How NAFTA, FIPA and other investment deals put democracy and the environment at risk.
A U.S.-funded energy firm, Lone Pine Resources, is using investor rights provisions in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to challenge Quebec’s 2011 moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. Lone Pine says the moratorium upsets its right to profit from oil and gas mining in the St. Lawrence Valley, and is asking for $250 million in compensation.
This case proves that trade and investment deals like NAFTA, the proposed Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and Canada’s many Foreign Investment Protection and Promotion Agreements (FIPAs) undermine our basic notions of democracy, threaten needed environmental regulations, and put private profits above the public good. Communities, not private firms, should have the final say on fracking and other projects that threaten water sources, the environment and public health – and there should be no penalty for saying “no.