Canadian pipeline company TransCanada announced Wednesday afternoon it is suing the Obama administration under NAFTA provisions for the U.S. decision last November to reject the unpopular Keystone XL pipeline.
The climate justice movement that successfully pressured the president to reject the mammoth pipeline project responded on Thursday by characterizing the move as “pathetic” and saying the legal argument being deployed by the company underscores the undemocratic nature of so-called “free trade” deals.
“This isn’t going to get the pipeline built, and it is going to remind Americans how many of our rights these agreements give away,” Bill McKibben, 350.org co-founder, said in a statement. “The idea that some trade agreement should force us to overheat the planet’s atmosphere is, quite simply, insane. But the oil industry is so used to always winning that I fear this kind of tantrum is predictable. Corporate power is truly out of control.”
“Corporate power is truly out of control.”
Click Here: camiseta rosario central—Bill McKibben, 350.org
The corporation said it has filed a “filed a Notice of Intent to initiate a claim” under the Investment Chapter of NAFTA—on the grounds that “the denial was arbitrary and unjustified.” Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provisions, which are in thousands of free trade deals, allow corporations to circumvent national legal systems to levy lawsuits in parallel tribunals if state actions threaten their profits.
“TransCanada has been unjustly deprived of the value of its multibillion-dollar investment by the U.S. administration’s action,” said the firm, announcing it is seeking a stunning $15 billion in damages.
“With a single press release, TransCanada has proven what concerned citizens have argued for decades—that the primary purpose of ISDS is to subvert democratic processes and the public interest, in the name of private profit,” Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, said on Thursday. “It has demonstrated to the citizens of the United States, and the world, why these provisions have no place in new trade agreements.”
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