Here’s a recipe for climate catastrophe: First, authorize enough new coal production in Wyoming to yield 3.9 billion tons of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Then authorize a new export terminal in northwest Washington to ship that black gold to Asia, where the other half of Chimerica will burn it to power the factories we shipped them in the infinite wisdom of globalization.
This process is called carbon offshoring, and it’s the nastiest, planet-killingest scheme of which you’ve probably never heard. China is just the beginning:
In a statement on November 12, the chairman of Coal India Ltd., a state-controlled entity and the world’s largest coal producer, with a near-monopoly on Indian coal mining, confirmed that the firm was in talks with several U.S. coal companies to buy stakes in mines throughout the continental U.S. According to the Associated Press, Coal India has budgeted $1.2bn this year alone to buy American, Australian, and Indonesian coal mines.
It’s an enormous — and growing — problem that has gone largely unexamined by folks in the U.S. who should be paying attention, says Daniel Firger of Columbia University’s Center for Climate Change Law.
Firger’s solution? The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States should block these deals on national security grounds, since “the Pentagon’s most recent Quadrennial Defense Review highlighted climate change as a threat to national security.”
(For more on how climate change could lead to future wars, check out Nicholas Stern’s assertion that climate change could lead to another world war.)
“Carbon Offshoring: India, China Buying U.S. Coal Mines, Shale Gas Fields, LNG Terminals,” Climate Law Blog
“Obama administration announces massive coal mining expansion,” Grist
“Port plans include Wyoming’s Powder River Basin coal,” Casper Star-Tribune
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