hat we do: Educate Club members on the nature and history of corporate power and wealth; examine how corporate legal, economic and political power impacts Sierra Club concerns; develop environmental organizing strategies based on asserting the sovereignty of people over corporations.
The Sierra Club has developed great expertise around advocating for environmental laws and regulations, but only recently has begun to examine the ways in which corporations use their power to influence lawmaking and control regulatory agencies. Yet it is in these ways that corporations harm the earth and its inhabitants. All the while, the wealth and power of transnational corporations have grown.
In the U.S., court decisions establishing legal doctrines such as Corporate Personhood have shifted power to corporations over natural persons by giving corporations constitutional protection. Corporations gain further power through international trade and investment rules that treat environmental laws as mere "barriers" to trade.
The consequences of concentrated corporate power are that many corporations despoil our forests, degrade the land, pollute the air and water, and resist public health regulations. Concentrated corporate media ownership limits political debate, the diversity of viewpoints presented, and media access. As a result, corporations wield enormous political and electoral power.
The Confronting Corporate Power Task Force seeks to:
Examine the nature of the corporation from legal, economic, and political perspectives
Explore the history of how corporations acquired such wealth and power
Investigate how corporate power affects Sierra Club concerns
Develop tools that can be used to hold corporations accountable and to redefine the relationship between citizens and corporations
Educate Sierra Club members and citizens about how to use these tools effectively