The TPP Would Force Canada to Continue LNG Exports Regardless of Environmental Consequences

If/when Harpo and his energy industry hacks sign the proposed free trade agreement is called the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) it means that Canada would be forever ceding its ability to manage its own natural gas resources. It also means that even if Canadian exports are found to harm the economy and the environment - and there is every indication they would - Canada will still be forced to send natural gas overseas to their TPP partners without any review or delay.

The TPP stipulates that instead of going through Canadian courts, foreign investors who believe they haven’t been treated “fairly” can sue the Canadian government under the auspices of an international arbitration panel. This type of clause isn't novel, NAFTA has a similar clause that's right now being invoked by Lone Pine Resources, a Delaware-incorporated oil and gas firm with operations in Canada, who have filed notice of its intent to sue Canada for $250 million under NAFTA's clause over Quebec’s moratorium on fracking.

The US government is facing a backlash from many states that are also worried that the TPP would override their legal rights. For instance Wyoming, hardly a left-wing bastion, is in court demanding that the now secret formulas of the fracking fluids being used by the gas industry be revealed before fracking can continue in the state. Wyoming's concerns are based on the results of contaminated groundwater in and around fracking facitities saying, in part, that liability can't be proven if the fracking fluid's components can't be shown to be the source of the contamination. So upon the US adopting the TPP Wyoming, and other states, would have their rights over-ridden without recourse.

All across the US health concerns are coming to light now that fracking has been going on long enough for them to be seen. As Sandra Steingraber, a distinguished scholar in residence at Ithaca College and founder of Concerned Health Professionals of NY says, “What they’re finding in Pennsylvania are people with rashes, nosebleeds, people with serious abdominal pain and so on. In general, we need better data on all this, and the problem is that fracking got rolled out across the landscape without any advanced health studies being done.” If/when the US adopts the TPP no health or environmental restrictions of any kind will be allowed to stand in the way of energy exports.

Adding this abdication of sovereignty to the long list of problems BC's LNG export fantasy faces in shipping, transporting, fugitive methane leaks [which recent studies have shown that burning fracked gas up to 30 times more environmentally damaging than burning coal], water contamination, long term liability costs and Site C construction makes a person wonder why both of BC's main political parties support this bogus boondoggle.