A few Democratic Senators and House members have caught Obama's U.S. Trade Representative in a big lie for international corporations, and are pleading with him to come clean but haven't yet received an answer, regarding a question that's central to global warming, international relations, global energy policy, consumer protections, labor rights, and even to the continuation of democracy itself, in the near-term future.
U.S. President Barack Obama is freed now in his final term from any concerns about being re-elected, so he's fighting all-out for Ukraine's two nazi (racist-fascist) parties, and simultaneously for the fascist Koch brothers, the far-right owners of approximately 40% of the sand-mucky oil that would be carried by the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to transport Canada's tar-sands down to the Kochs' refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast for processing and then shipment to Europe. Obama is apparently determined now to end his Presidency in a blaze of fascist international-corporate glory for the Kochs and other big oil companies, banks, and weapons-makers, though he's heading (in the process) to destroy our planet's biosphere by global warming on the one hand, nuclear winter on the other, or perhaps even by a totally unpredictable, utterly wild, combination of those two (if he cares at all about ecological catastrophe, which his actions show that he doesn't, really, since he's simultaneously pumping both global warming and nuclear winter, as will be documented here). He's been lying through his teeth and merely pretending to be a "liberal," but that's over, now that he no longer faces any re-election.
The latest news-report that brings it all together is from Inter Press Service. It concerns the secret Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations with Europe, and it's headlined on July 18th, "US Accused of Forcing EU to Accept Tar Sands Oil: Trade negotiators are working to permanently block a landmark [E.U.] regulatory proposal aimed at addressing climate change." Cary L. Biron writes there that, "Newly publicised internal documents suggest that U.S. negotiators are working to permanently block a landmark regulatory proposal in the European Union aimed at addressing climate change, and instead to force European countries to import particularly dirty forms of oil. ... At issue is the mechanism by which the European Union would determine the greenhouse gas emissions of various types of oil and gas. As part of Europe's broader climate pledges, the F[uel] Q[uality] D[irective] was revised to reduce the emissions of transport fuels by six percent by the end of the decade. In 2011, the E.U. proposed that tar sands and other unconventional [i.e., especially filthy] oils be formally characterised as having higher greenhouse gas 'intensity' than conventional oil, given that they require more energy to produce -- 23 percent higher, according to a study for the European Commission."
President Obama's negotiator on both the TTIP with Europe, and the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP with Asia, is Michael Froman, the Council on Foreign Relations Fellow and Citibank executive who had first introduced the then-young Mr. Obama to Robert Rubin of Goldman Sachs, the Clintons, and finally Citibank, and so to all of Wall Street. Froman is now the person whom President Obama appointed to negotiate both the TTIP and the TPP, the world's biggest trade deals, and Froman is doing it in such a way as to create a worldwide trading area that would be specifically designed to lock-in America's aristocracy, our international corporate boards, as being dominant over the aristocracies of all other countries, and as being the actual controllers over virtually all of the world's actually enforced governmental policies regarding labor rights, environmental protection, product safety, antimonopoly regulations, and all other concerns regarding the safety and welfare of the general public -- all being subordinated then to these newly formed international corporate boards of essentially aristocratic international dictators, using the rubric of advancing "free trade" or international libertarianism, basically free-market extremism, the aristocracy's ideology that lets the wealthiest rule over politics everywhere. The current ethnic cleansing in Ukraine, which is aimed to drive out the ethnic Russian population from there, is part of this plan, so as to be able to turn the screws harder against the European Union by cutting off energy supplies (oil and gas) from Russia, that's pipelined through Ukraine to Europe, thereby forcing the EU to allow tar sands oil in from Alberta Canada, 40% of which is owned by the Koch brothers, the rest of it being owned mainly by Chevron-Texaco, Exxon-Mobil, and other large international oil companies (mostly U.S. but also Dutch, British, and French), cutting out Russia altogether.
The lie in which Mr. Froman was caught here was his response to a letter that had been sent to him by 21 Democrats, who are consequently the only people who should even be in the running for the 2016 U.S. Presidential contest, and all 21 of these honestly pro-democratic politicians are Democrats in the U.S. Senate and House (so, let's hope that one of them runs in Democratic primaries against the corrupt Hillary Clinton). These 21 Senators and Congresspersons are: Sheldon Whitehhouse, Barbara Boxer, Ed Markey, Dick Durbin, Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren, Henry Waxman, John Conyers, Barbara Lee, Raul Grijalva, Rush Holt, Louise Slaughter, Jerrold Nadler, Judy Chu, Peter DeFazio, Anne Eshoo, Sam Farr, Peter Welch, Alan Lowenthal, Mark Pocan, and Steve Cohen. These political leaders who cared enough to express their concerns about these matters and request answers, wrote to the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Mr. Froman on 20 December 2013, regarding, as their letter put it:
the United States Trade Representative's position on the European Union's Fuel Quality Directive (FQD). Recent reports suggest that USTR has pressed the European Commission to alter its proposed treatment of tar sands crude oil in the FQD. If these reports are accurate, USTR's actions could undercut the EU's commendable goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its transportation sectors. This would be contrary to the principles of the Obama Administration's Climate Action Plan and would reflect a short-sighted view of the United States' economic interests. ... Just shifting from the average crude to tar sands crude in the amount that would be carried by the Keystone XL pipeline would raise U.S. carbon pollution by 1215 million metric tons over the next 50 years. ... This single source of tar sands products, therefore, could produce more than $70 billion in additional damages associated with climate change over 50 years, the costs of which will be partially borne by U.S. businesses and investments worldwide. According to the World Trade Organization, the United States raised the FQD at the October 2013 meeting of the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee. The U.S., along with Canada, "argued that all globally-traded petroleum products should be treated without discrimination [i.e., that dirty fuels be priced the same as clean ones]. ... These reports are troubling. A policy of pressuring the EU to alter its FQD would be inconsistent with the goals of the Administration's Climate Action Plan. ... We request that you provide us a statement of USTR's position on the EU's Fuel Quality Directive.
Evidently, Froman's response turned out to be a lie, because then on 9 July 2014 a group of them , 11 of the original 21, sent a follow-up letter, and its signatories were: Whitehouse, Boxer, Markey, Warren, DeFazio, Eshoo, Farr, Lee, Grijalva, Chu, and Lowenthal:
Your response, dated February 14, 2014, acknowledged that USTR had raised concerns about the EU process for developing regulations, but also stated "USTR is not pressing the European Commission for any particular treatment of crude oil under the FQD." Recent reporting suggests that U.S. authorities did formally express to the EU Directorate-General for Energy (DG Energy) substantive concerns about the FQD proposal and its treatment of different types of crude oil.
They had caught him in a lie, and wanted to help get him out of it, or else they might go more public about it.
Here is background of their concern: On Thursday 5 June 2014, Reuters had headlined "EU proposal scraps mandatory 'dirty' label for tar sands," and reported that:
Canada, oil majors and the refining industry have fiercely opposed EU plans to label tar sands as highly polluting. In the context of the Russia/Ukraine crisis and fears about European energy security, Canada argues Europe should be embracing its oil as a secure form of energy. "We don't see the crisis in Ukraine as simply an opportunity to market Canadian products, but obviously we're deeply engaged in a discussion with our allies on how we can make sure that globally our energy supplies are secure and stable," Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters after G7 talks in Brussels on Thursday.
The resulting draft proposal for inclusion in TTIP left "Higher value for tar sands retained, but voluntary," so that sellers like the Kochs wouldn't be required to indicate where the oil they sell comes from -- they'll be permitted to say or not say, if they want to. Consequently, "European Union policymakers propose to scrap a mandatory requirement to label oil from tar sands as more polluting than other forms of crude following years of lobbying."
President Obama's February 2014 coup d'etat in Kiev that overthrew the freely and democratically elected President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych and that installed a nazi government in its place, which is now ethnically cleansing the southeastern region of Ukraine that had given Yanukovych his votes, has caused Russia to threaten Ukraine with a cut-off of Russia's gas, and with a Russisn demand for immediate payment of the overdue $2 billion on Ukraine's previous gas-bill; and this, in turn, has produced frenzy in Europe, which imports Russian gas through a Ukrainian pipeline: how to replace their possibly soon-to-be-terminated Russian energy-source. Consequently, Obama's Ukrainian ploy is turning the screws on the EU, to force them to accept Obama's terms, and so to abolish their environmental fuel-standards -- to make them voluntary (which would effectively eliminate them).
On 21 March 2014, Reuters bannered, "Russia's Medvedev says Ukraine owes Russia $16 billion," and presented a breakdown of Ukraine's debts to Russia: $2 billion to Gazprom, "$3 billion for a recent loan in the form of Russian purchase of Eurobonds," and "$11 billion because the treaty under which Russia provides Ukraine with cheap gas in return for the Sevastopol naval base was 'subject to denunciation'," but the latter -- the $11 billion portion -- was now questionable since the residents of Crimea voted overwhelmingly to restore Crimea to Russia (of which it had been a part until 1954). This still would leave at least $5 billion in Ukrainian debt to Russia, however. The U.S. (according to Obama's representative ruling Ukraine, Victoria Nuland, on 13 December 2013) was owed "more than 5 billion dollars" by the now new leaders, the racist anti-Russian fascists whom she was installing there; and, consequently, by the racist fascist whom she was installing to lead them as Ukraine's new Prime Minister, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, who promptly paid two billion dollars to the U.S. Federal Reserve as soon as he was installed.
As I previously reported, the U.S. received that big payoff from the coup within less than two weeks of his installation. A Right Sector (that's one of their two nazi parties) official Stepan Kubiv was appointed on February 24th, right after the overthrow of Yanukovych, as Chairman of the National Bank of Ukraine, Ukraine's Ben Bernanke. He was chosen by Yatsenyuk, who was the person chosen by Nuland, who was the person chosen by Hillary Clinton and then by John Kerry, who were the people chosen by President Obama, to arrange this. Previously, Nuland had been Vice President Dick Cheney's top foreign-policy advisor; so, Obama knew he was getting a solid fascist in her. Then, on 7 March 2014, "more than 40 heavy boxes" of gold were reported to have been secretly flown from the National Bank of Ukraine to the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank's sub-basement at 33 Liberty Street off Wall Street, in the early morning hours of March 7th. This gold would constitute about $2 billion being paid to the U.S. toward the Ukrainian nazis' $5+ billion debt to the U.S. for installing Kubiv and his colleagues in control of Ukraine. Ukraine's total "official gold holdings" as of March 2014 were 42.3 tons. This tonnage was unchanged from the month before. So, based on the official numbers, that's what would have been constituting the cargo aboard this flight to NYC. If each one of those "heavy boxes" contained exactly one ton, then it would make sense that "more than 40 heavy boxes" were boarded onto that flight. The first report of this alleged shipment was by Russia's iskra-news.info, on March 7th. Later that same day, Marcus Brooks of NewsWire-24 headlined "Ukrainian Gold Reserves Loaded on an Unidentified Transport Aircraft in Kiev's Borispol Airport and Flown to Uncle Sam's Vault." He wrote: "A source in the Ukrainian government confirmed that the transfer of the gold reserves of Ukraine to the United States was ordered by the acting [now permanent] P[rime] M[inister] Arseny Yatsenyuk." Then, on March 10th, the Gold Anti-Trust Acton Committee asked the Federal Reserve system "whether the United States has taken custody of Ukraine's gold reserves" and never received back a response. That same day, the zerohedge blog posted a commentary closing: "We hope, for their sake, they weren't also just 'liberated' of all their gold, which after a brief stay 80 feet below the surface at 33 Liberty, will promptly find its way either to the Bundesbank, or to the billionaire oligarchs, based either in London or elsewhere, and currently in charge of 'post-liberation' Ukraine." But actually, it stayed at 33 Liberty Street.