Take Action! Take Fracking Out of Our Trade Agreements
The United States is currently negotiating an expansive new free trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, with Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. Eventually, every Pacific Rim nation may be included.
The Sierra Club is deeply concerned about the lack of transparency in the TPP negotiations and the environmental implications agreement. Here's why:
1.Extreme Secrecy. The TPP is taking place extreme secrecy. No drafts of TPP texts have been released. And public input has been drowned out by dominant corporate input; more than 600 corporate advisors have access to the negotiating text while the public -- even Members of Congress -- are being kept in the dark. In response, a broad civil society coalition has pushed back to end the secrecy, rallying outside the negotiations to promote public discourse about the important issues at stake, and in the US, persuading USTR to open up the process.
2.Unfettered rights to corporations. Every indication is that the TPP will include provisions that give corporations the right to sue a government for unlimited cash compensation -- in private and not-transparent tribunals -- over any law or regulation that a corporation argues is hurting its expected future profits. Using similar rules in other free trade agreements, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched than 500 cases against 95 governments. Dozens of cases attack common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices. Read more here about how harmful investment rules included in other trade pacts have led to the attack of climate and environmental policies.
3.Increase in dirty fracking. The TPP may allow for significantly increased exports of liquefied natural gas without the careful study or adequate protections necessary to safeguard the American public. This would mean an increase of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the dirty and violent process that dislodges gas deposits from shale rock formations. It would also likely cause an increase in natural gas and electricity prices, impacting consumers, manufacturers, workers, and increasing the use of dirty coal power. Read our factsheet on the TPP and natural gas exports here!
• Read our factsheet to learn more about the TPP.