The European Union’s trade commissioner told the multinational oil company ExxonMobil that a major free trade deal being negotiated with the US would help remove obstacles to fossil fuel development in Africa and South America, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.
At a meeting in Brussels in October 2013, Karel de Gucht told the firm that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could address its concernsabout regulations in developing countries that restrict the company’s activities.
The news emerged as a Greenpeace barricade delayed the resumption of talks between EU and US delegations on the TTIP deal, which both sides hope can be completed before President Obama leaves office next January.
According to minutes of the October meeting, the hour-long conversation focused on shale gas; “geopolitical aspects”; EU plans to label tar sands as high-polluting; and a possible reconversion of ExxonMobil’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the US to export crude to Europe. This would be “costly and may take two-three years,” the minutes said.
Heavily redacted records show that two officials from Exxon’s US and EU regions were present in the room with de Gucht, the then-trade commissioner, Claes Bengtsson, his cabinet member, and two other unidentified individuals. See the rest at