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E-M:/ Bonior - Fast Track and our Environment

Title: Bonior - Fast Track and our Environment

Remarks from Congressman Bonior today about fast track
and our environment:
December 5, 2001                                (202) 225-3130         



        "I am proud to stand with my colleagues ... Reps. McDermott, Miller and Doggett ... and the amazing, broad coalition of environmental groups represented here today.  This coalition has come together, because we know that fast track is a bad deal for our environment.

        This is the first time the environmental community has been united in such a strong --- and powerful way --- against a trade vote.  The broad coalition includes the organizations here today:  Friends of the Earth, the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Natural Resources Defense Council, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the World Wildlife Federation.  It also includes the League of Conservation Voters and the National Environmental Trust.  This is truly a watershed alliance, and it speaks to the true danger of this bill.

        This debate is about jobs ... it is about our economy.  But it also is about our environment, and in ways that aren't so obvious.  Passing fast track will give other countries the ability to run rough shod over our environmental protections. 

        In Michigan, the consequences could be startling.  For example, these kinds of bad trade policies would allow a foreign company to come in and bottle up our ground water or water from Lake Superior and ship it overseas ... and we'd be powerless to stop them

--- all because they could claim our environmental protections are impediments to trade.

        Protecting our jobs and protecting our environment, are reasons why this trade vote matters to families in Michigan and everywhere else, and why I'm so vehemently opposed to it. 

        It's about the right we have to protect our land, air and water from foreign companies or governments.  It's about our right to halt the misuse of our lands and rivers.  It's about our sovereignty.  

        This bill will lead to a land and water grab pure and simple.  It's toothless ... insidious ... and corrosive.  It's a sneak attack on our environment.

        It completely fails to protect our domestic laws from foreign lawsuits that could open the door for wide abuses of our rivers, lakes and groundwater.  The threat is real.  The attack is great.  And I, along with my fellow colleagues and environmental leaders here today, say NO more fast track.  Thank you."

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