Maybe we should wait to open the champagne: more on the China/West Virginia “deal”
Sunday News-Register still celebrating
Two front page articles in this morning’s paper continue the reveling following Thursday’s announced $84 billion deal (to be more precise, it was a “statement of intent”) with China. The larger article, with an accompanying picture of a gas worker, takes up almost half of the front page:
Legislators, Industry Leaders Digesting $83B Shale Deal
The long-by-local-standards article (over 1000 words) features the thoughts of WV Senate Majority Whip Ryan Weld and Delegate Erikka Storch. Also included are industry spokespersons and the article even includes two paragraphs that suggest air pollution may increase:
Operational ethane crackers and natural gas-fired power plants likely will pump pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides, volatile organic compounds, ammonia, carbon dioxide equivalents, xylene and benzene into the environment.
Moreover, air pollution could increase due to emissions from drilling, fracking and processing operations, all of which would likely increase with ethane crackers and power plants to fuel. Fracking can also lead to water pollution, while the Upper Ohio Valley has seen pipeline blasts, well fires and other problems associated with the industry during the past several years.
The second front page article is mostly a rehash of how the deal came to be:
West Virginia Lands the Biggest Chinese Deal
This article features the thoughts of Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and includes a list the other “deals” that were negotiated.
The AP’s and Washington Post’s analyses of these deals are a bit more sobering
The Associated Press did a fact check on the Trump/China deals and here is there headline:
AP FACT CHECK: China-US business deals are largely gloss
A trade and investment package announced during President Donald Trump’s visit to China is more about the art of diplomacy than the art of the deal.
The package, said to be worth more than $250 billion, puts a symbolic gloss on fundamentally strained economic relations between the U.S. and China. It draws together some new orders and extensions of business from existing Chinese customers, previously worked-out deals, tentative investments and statements of intent that may or may not turn into new dollars and jobs for the U.S.
And from the Washington Post:
Trump in Beijing: Art of the empty deal
David J. Lynch writes:
“It’s hard to call a quarter trillion dollars in deals not worth very much, but this has to be the least valuable $250 billion in deals that the U.S. and China have ever agreed to,” said Scott Kennedy, director of the project on Chinese business at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
The largest single project unveiled Thursday was China Energy Investment Corp.’s plan to invest $83.7 billion in power generation, chemical manufacturing, and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives in West Virginia. The state’s Department of Commerce said representatives of the state-owned Chinese company had visited West Virginia several times and have begun drawing up plans.
But the two sides signed only a memorandum of understanding, not a formal contract, and the eye-popping dollar figure covers a 20-year period, the state said.
“There’s a still a long way to go before opening the champagne,” said Kennedy.