01:17 GMT +312 November 2019
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    People protesting the TPP look at other protesters, as they rally to advocate for an increase in pay to $15 USD per hour, as part of a Fight for $15 labor effort on Capitol Hill April 22, 2015 in Washington

    Trans-Pacific Partnership Could Bring Environmental Disaster, Activists Say

    © AFP 2019 / BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI
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    Environmentalist groups argue that the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade deal between the U.S. and several Asian countries, would pose numerous threats to the environment and allow corporations to sue governments for trying to limit industries from polluting the air.

    Activists are alarmed at the environmental damage the TPP may cause.

    “Creating a corporate bill of rights to protect investors is incredibly undermining to our ability to protect the environment,” Ben Schreiber, the climate and energy program director for Friends of the Earth, told Think Progress.

    The Senate voted Tuesday against fast-tracking the deal, which would have allowed the Obama administration to present the TPP to Congress as a straight up and down vote.

    Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other environmentalists have publically denounced the TPP.

    Supporters of the deal, however, argue that it’s a step in the right direction for the global economy.

    “Any sort of general purpose environmental law or regulation that a government wants to enact will not be successfully litigated,” Josh Meltzer, a global development fellow at the Brookings Institute, told Think Progress.

    Opponents fear the TTP would lead to legal battles questioning governments’ abilities to limit pollution.

    Last year, the American mining company Lone Pine Resources sued the Canadian province of Quebec for passing a ban on fracking, which it says cost the company $250 million, a lost that Quebec was liable for under the North American Free Trade Agreement. This lawsuit is ongoing.

    In another lawsuit, Chevron alleged that Ecuadorian activists defrauded the company after it was ordered to pay $18.2 billion in damages for environmental contamination.

    Following Tuesday’s vote, the Senate has put the fast-track option back on the table on Thursday. 

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    free trade zone, free trade, trade, environment, Chevron, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ben Schreiber, Washington, DC
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