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Mon, 2009-09-28 13:26Brendan DeMelle
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Strike Three: Exelon Leaves Chamber of Commerce Over Climate Stance

Exelon CEO John Rowe announced today that his company will let its membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce lapse, citing the Chamber’s efforts to fight against efforts to curb global warming.

Exelon - the largest electric utility company in the United States - is the third energy company to sever ties with the Chamber of Commerce in the past week, joining Pacific Gas & Electric and PNM Resources.

Rowe announced Exelon’s departure from the Chamber during his keynote address to the annual conference of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).  Rowe explained to the nation’s largest association of energy efficiency experts that the Chamber’s multi-million-dollar campaign against clean energy legislation is incompatible with Exelon’s commitment to climate change leadership. 

“Inaction on climate is not an option,” said Rowe.

Thu, 2009-09-24 12:02Brendan DeMelle
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PNM Resources Leaves U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Slams Stance On Climate

UPDATE: PNM Resources announced today that they are leaving the Chamber of Commerce entirely, not just the board position. See Pete Altman’s report on this explosive news at NRDC’s Switchboard blog.

Here is the new statement from PNM Resources announcing the departure:

At PNM Resources, we see climate change as the most pressing environmental and economic issue of our time. Given that view, and a natural limit on both company time and resources, we have decided that we can be most productive by working with organizations that share our view on the need for thoughtful, reasonable climate change legislation and want to push that agenda forward in Congress. These organizations include the Edison Electric Institute, the association of shareholder-owned electric companies, and the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a group of businesses and environmental organizations of which we are a founding member.

As a result, we have decided to let our membership in the U.S. Chamber lapse when it expires at the end of this year.

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New Mexico-based utility holding company PNM Resources announced this week that the company’s chief executive, Jeff Sterba, has given up his seat on the US Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.  The Chamber has attracted severe criticism lately from some of its member companies due to its backwards stance on global warming.

PNM issued a statement lambasting the Chamber for its recent antics:

“We strongly disagree with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change legislation and particularly reject its recent theatrics calling for a ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ to put the science of climate change on trial. We believe the science is compelling enough to act sooner rather than later, and we support comprehensive federal legislation to meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect customers against unreasonable cost increases,” said PNM Resources spokesman Don Brown.

Wed, 2009-09-23 12:40Brendan DeMelle
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ACCCE Coal Lobby Targeting Key Democrats In Senate Climate Debate

America’s Power Army, the sister organization to the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE), sent an email this week to its Astroturf ‘army’ laying out the coal lobby’s plans to barrage key Democratic targets in the coming weeks to ensure that energy and climate legislation provides sufficient loopholes to maintain the Dirty Coal status quo. 

America’s Power Army, formerly known by the less-militaristic name Americans for Balanced Energy Choices until August 2008, sent its ‘Eye on Washington’ Fall 2009 update from Washington in the form of a slickly-crafted email blast, complete with personalized introduction (Dear [Insert Recipient Name Here] code) and a banner picture of clear skies with just a few wispy white clouds hovering over the Capitol. 

The Army email says:

“America’s Power Army – along with our parent organization, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) – is committed to supporting the enactment of legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, protects consumers, preserves fuel diversity to promote greater energy independence; and encourages the development and deployment of advanced technologies for using coal.”


Tue, 2009-09-22 16:21Brendan DeMelle
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PG&E Quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Nike Fed Up Too

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) announced today that the utility giant is dumping its membership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, citing the business group’s “extreme position on climate change.”

Announcing the pull-out in a company blog titled “Irreconcilable Differences,” PG&E says that its Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Darbee told the Chamber in a letter today that:

“We find it dismaying that the Chamber neglects the indisputable fact that a decisive majority of experts have said the data on global warming are compelling and point to a threat that cannot be ignored. In our opinion, an intellectually honest argument over the best policy response to the challenges of climate change is one thing; disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort the reality of these challenges are quite another.”

Bravo to PG&E for taking a stand.

Thu, 2009-09-10 10:39Brendan DeMelle
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New Report Urges U.S. To Avoid Reliance on International Carbon Offsets

Friends of the Earth U.S. released a new report today calling the use of international carbon offsets a “dangerous distraction” that could lead to climate disaster if relied upon too heavily as the U.S. Senate returns to debate energy and climate policy later this month. 

Offsets are a centerpiece of the Waxman-Markey energy bill that passed the House of Representatives in June, and are likely to appear in the Senate version as well.

The Friends of the Earth report warns that the U.S. must avoid the use of international carbon offsets, in which U.S. industries can skip making costly investments to reduce their own greenhouse gas emissions by sending money overseas for clean energy projects in developing countries.  The theory is that these international investments will translate into equivalent reductions at the fraction of the price it would cost to change our ways here at home. 

Fri, 2009-09-04 10:43Brendan DeMelle
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Verizon Wireless Joins Massey Energy To Celebrate Mountaintop Removal and Climate Change Denial

Verizon Wireless is facing intense criticism for its co-sponsorship of dirty coal company Massey Energy’s “Friends of America” rally this Labor Day weekend in Logan, West Virginia.

To give you an idea of how outrageous this rally is, note that the featured speaker is infamous global-warming denier Lord Christopher Monckton, and the emcee is none other than right wing machine-gun rocker Ted Nugent (who threatened to kill President Obama and Hillary Clinton).  Oh, and Fox News’ Sean Hannity will be there too for good measure.  The venue? A former surface mine, of course.

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