The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is facing intense criticism from some of its most prominent member companies over its staunch advocacy against current Congressional efforts to solve global warming. The Chamber has chosen to represent the extreme views of a small minority of its directors from dirty fuels industries, against the wishes of its constituents who have called for federal action on climate change and member companies who have yet to take a position on the issue.
Politico reports that Johnson & Johnson has asked the Chamber to refrain from making comments on climate change unless they “reflect the full range of views, especially those of Chamber members advocating for congressional action.”
Nike spokeswoman Anne Meyers told Politico that Nike has also been “vocal” with the Chamber’s leaders “about wanting them to take a more progressive stance on the issue of climate change.”
Instead, the Chamber has taken the hardline stance of a handful of its energy industry constituents, including coal industry giants Massey Energy, Peabody Coal and Southern Company, who continue to attack current Congressional proposals to fight rising carbon dioxide emissions.
Politico notes that “lobbyists at business coalitions that support federal climate change legislation say other companies are discussing the possibility of sending their own letters to the Chamber — or of threatening to withhold dues from the Chamber in protest.”
An analysis conducted by Peter Altman, climate campaign director for the Natural Resources Defense Council, found that 99 of the 122 companies represented on the Chamber’s board have taken no public position on global warming. Nineteen support regulation, while four oppose regulation or disagree with the science behind it.
“The U.S. Chamber is representing the views of a small minority of its board members,” Altman told Politico.
Desmogblog recently reported on the Chamber’s efforts to attack President Obama’s climate proposals through its front group Coalition for Affordable American Energy.
See Politico.com for more on the internal controversy among the Chamber of Commerce membership on proposed climate legislation.
This is a guest post by Andy Skuce.