It’s being reported by the IPS News Agency documents suggest the U.S. government is trying to prevent a landmark regulatory proposal in the European Union aimed at addressing climate change.
Environmentalists, working off of documents released through open government requests, say U.S. trade representatives are responding to frustrations voiced by the oil and gas industry. U.S. and E.U. officials are in Brussels for the sixth round of talks towards what would be the world’s largest free-trade area, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
“These documents show that the U.S. is simply not interested in an open, transparent [negotiation] process,” Bill Waren, a senior trade analyst with Friends of the Earth U.S., a watchdog group, told IPS. “Rather, U.S. representatives have been lobbying on the [E.U. regulatory proposal] in a way that reflects the interests of Chevron, ExxonMobil and others.”
The proposed new regulations around transport fuel emissions are a cause for concern for then oil industry. The European Union first proposed what’s known as the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) in 2009. According to a report released by Friends of the Earth Europe, the sector now appears to have convinced the U.S. government to work to block the implementation of this standard.
“Since the adoption of the revised Fuel Quality Directive in 2009, the international oil companies … petroleum refiners, the Canadian government and the Albertan provincial government have spent enormous resources and used aggressive lobbying tactics to delay and weaken the implementation proposal,” the new report, which is being supported by a half-dozen environmental groups, states.
“The oil industry and the Canadian government … are afraid that the FQD could set a precedent by recognizing and labeling tar sands as highly polluting and inspire similar legislation elsewhere.”