The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a massive free trade agreement being negotiated between the United States and ten countries across the Pacific Ocean. Despite the huge impact the agreement would have on the environment, economy, and more, the TPP is being negotiated in near complete secrecy with very little input from the public.
Despite the secrecy surrounding the negotiations, there is a lot we do know about how this pact if completed and approved by Congress would impact our climate and environment.
First, a leaked version of one of the chapters on investment confirms that the TPP will include provisions that give corporations the right to sue a government for unlimited cash compensation, in a private tribunal over nearly any law or regulation that a corporation argues is hurting its expected future profits. While that sounds impossible, to date, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched more than 518 cases against 95 governments using similar rules in other NAFTA-style agreements. Many of these cases directly attack environmental and climate policies policies, such as efforts to phase-out toxic chemicals, stop dangerous mining practices, or reduce reliance on coal and nuclear energy.
"These coal trains threaten the health of our communities, the strength of our economies, and the environmental and cultural heritage we share," said Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn. "We will stand together to stop the coal trains."
Statement on the State Senate 2013-2015 Capital Budget
The Washington State Senate's capital budget proposal misses key opportunities to invest in natural resource projects that create jobs and benefit all communities across the state by cleaning up Puget Sound and other waterways, protecting communities against forest fires and landslides, and promoting outdoor recreation. Washington state deserves more. We need more investment from our legislature in communities across the state. Key points on environmental issues in the Senate's proposed capital budget:
On this Earth Day, come and celebrate the release of Kate Davies' new book, The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement. This is the first book to offer a comprehensive examination of the environmental health movement, which unlike mainstream environmentalism, focuses on protecting human health and well-being from toxic chemicals and other hazardous agents. By placing human health at the center of its argument, this movement has achieved many victories in community activism and legislative reform. In The Rise of the U.S. Environmental Health Movement, Kate describes the movement's historical, cultural and ideological roots and analyzes its strategies and successes. By examining what works, this book provides insights into what social movements can do to advance positive social change.
Journey into the Northwest's legendary Elwha River Valley to discover the people, places, and history behind the world's largest dam removal project, an unprecedented bet on the power of nature. Featuring national award-winning science reporting from The Seattle Times and published by The Mountaineers Books, Elwha: A River Reborn is based on extensive interviews, field work, copious historical research and rare period images, and photography conducted over 16 years and continuing today. Getting cold, wet, and dirty, author Lynda Mapes and photographer Steve Ringman made trip after trip into the back country of the Olympics with scientists to learn how the Elwha River Valley ticks.
Governor-request and Environmental Priority legislation would convene state leaders to address climate change; now heads to Governor's desk for signature
OLYMPIA, Wash., March 25, 2013 - Governor Inslee's Climate Action bill (SB 5802) passed the State House today on a bipartisan 61 to 32 vote. The bill previously passed the State Senate (37 to 12) and now heads to Governor Inslee's desk for signature. SB 5802 is sponsored by Senator Kevin Ranker.
"The Governor's climate action bill keeps our state in the game - requiring leaders to map out a strategy to grow our clean energy economy and reduce climate pollution," said Joan Crooks, executive director of Washington Environmental Council and co-chair of the Environmental Priorities Coalition. "By taking smart and responsible action now, we position Washington to be economically competitive in the 21st century."
It's an exciting day for Washington. President Obama just designated the San Juan Islands one of five new National Monuments!
Spanning the nation, each of these beloved sites -- from the Rio Grande del Norte in NM, and the San Juan Islands in Washington state, to the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument in Maryland and the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Ohio -- represent a unique part of the American story.
These new national monuments will protect a diverse set of culturally and historically significant sites for all Americans to explore and enjoy. They'll also generate significant economic opportunities for surrounding local communities.
Friends, it is with great sadness that we report our beloved Washington State Sierra Club Chapter Chair, Andrew Lewis, passed away suddenly on February 23, 2013. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife of 21 years, Maaike Bakker, and their 18-year-old son, Peter. Please visit our page devoted to Andy to read about his extraordinary legacy of service to environmental causes in Washington State, leave your memories, and learn how to make a donation to the Sierra Club in his name.
(Seattle, WA) - Today, Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray released her FY2014 budget plan.
"At a time when too many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet while the climate crisis is raging around us, the last thing any budget should be doing is making things harder for our families and our planet. Budgets are statements about our priorities as a nation -- and Senator Murray's proposal has those priorities right.
Big oil and coal billionaires got their budget yesterday from Paul Ryan. But, today, Patty Murray and her Democratic colleagues in the Senate introduced a plan that reflects the needs of everyone else. This proposal demonstrates a strong commitment to the American clean energy economy, recognizing that investments in clean energy support three times as many jobs as oil and coal. At a time when extreme weather is rapidly becoming the new normal, this budget provides much-needed funding to help the Environmental Protection Agency mitigate climate disruption and keep our air and water clean. And - unlike the Ryan budget - Senator Murray's plan doesn't sacrifice our wild places to do it, providing for no new drilling while fully-funding programs to protect our lands and wildlife.