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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contacts: Masada Disenhouse masada@sandiego350.org 619-277-4594
 
Climate Change and Environmental Leaders Call on Congressman Scott Peters to Oppose Fast Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Say Rep. Peters’ continued national leadership on climate change and environment is gravely needed

La Jolla - On Wednesday afternoon, May 27, nearly one hundred San Diegans and speakers representing leading San Diego climate change and environmental organizations gathered at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in La Jolla, a world class climate change research institution in Congressman Peters’ district, to highlight significant and worrying problems associated with the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They called on Congressman Peters to put the health and prosperity of San Diegans ahead of corporate special interests by opposing a bill that would fast track the TPP.

“Scientists have been crystal clear - we must reduce carbon pollution to prevent climate impacts that threaten our health, our economy, and our children,” said Masada Disenhouse, co-founder and steering committee member of the climate action organization SanDiego350. “Congressman Peters has been a strong voice for climate action and protecting our environment, and we need him to stand with us today to oppose this corporate-driven trade agreement that is simply incompatible with the clean energy revolution we need in order to stave off climate disaster.”  

Diane Takvorian, executive director of Environmental Health Coalition talked about how the massive trade deal would weaken environmental regulations pertaining to hazardous waste and toxic chemicals . “The TPP is not what our friends and neighbors need or want”, she said, “we’ve seen the results of NAFTA and its broken promises, with workers and residents in Tijuana routinely exposed to toxins and facing unsafe working conditions.”

Davin Widgerow, steering committee member of Sierra Club San Diego said that the Sierra Club is particularly concerned about the now-infamous ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) portion of the agreement, which would allow companies to sue governments to block or weaken climate and environmental laws. “Using similar rules in other free trade agreements, corporations such as Exxon Mobil and Dow Chemical have launched nearly 600 cases against nearly 100 governments. Dozens of these  cases attack common-sense environmental laws and regulations, such as regulations to protect communities and the environment from harmful chemicals or mining practices,” he said.

Participants held large colorful signs that read “Rep. Peters - Lead on Climate”, “TPP -> Climate Change” and “No Fast Track”, among others, and chanted “Scott Peters, you must lead, just say No to TPP” and “Climate action saves the day, Fast track is not the way”.

Speakers also highlighted the secretive nature of the agreement (even members of Congress have only very limited access to the documents) and the history of broken promises and environmental degradation that resulted from NAFTA, a previous trade agreement.

“Lobbyists for Exxon and Shell helped write this terrible trade deal,” said Laurie Sterling Jensen, a local resident and parent in Rep. Peters’ district, “and it shows - the TPP is nothing less than a love letter to fossil fuel companies, and will make it harder for governments around the world to regulate them. Rep. Scott Peters needs to do right by his constituents and vote against the TPP.”

Photos and videos available after the event.
 
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SanDiego350, an all-volunteer, non-profit organization, is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. We work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We are loosely affiliated with 350.org, the international climate organization, whose work inspires us.
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