Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

Expert contact: Ben Schreiber, (202) 222-0752, bschreiber@foe.org
Communications contact: Kate Colwell, (202) 222-0744, kcolwell@foe.org

Press Release

Advocates for Public Health and Environment Chide Rep. Blumenauer for Trade Vote

Groups launch TV ad buy in Portland, Ore. and Washington, D.C. condemning Rep. Blumenauer’s trade vote
WASHINGTON -

Today Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace began running television advertisements in Portland, Ore. and Washington, D.C. condemning Representative Blumenauer’s (D-Ore.) endorsement of the ‘fast track’ Trade Promotion Authority bill -- legislation that would expedite approval of large trade agreements being negotiated by the Obama administration;the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

On April 16, fast track legislation sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Ways and Means Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) was introduced. Representative Blumenauer came out in support of Fast Track in a joint op-ed with Senator Wyden in The Oregonian. Representative Blumenauer then joined Representative Ron Kind (D-Wis.) as the only two Democrats to vote for the bill in the House Ways and Means Committee.

“Representative Blumenauer has been an important champion on climate change and the environment, but he is wrong on trade,” said Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica. “There’s a fundamental disconnect between supporting free trade and addressing climate change, eliminating cancer-causing chemicals from products and protecting our food supply. We can’t have ‘environmental champions’ supporting a bad trade deal.”

The groups are concerned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership would require the Department of Energy to automatically approve natural gas exports to countries in the deal, which would lead to more fracking around the U.S. and more greenhouse gas emissions. The deals could also strip away government control of energy exports, potentially encouraging more trade of oil and coal.

“Simply put: a vote for fast track is a vote to accelerate the inherently environmentally dangerous practice of fracking for natural gas,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “Rep. Blumenauer voted to give foreign oil and gas companies powerful new trade litigation tools to go after the growing grassroots movement to ban fracking in statehouses, county seats and municipalities across the country."

Particularly contentious are provisions that would allow corporations to sue governments for millions or billions of dollars in ‘damages’ in secretive international tribunals if environmental and health regulations frustrate their business plans and erode their anticipated future earnings.

“Scientists tell us that we need to keep 80 percent of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground,” said Greenpeace Executive Director, Annie Leonard. “There is no way that we are going to be able to achieve this rapid phase-out of the use of coal, oil, and gas if Rep. Blumenauer and other decision-makers vote in favor off an international bill of rights for nationless companies like Shell, BP and Exxon.”

###

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

'Do Better,' Say Advocates as Biden Seeks to Double Refugee Admissions

"When thousands of Afghans have been forced to flee their home to find safety, and Haitians are seeking safety on the southern border, the very least the United States can do is set a resettlement goal that meets the moment."

Brett Wilkins ·


Border Patrol Accused of 'Unfathomable Cruelty' for Cracking Whips on Haitians

"It doesn't matter if a Democrat or Republican is president, our immigration system is designed for cruelty towards and dehumanization of immigrants," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brett Wilkins ·


As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims 'Minnesota Climate Week,' Ilhan Omar Says 'Stop Line 3'

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

Kenny Stancil ·


Supreme Court Announces Date for Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

"The fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion is on the line."

Julia Conley ·


Avi Lewis Hoping Canadians' Climate Concerns Deliver Electoral 'Upset of Epic Proportions'

"We need to send Avi to Ottawa to shake up the entire political establishment, including his own party, and tip the scales in favor of people and the planet," said environmentalist David Suzuki.

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo