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The Pipeline Strikes Back: The Audacity of TransCanada's $15B Suit Against the U.S


#1

The Pipeline Strikes Back: The Audacity of TransCanada's $15B Suit Against the U.S.

Jim Shultz

In case you didn’t notice, the new blockbuster Star Wars film, The Force Awakens, ends pretty much the same way the first one did when it came out in the summer of 1977. The bad guys build a Death Star machine that can kill whole planets, the good guys fight back with pluck and grit, and, just in the nick of time, destroy the machine.


#2

What kind of American wants to bring back "Taxation Without Representation?'


#3

If TPP and TPIP are approved by the Congress, corporate complaints will be heard in corporate courts, not U.S. courts. http://coloradopublicbanking.blogspot.com/2014/05/the-view-from-top-of-power-pyramid.html


#4

Considering the millions of people who have suffered under NAFTA and other such agreements giving the power and wealth of the people to the corporate greed that has no consideration for any of the people, except as low wage slaves making garbage that the other slaves are expected to buy, usually through high interest credit cards owned by the same greedy corporations, it should be possible to end it.
* We the People of much of the World argued and fought against the implementation of NAFTA, but the same criminals that are still in power went ahead and approved it over our objections.
* It is time for We the People of the World to disapprove and remove NAFTA, TPP, TIPP, and all the other ripoffs that the criminal Powers That Be have approved or are in the midst of approving even as I write.
* We the People should be the shepherds, tending and protecting the sheep, we should not be the sheep being led into the abattoir by the nice Judas Goat with the bell around its neck.
;-})


#5

These treaties are the most obscene forms of costs externalization possible!

They involve ZERO Democracy.

They ONLY grant profits to corporate behemoths.

The COSTS in the form of lost jobs, raped lands, and massive ecological plunder causes death, loss of habitat, and slow forms of poisoning.

And THIS is what imbeciles in Congress argue for? Granted, the Big Money interests use lobbyists and all sorts of perks to seduce congress critters into voting in favor of these travesties.

Decisions that impact a lot of people should be determined by them.

Now, with the advent of such efficient computer technology, it would not be diffidult to obtain public referendums.

These bastards are passing treaties that will force average persons not just to pick up the pieces every time an oil train derails, or a mountain of coal slurry collapses, or a river or water table ends up polluted by fracking detritus...

It will also force working citizens (most who struggle to pay bills and are yet to feel secure with health CARE) to pay for any business plans that are NOT allowed to move forward ... largely due to the impacts they'll have on sentient beings.

This is a classic--The People LOSE any way the contract is defined!

THIS is what the oligarchs have planned after spreading wars and weapons, polluting so many waterways, likely letting that lethal mosquito loose in Brazil, and pushing most of the world's wealth up into the hands of those who have thousands of times more than what THEY need while billions starve!


#6

I'm afraid the bar has fallen a little further here at CD with this article, and I cordially blow the whistle.

The 'audacity' of TransCanda? More like the 'common sense' of TransCanda. The real audacity is “Investor State Dispute Settlement” of NAFTA, and the trade agreements themselves. TransCanada is merely looking for 'money for nothing and cheques for free,' which the law allows them to. If I were TransCanada, I'd do the exact same thing.

TransCanada (playing the role of the Empire) sought to build a metal tunnel from Alberta to the Gulf Coast to transport oil from the Canadian tar sands. The pipeline, not unlike a Death Star, threatened the planet because it would have amped up carbon emissions and quickened the pace of global climate change.

I'll let you in on a little secret: that oil makes it's way out of Alberta anyways, pipelines or not. It goes by truck and train, which we've seen is more dangerous and probably more environmentally harmful than the proposed pipeline would be. The numbers are down in accordance with the price of Western Canadian Select, but the big wheels keep rolling even now. Not 'pro-Keystone,' per se, but pro common sense as far as it can be discerned.

For years, the reason governments have given for granting multinational corporations such enormous legal power was that the companies needed it to protect against seizure of their assets. TransCanada’s claim, however, is not about U.S. soldiers showing up with guns at a pipeline and declaring ownership; it’s about a reasonable political choice to protect the planet’s climate.

Soldiers showing up? Did this scenario cross the NAFTA stooges' minds? Maybe "the reason governments have given for granting multinational corporations such enormous legal power," has been because that's what the corporations PAID THEM TO DO! A little more plausible. As far as protecting the planet's climate, again... that oil is now on the road and on the rails anyways. Stopping a pipeline stops not much.

International investment rules like these undermine democracy and the right of nations to freely choose their futures, which makes it all the more a mystery why the Obama Administration wants to supersize the system with the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

There is no mystery, JImmy. It's because Dr.Hope&Change Obama is openly and obviously a corporate stooge. Anyone with their eyes half-open could see that before he even took office.

The United States is no more immune than Bolivia and El Salvador to multibillion-dollar raids on its treasury any time a change in public policy runs afoul of a company’s plan for profits.

Under NAFTA... not really. These decisions almost always go in the US' favor. Facts, Jimmy! They're huge! I'd expect TransCanada will get shot down in the tribunals as Canadian and Mexican interests usually do. TTP could be a different story as we're in a different world now compared to the early nineties, and at least attention is drawn to this abomination.

I may have been a little harsh in my analysis, I should recall this article was originally written for YES! Magazine. How YES! material is suitable for CD, as Yoda would say, "I know not."


#7

Don't forget lost sovereignty and a community's right to self-determination! :wink:


#8

While I whole-heartedly agree, I feel it's worth pointing out that it would not be difficult to manipulate the results of referendums either. "This referendum powered by Diebold."


#9

It is curious that the proponents of free trade, entrepreneurism, and its bastard child capital investment always make a big deal about the risk and uncertainty inherent in the system. They hold this up like a badge of courage and righteousness and as proof of the system's neutral benevolence toward the progress of human endeavor. Their world is made of winners and losers, and for many of its highest rollers it is "lost today, but I'll win tomorrow." And it is OK as long as they lose to their peers, as this doesn't upset the "sanctity" of the system.

So it is appropriate to ask: If it is Ok to risk and lose much to your down-and-dirty competitive neighbor in your gated community in a "it's just business" environment, where is the moral ,legal - and above all - common sense justification for compensation for losses taken due to risks inherent in the fact that they do not operate in a vacuum, separated somehow from the rest of humanity?