Will Transatlantic Corporate Deal Be Boon to Fracking Expansion?

A massive trade deal under negotiation between the U.S. and EU could bolster oil giants’ efforts to expand fracking on both sides of the Atlantic through NAFTA-style secret corporate tribunals.

This is according to a report released Thursday by Friends of the Earth Europe ahead of the fourth round of negotiations on the Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement. Entitled , the study looks at the implications of a proposed clause that calls for a repeat of NAFTA’s corporate-friendly courts, in which corporations extra-judicially “settle disputes” with governments behind closed doors.

“Put simply, this puts profits before people, democracy and the planet.”
—Antoine Simon, Friends of the Earth Europe

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Known as the ‘investor-state dispute settlement’ mechanism (ISDS), the clause would establish these corporate-friendly tribunals for companies to claim damages. According to Pia Eberhardt of Corporate Europe Observatory, this would amount to a “power grab from corporations – to rein in democracy and policies to protect people and the planet. This system cannot be tamed – it must be abandoned.”

A summary of the report outlines potential implications: