute that program and devote more resources to it.

Many have called the initiative “racist,” but any new program would be merely responding to the Communist Party’s race-based appeals.

The overwhelming majority of Americans of Chinese descent—especially those who have fled China recently— are loyal to America, but some Chinese in America flaunt their support for Chinese communism. The flying of flags of the People’s Republic of China in Chinatowns across the U.S.—especially San Francisco’s before the pandemic—was particularly disturbing and suggestive of disloyalty to the American republic.

Can Americans of Chinese descent be loyal to both America and China?

No. China’s Communist Party has made itself an existential threat to America and every other society. The Chinese regime, especially in recent years under General Secretary Xi, has been pushing the notion that it holds the Mandate of Heaven to rule tianxia, “All Under Heaven.” The promotion of tianxia means, among other things, that the Party views the U.S. government as illegitimate and America as nothing more than a tributary society or colony.

To make matters worse, the Chinese state has been open about its hostility to the United States. Among other things, in May 2019 People’s Daily, the Party’s self-described “mouthpiece” and therefore most authoritative publication in China, declared a “people’s war” on America.

Let me end on a personal note, as dragon blood proudly flows in my veins. My dad, who arrived in this country in early 1945, came from a small farming village in Jiangsu province, across the mighty Yangtze River from Shanghai. My mother’s family traces its roots to Dundee, in Scotland, but I have not identified with that half of my heritage. I grew up in New Jersey, steeped in Dad’s stories of the Yellow Emperor and of course tales of dragons.

Nonetheless, my story-telling dad never missed an opportunity to vote or tell his four children how wonderful his adopted country was. He always said “China is my birthplace but America is my home.”

We “Chinese-Americans”—I abhor the term—need to remember where we now live. We cannot remain oblivious, as we so far have had the luxury of doing.

Although we technically do not have an obligation to prove our loyalty to America, we must, as a group, understand that a hostile power is trying to weaponize us. Xi Jinping has openly called on us to become a subversive force, to help him destroy the country we now call home.

It is time, therefore, for us to begin cleaning our own ranks. This means, among other things, not tolerating displays promoting Chinese communism in our country. Moreover, it means not shouting “racism” every time law enforcement arrests someone of Chinese descent. If we do not take the lead in these tasks, others will naturally do that for us.

We may think it unfair, but we now have to make a choice.

After all, our country—the United States of America—is in peril because a foreign state—the People’s Republic of China—is attacking it and hoping to use us to take it down.

The Communist Party of China refers to us as “overseas patriotic forces.” People in our communities will want to know to which country we feel patriotic.

Source : Gatestone Institute

Infographic: What Droughts Have Revealed

Source : Statista