Paris Climate Accord: Yesterday, President Trump announced the United States will pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. Trump will most assuredly get roasted by the national media for the decision. We suspect most citizens haven’t taken the time to understand what the agreement contains and how it would affect America.
In Trump’s Rose Garden speech, he talked about the catastrophic loss of American jobs the agreement would cause. The president claimed that meeting the accord’s greenhouse gas emission standards would cost the United States close to $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product and 6.5 million industrial jobs.
Trump discussed in particular how the Paris Accord was unfair and how other countries, such as China and India, were not agreeing to anywhere near the same level of environmental stewardship as the United States.
For example, the U.S. pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent from 2005 levels, but China would only begin reducing its emissions by the year 2030. India’s commitment was to reduce the “carbon intensity” of its economy, while carbon emissions would still be growing year after year.
Trump also said the agreement “front-loads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy and job growth while extracting meaningless commitments from the world’s top global emitters, like China.”
The president also committed to getting back to the negotiating table to come up with a better environmental agreement.
We think most people are in favor of being good environmental stewards and hope some sort of common sense agreement can be developed and agreed upon.
Headquarters Landfill: In a story this week by TDN reporter Jackson Hogan, we learned Cowlitz County officials received an unsolicited offer for the Headquarters Landfill. We don’t know the details of the offer, but apparently some large entity wants to buy it from the county.
The county commissioners indicated they would consider how to respond to the offer. We are glad the commission is taking time to review and analyze the offer.
If a large entity is offering to buy the landfill, it’s an indicator the value of the property may have risen well beyond what the county paid for it. The county is in a great negotiating position because the landfill was not on the market to sell, so if someone wants to pay a premium for it, maybe a good deal can be made.
At the same time, understanding the future value of the landfill is a smart thing because it may very well be worth dramatically more if the county continues to own it. The Headquarters Landfill has an expected life of about 100 years, so what’s the hurry?
The Port of Longview: The Port of Longview announced strong results for the first three months of 2017. Net income for the quarter finished at $3.4 million, which is a dramatic increase from $1.4 million the prior year.
Cargo volumes increased at the grain terminal, corn and soybean exports increased as well. Longview was also the beneficiary of potash previously shipped through the Port of Portland. An additional 100,000 metric tons of potash were exported through the Port of Longview in the first quarter.
It was also great to see log exports on the rebound. Exports of logs has been down due to reduced demand in Asian markets. Log exports increased 46 percent over the prior year.
The rest of the year looks promising as well. The Port expects to handle wind turbines and increased handling of grain and other bulk commodities.
Methanol protest: A story in The Columbian was picked up off the wire and published in TDN’s Wednesday edition. In the story we learned two dozen people protested against the proposed methanol plant at the Department of Ecology office in Vancouver.
The story quoted one protester, Linda Leonard from Kalama, who said, “I will run this to the end, and I hope to God we can stop this Chinese conglomerate.”
TDN is in favor of the methanol plant project. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has stated his support for the project, and former Gov. Gary Locke has too.
Regardless, we find the protesters’ comments about the Chinese to be fear mongering.
According to a story from Forbes magazine, the Chinese invested over $51 billion in America in 2016, which was an increase of 360 percent over 2015.
Investments in the U.S. by other countries, including China, is nothing new. You may not know the largest movie chain in the U.S., a company called AMC, is owned by the Chinese.
Other companies owned by the Chinese include Smithfield Foods (think Smithfield hams), the General Electric appliance division and the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan.
The U.S. Department of Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment reviews transactions where other countries are significant investors.