If you are looking for yet another category of environmental information that the U.S. public is not allowed to know about, try international trade agreements.
A recent court decision — one that got little attention from the news media — upheld the federal government's authority to keep secret some information about the health and environmental impacts of trade treaties. A federal appeals court on June 7, 2013, overturned a lower court's ruling in favor of openness. The case was Center for International Environmental Law v. U.S. Trade Representative. The Center had sought a document outlining the U.S. position on how health and environment in the U.S. would be affected by the Trans-Pacific Partnership, now being negotiated.
The whole dispute is clearly explained in a recent article by the Center for Effective Government (formerly OMB Watch), which includes links to further information.
- "Transparency and Trade Agreements: If the Public Wouldn't Like It, Don't Sign It," Center for Effective Government, July 2, 2013.