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The Obama administration is pushing a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit that is our best hope of stopping TransCanada’s nearly finished southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline.

Texas landowner Mike Bishop – a former Marine who has been representing himself in court – scored a major victory earlier this week, when a judge moved forward his case alleging that the Army Corps of Engineers illegally granted permits to TransCanada without conducting public hearings or a study of the water risk of a worst-case pipeline leak.

But instead of standing up to protect Mike Bishop, other landowners, and all Americans who are threatened by Keystone XL, the administration is trying to dismiss the case and throw these concerns under the bus for the private benefit of TransCanada.

In the wake of the Obama administration’s challenge, we need to show we stand with Mike Bishop, and urge President Obama to do the same.

Tell President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers: Drop the case against Mike Bishop’s legal challenge and protect Americans from Keystone XL.

It is simply astonishing that the president has not only allowed TransCanada to move ahead with the southern, export portion of Keystone XL – it issued an executive order expediting the process.

Now the southern portion is almost finished and nearly operational. And the Obama administration permitted the pipeline, despite holding no public hearings on the route, or conducting any studies on the project’s threat to major waterways – as was done in Nebraska with the northern portion of the pipeline.

TransCanada has seized land from Bishop, and countless other landowners in Texas and Oklahoma under eminent domain – which is supposed to be used for projects that benefit the public good.

But the Oklahoma to Texas portion of Keystone XL is specifically designed to export tar sands oil overseas – to the benefit of TransCanada and other private oil companies, at the expense of our land, water and climate. The Obama administration should absolutely conduct an analysis of the damage to our water from pipeline spills, and hold public hearings, before it makes a decision on whether to allow TransCanada to start operating the southern portion of Keystone XL.

Tell President Obama and the Army Corps of Engineers: Drop the case against Mike Bishop’s legal challenge and protect Americans from Keystone XL.

1. “Texas Farmer Wins Entry of Default in Keystone Lawsuit,” Bloomberg, 11/6/13
2. Landowners against TransCanada Pipeline Statement 11/8/13

(via Tell the Obama administration: Drop your court challenge of Texas Landowner Mike Bishop | CREDO Action)

Stop this massive corporate power grab.
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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a terrible “trade” deal being negotiated in secret by the governments of a dozen countries (including ours) colluding with corporate interests.

Under the TPP, more American jobs would be offshored. Internet freedom would be a joke. Developing countries would lose access to lifesaving medicines. Unsafe foods and products could pour into our country. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Our best shot to stop the TPP is right now.

The enactment of the TPP will hinge upon the passage of so-called “fast-track trade authority,” which would allow the president to sign off on the TPP before the American people or Congress ever have a chance to read it.

A fast-track bill was introduced in Congress yesterday. So we need to speak out today.

Tell Congress: Say NO to fast-track trade authority.

You might think such a far-reaching proposal as the TPP would be subject to intense public debate. But the text of the proposed deal is considered classified by our government and even members of Congress have been given extremely limited access to it.

Yet, while the government has kept the public and Congress largely in the dark about the TPP, it has given 600 corporate advisers access to the full text of the proposal.

We know the little we do know about the deal because drafts of some of its chapters have been leaked. And what we know isn’t pretty.

A draft of the “intellectual property rights” chapter of the TPP was leaked recently, and according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, it “reflects a terrible but unsurprising truth: an agreement negotiated in near-total secrecy, including corporations but excluding the public, comes out as an anti-user wish list of industry-friendly policies.”1

That’s only one chapter, when there are many other chapters that haven’t been leaked.

The first stage in the plan to pass the TPP is a big push for Congress to pass fast-track trade authority, which would short-circuit the typical legislative process when trade deals like the TPP come up for a vote.

Pressured by giant corporate interests that stand to make huge amounts of money on the deal, and faced with a public that has purposefully been kept ignorant about this deal, it’s not hard to see how the TPP could be rammed through Congress if fast-track trade authority is in place.

Tell Congress: Say NO to fast-track trade authority.

Fast-track trade authority would allow the president to sign a trade deal before Congress has an opportunity to approve it. Then the president could send it to Congress with the guarantee that it would get an up-or-down vote within 90 day.

Fast track would mean there would be no meaningful hearings, limited debate and absolutely no amendments to the deal. And there would be tremendous pressure on Congress to rubberstamp anything the president signs.

The recently leaked drafter chapter is a huge red flag about the kind of terrible policies the Obama administration wants to include in the TPP.

The Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority over trade. And it would be a deeply irresponsible abdication of responsibility for Congress to pass fast track when we know the TPP is coming down the pike, especially when we know the consequences of the TPP could be disastrous.

It’s the job of Congress to fully vet trade deals and ensure they work for everyone, not just giant corporations.

Tell Congress: Say NO to fast-track trade authority.

Thank you for speaking out. Your activism matters.

1TPP Leak Confirms the Worst: US Negotiators Still Trying to Trade Away Internet Freedoms,” Electronic Frontier Foundation, Nov. 13, 2013.