Energy

Greens: US-EU Trade Agreement Would ‘Sabotage’ Anti-Fracking Movement

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Anti-fracking and environmentalist advocates claim a trade agreement between the U.S. and the European Union will “sabotage” the Paris climate change agreement by forcing countries to become reliant on fracking.

The environmentalist group Friends of the Earth obtained emails from the EU showing how the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TPP) would supposedly degrade the climate deal signed last year in Paris, reports the Washington Examiner. Negotiations on TPP began Monday.

“The proposal calls for eliminating all restrictions on the export of natural gas, which means more fracking in the U.S. and more imports of American fossil fuels to Europe,” Paul de Clerck, a coordinator at Friends of the Earth Europe, told reporters Monday. “This is the opposite of what we need at a time when we know that the vast majority of them need to stay in the ground.”

The group also suggested the trade agreement risks ushering in a “Climate Armageddon” by making natural gas exports between the U.S. and the EU easier to forge.

“The EU proposal would terminate controls on natural gas exports between the U.S. and EU, subvert clean energy programs, and ramp up climate change by encouraging extraction of fossil fuels,” Friends of the Earth analyst Bill Warren said in a statement. “The U.S.-EU trade deal, like the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement now pending before Congress, promises Climate Armageddon.”

Friends of the Earth’s comments run head long into studies showing natural gas has actually reduced greenhouse emissions and helped stimulate economic demand.

One report published by pro-energy group North Texans for Natural Gas, titled “An Energy Revolution: 35 Years of Fracking in the Barnett Shale,” shows the geologic formation around Texas’ Barnett Shale has used fracking to produce more than 15 trillion cubic feet of natural gas since 2003, enough to heat 225 million homes for one year.

In addition, an Energy Information Administration report in May attributed falling carbon emissions to “decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.” Natural gas emits about half the CO2 of coal power. The report estimated roughly 68 percent of the falling carbon emissions are due to the switch from coal to natural gas.

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