This week on the third floor of the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, corporate and state negotiators are concocting a secretive multinational agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The TPP recreates the worst elements of the North American Free Trade Agreement, selling out workers, destroying our environment and consolidating wealth amongst the world’s wealthiest people. It’s a trade negotiation amongst 12 Pacific countries that eviscerates local democracies in favor of transnational corporate control of our lives.
The TPP would be a permanent power grab by corporations and their financiers, and, among its many ramifications, the agreement could fast track fracking for shale gas in the United States by expediting unrestricted liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports.
The expansion of fracking and LNG infrastructure would be a major setback for meaningful action on climate change. “If what we’re trying to do is stop using the sky as a waste dump for our carbon pollution, and if we’re trying to transform our energy system, the way to do that is not by expanding our fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Ken Caldeira, an atmospheric scientist at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.
While the secretive trade negotiations at the Grand America are developing the legal framework, on the other side of town, the Bureau of Land Management is auctioning off Utah lands to fracking corporations who will pollute our water, destabilize our climate, and ship fracked gas off to export terminals like the proposed Jordan Cove terminal in Coos Bay, OR.
And it gets worse.
As President Obama publicly promises to curb carbon emissions, his top trade official is pushing for tar sands industry handouts and influence in the highly secretive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, launching attacks on European Union tar sands regulations that climate justice groups say are already insufficient.
Here in Utah, we know that these corporate handouts are an attack on our land, water, air, and democracy. And we will fight them with joy and resolve.
Today in Salt Lake City there will be a demonstration held at the southwest corner of 200 South and 400 West at 10:30 AM to draw connections between the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as oil and gas extraction and export.
Community members will be gathering for a rally following a march from the BLM headquarters at 440 West 200 South carrying banners, eventually culminating at the Out of the Shadows Press Conference.
Tonight at the Pride Center, join Peace Up and Arthur Stamoulis with Citizens Trade Campaign to discuss what the Trans-Pacific Partnership has worked hard to hide. Click here for more details at the event’s page.