US Chamber of Commerce

US Chamber of Commerce

Background

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce describes itself as “the world’s largest business organization representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions.” The primary focus of the U.S. Chamber is advocacy and lobbying for pro-business policies. In 2015, the chamber spent more than $80 million on lobbying efforts. [1] 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors, which it says “determine the U.S. Chamber's policy positions on business issues and advise the U.S. Chamber on appropriate strategies to pursue,” includes representation from the fossil fuel industry such as ConocoPhillips and Consol Energy (one of the biggest coal producers in the  US), large pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Bayer, and the tobacco company Altria (formerly Philip Morris). [2] [3]

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce runs the Institute for 21st Century Energy, a group with the stated mission to “unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. ” [4]

According to the institute's president, Karen A. Harbert, the federal government “has not kept pace with the changing the [sic] landscape” and that in order to “make America a true energy superpower” the country should pursue “offshore energy development” and improve infrastructure. The institute also opposes regulations on coal, advocates eliminating subsidies for renewable energy, and has fought against the EPA. [5]

Gretchen Goldman, lead analyst for the Center for Science and Democracy, speculates about the Chamber's lack of transparency at the Union of Concerned Scientists' blog: [6
]
“The U.S. Chamber of Commerce claims to have millions of members and represent both large and small businesses, but its membership list isn’t public and as a trade association, the group has no legal obligation to disclose its donor [sic]. With this lack of transparency we have very little information about who supports the Chamber’s anti-science position on climate change and who funds its efforts to block policies that would address it. As a result, the Chamber can use its vast resources to influence public policy without any accountability for those behind it.
Are the Chamber’s members in agreement with this climate policy and simply using the group to do their bidding without company affiliation (and potential reputational damage)? Or is the Chamber’s climate agenda controlled by a handful of powerful companies while the majority of members disagree? Without greater transparency around the political activities of companies and trade associations, we don’t know.”

Allegations and Complaints

September, 2010

Two watchdog groups, U.S. Chamber Watch and StopTheChamber.com, filed complaints (PDF) with the Internal Revenue Service asking it to investigate the chamber for fraud and money laundering. They alleged the chamber illegally funneled donations from wealthy charitable foundation Starr Foundation into its political battles. [7]

Chamber Watch also said $12 million of an $18 million donation that Starr Foundation gave to the National Chamber Foundation were in loans that had not been repaid by the chamber. Chamber Watch also said this money had been diverted to political causes that would shield companies like AIG from liability lawsuits. 

Sourcewatch notes that the Starr foundation includes a number of connections to AIG including founder Cornelius Vander Starr, who also founded AIG. The foundation's Chairman of the Board of Directors is Maurice R. Greenberg, former President and CEO of AIG. The Foundation's Director (and Treasurer) Howard I. Smith was also AIG's former Chief Financial Officer. 

StopTheChamber.com says it was contacted by a chamber whistleblower who described (PDF) how chamber CEO Tom Donohue is “scamming [business] clients to serve his own interests rather than the interests of the business community.”  [8]

Stance on Climate Change

From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's “Institute for 21st Century Energy”:

“A deeper understanding of the issues and developing science associated with the environment and climate change will influence national and global energy, economic, and environmental policy choices. Balancing these priorities requires greater consideration of the complex processes driving climate change and increased attention to adaptation measures. We must increase our investment in climate science, which will enable us to adjust policies as scientific understanding advances. At the federal level, we need better coordination and collaboration across agencies for policy coherence and balance.” [10]

2014

During a hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez asked the Chamber's Karen Harbert whether the US Chamber of Commerce agrees that climate change is real and caused by humans.  After being repeatedly pressed by Menendez for a direct response, Harbert admitted that  “The climate is warming, without a doubt,” however she claimed the science was not settled as to whether it is caused by human activites: [9]

“It is caused by lots of different things, and you can't say that climate change is only caused by humans,” Harbert said. “I think the science is what you're pointing to, and we have a robust debate going on in this country, as we should, and those that would say everything is settled sort of undercut the integrity of science. It's an ongoing discussion.”

2013

The Chamber described its strategy on climate change as follows:

“Resist ill-conceived legislation that is economically disruptive of business and industry activities, that creates regulatory and legislative obstacles to development and deployment of affordable, innovative energy technologies, and that could severely damage the security and economy of the United States.” [11]

2009 (Internal Dissension)

Described as a “predictably stalwart opponent of climate change legislation,” some of the US Chamber of Commerce's own members began opposing its views on climate change including Johnson & Johnson and Nike. [12], [13]

“We would appreciate if statements made by the Chamber would reflect the full range of views, especially those of Chamber members advocating for congressional action,” Clifford Holland, Johnson & Johnson’s corporate vice president of government affairs and policy, wrote in an April 16 letter. 

Bill Kovacs, the Chamber's vice president for the environment, technology, and regulatory affairs, tried to sweep aside the issue, saying “At the end of the debate, there were no members asking to change our policy.” [14]

Jeanette Pablo, an executive with PNM Resources, recounted events differently

“In my opinion it is inaccurate to call it a debate, and it is especially inaccurate to say that there was no call for changes to the policy when there were a number of members who stated the chamber policy did not represent their corporate position and they were therefore interested in how to change that policy,” Pablo said.  [15]

Stance on Coal

“Coal is an indispensable foundation of the U.S. energy mix. But the EPA has begun issuing a rash of new regulations that are making it difficult to operate coal plants and virtually impossible to build a new ones. […] Steps should be taken to limit the harm from new and proposed rules that aim to curtail the use of one of our most abundant and secure sources of energy, ultimately harming businesses, consumers and the overall economy.” [16]

Stance on Renewables

While these forms of energy face challenges of cost and reliability, over time, additional research and development will bring prices down and deliver more reliable power—ultimately providing more clean energy to Americans. The government must phase out subsidies and reform its policies, which have fallen out of sync with the realities of their supply and the operation of power markets.” [17]

Stance on Nuclear

“Nuclear energy is a key source of electric power and has operated safely in the United States for decades, with no emissions. […] Even with these benefits in mind and the clear need for nuclear energy as a safe, reliable and affordable source of electricity, the government has created barriers for new construction and jeopardized existing plants.[18]

Stance on Fracking, Offshore Drilling, and the EPA

“The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have unlocked vast shale energy resources that were not even known to us a few years ago. These resources have already improved our economy by creating jobs, spurring manufacturing, and forcing us to shift from a mindset of energy scarcity to energy opportunity.

Unfortunately, the federal government has not kept pace with the changing the landscape. There’s so much more than can be done to make America a true energy superpower, from expanding offshore energy development to improving our infrastructure to better move electricity.

Not only have our policies not been updated, but the EPA is on a long march toward regulating almost all aspects of our economy, placing our global competitiveness at risk. ” [5]

Funding

In 2010, the New York Times reported that half of the Chamber's $140 million in contributions for 2008 had come from just 45 donors: [19]

“[T]he chamber has had little trouble finding American companies eager to enlist it, anonymously, to fight their political battles and pay handsomely for its help. […] the chamber makes no apologies for its policy of not identifying its donors. It has vigorously opposed legislation in Congress that would require groups like it to identify their biggest contributors when they spend money on campaign ads.”

Some funders highlighted in the New York Times article include: [19]

As it is not required to disclose its donors, the precise funding values of the US Chamber of Commerce are unclear. The following is a brief summary based on available data compiled by the Conservative Transparency project, and only a small sample of the full funding received by the Chamber. [20]

View the attached spreadsheet for additional information on the US Chamber of Commerce's funding by year (.xlsx)

Crossroads GPS $5,250,000
Freedom Partners $5,000,000
Dow Chemical Company $4,573,750
Aetna $4,150,000
Merck $2,677,500
WellPoint $2,116,502
Intel Corporation $1,233,583
American Electric Power $1,025,000
Microsoft $867,500
Prudential Financial $600,000
Qualcomm $555,000
Exelon Corporation $250,000
eBay $200,000
Alcoa $135,000
Norfolk Southern $100,000
John Deere $55,000
Reynolds American $45,000
Grand Total $28,833,835

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

The affiliated U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation describes itself as “[A] nonprofit affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness and educating the public on how the Free Enterprise system improves society and the economy.” [21]


The Commerce Foundation runs under the EIN 46-1561597. See publicly-available IRS 990 forms below:

Lobbying

OpenSecrets reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiaries spent over $84 Million on lobbying efforts in 2015, with a combined total of $1,225,115,680 since 1998. [22]

Year Lobbying Expenditures
2015 $84,730,000
2014 $124,080,000
2013 $74,470,000
2012 $136,300,000
2011 $66,370,000
2010 $132,067,500
2009 $144,606,000
2008 $91,955,000
2007 $53,082,500
2006 $72,995,000
2005 $39,805,000
2004 $53,380,000
2003 $34,602,640
2002 $41,560,000
2001 $20,662,880
2000 $18,689,160
1999 $18,760,000
1998 $17,000,000

OpenSecrets also breaks down the US Chamber's lobbying by bill and by issue.

990 Forms

Key People

Senior Management Committee

Name 2003[83] 2004[82] 2005[81] 2006[80] 2007[79] 2008[78] 2009[77] 2010[76] 2011[75] 2012[74] 2013[73] 2014[72] 2015[71] 2016[2] Description
Agnes Warfield-Blanc Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Development
Amanda Engstrom Eversole Y Y Y Y Y President, Center for Advanced Technology and Innovation; Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; and Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness
Ann Beauchesne Y Senior Vice President, National Security & Emergency Preparedness Department
David Hirschmann Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; President & CEO, U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness; President and CEO, the Global Intellectual Property Center
Jack Howard Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Congressional and Public Affairs
John G. Murphy Y Y Y Senior Vice President for International Policy
John Sullivan Y Y Y Y Executive Director, Center for International Private Enterprise
Karen Alderman Harbert Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y President and CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy
Lily Fu Claffee Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, and General Counsel; Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber Litigation Center
Lisa Rickard Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y President, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, President, Workforce Freedom Initiative, Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Marty Regalia Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President and Chief Economist
Myron Brilliant Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Executive Vice President and Head of International
R. Bruce Josten Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Executive Vice President, Government Affairs
Randy Johnson Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits
Rob Engstrom Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Political Affairs & Federation Relations and National Political Director
Shannon DiBari Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President
Stan Harrell Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Information Officer
Suzanne Clark Y Y Y Y Y Y Executive Vice President
Thomas Collamore Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Communications and Strategy and Counselor to the President (Past VP of Philip Morris Corporate Affairs)
Thomas J. Donohue Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y President and CEO
William Kovacs Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs
Carl Grant Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Chairman of the President's Advisory Group
James Robinson Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President and Counselor to the President
Al Martinez-Fonts Y Y Executive Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
David C. Chavern Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Executive Vice President and President, Center for Advanced Technology & Innovation
John R. McKernan Jr. Y Y Senior Adviser to the President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Rolf Lundberg Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Congressional and Public Affairs
Agnes Warfield Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Development
Amanda S. Engstrom Y Y Chief of Staff, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Senior Vice President, U.S. Chamber Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness
William C. Miller Jr. Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, Political Affairs & Federation Relations and National Political Director
Steven J. Law Y Y Y Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel
Daniel W. Christman Y Y Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President, International Affairs
Arthur J. Rothkopf Y Y Y Y Senior Vice President and Counselor to the President
James L. Jones Y Y President and CEO, Institute for 21st Century Energy
Linda Rozett Y Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President of Communications
John (J.P.) Moery Y Y Senior Vice President, Federation Relations
Stanton Anderson Y Y Y Y Senior Counsel to President
Stephen A. Bokat Y Y Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary
Bruce Josten Y Y Executive Vice President, Government Affairs

Board of Directors

The US Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors represent a wide range of companies with representation from energy companies, coal/oil/natural gas producers, pharmaceutical companies, chemical manufacturers, and the tobacco industry (see below). [3]

According to Chamber's website, “Directors determine the U.S. Chamber's policy positions on business issues and advise the U.S. Chamber on appropriate strategies to pursue.” [2]

Energy Industry

Pharmaceuticals

Rail Transport

Tobacco

As of February, 2016, the following Directors were listed on the Chamber's website. View the attached spreadsheet for further details on industry representation at the US Chamber of Commerce (.xlsx)[3]

Name Corporation Industry
Adam Cooper Citadel LLC Financial
Andrew Abboud Las Vegas Sands Corp. Casino
Andrew D. Lundquist ConocoPhillips Energy
Anthony J. Allott Silgan Holdings Inc. Food Industry
Boland T. Jones PGi
Bradley M. Halverson Caterpillar Inc. Heavy Equipment
Brandon W. Sweitzer DryStone Capital LLC Law Firm
Brian O'Hara Front Street Advisors, Ltd. Financial
Bruce A. Gates Altria Client Services Tobacco
C. Clayton Reasor Phillips 66 Energy
C. Howard Nye Martin Marietta Materials Materials/Mining
C.A. Howlett Indigo Partners, LLC Financial
Charles Copeland Associates International, Inc. Printing
Charles J. Kalil The Dow Chemical Company Chemicals
Charles R. Stamp, Jr. Deere & Company Heavy Equipment
Christel Slaughter, Ph.D. SSA Consultants Consulting
Christopher B. Lofgren, Ph.D. Schneider National, Inc. Food Industry
Christopher C. Womack Southern Company Energy
Chuck Brymer DDB Worldwide Communications Group, Inc. Marketing
Craig L. Fuller The Fuller Company Consulting
Cynthia Stinger AECOM Technology Corporation Consulting
Daniel F. Packer
Darlene M. Miller PERMAC Industries Manufacturing
David Jacobson  BMO Financial Group Financial
David R. Emery Black Hills Corporation Energy
David T. Seaton Fluor Corporation Construction
Dayton H. Molendorp OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. Financial
Donald J. Shepard AEGON N.V. Financial
Dr. Rajendra Singh Telcom Ventures, L.L.C. Financial
Edgar L. Smith, Jr. World Pac Paper, LLC Paper
Edward B. Rust Jr. State Farm Insurance Companies Insurance
Edward Wanandi International Merchants, LLC
Elaine R. Leavenworth Abbott Health Care
Elanna S. Yalow, Ph.D., M.B.A. Knowledge Universe Education
Eric Silagy Florida Power & Light Company Energy
Ernest Green, Jr. E&E Enterprises Global, Inc. IT
Frank C. Sullivan RPM International Inc. Chemicals
Frank L. VanderSloot Melaleuca, Inc. Health Products
Fred Kaiser Alpha Technologies, Inc. Power Delivery/Generation
Frederick Kempe Atlantic Council
Fuad El-Hibri Emergent BioSolutions Inc. Pharmaceuticals
Gerald L. Shaheen FORD Motor Company Automotive
Greg Lebedev The Robertson Foundation Philanthropy
Gregory Irace Sanofi US Services Inc. Pharmaceuticals
H.P. Goldfield Albright Stonebridge Group (ASG) Consulting
Hank Linginfelter AGL Resources Inc. Energy
Harold Turner, Jr. The H.L. Turner Group Inc. Engineering
Harry C. Alford National Black Chamber of Commerce Nonprofit
Hector Barreto The Latino Coalition Nonprofit
James A. Hixon Norfolk Southern Corporation Financial
James E. Stephenson Yancey Bros. Co. Heavy Equipment
James M. Power CUNA Mutual Group Financial
James W. Cicconi AT&T, Inc. Telecommunications
James W. Mendenhall Mendenhall & Associates
Jan L. Jones Blackhurst Caesars Entertainment Corporation Casino
Jeffrey K. Rageth 3M Manufacturing
Jessie J. Knight, Jr. Sempra Energy Energy
Joan Woodward The Travelers Companies, Inc.; Travelers Institute Insurance
John Cannon Health Care Service Corporation Health Insurance
John F. Biagas Bay Electric Co., Inc. Power Delivery/Generation
John L. Hopkins NuScale Power LLC Nuclear Power Supplier
John Ruan III Ruan Transportation Management Systems, BTC Financial Corporation, Ruan, Incorporated Financial
John W. Bachmann Edward Jones Financial
Joseph B. Ucuzoglu Deloitte & Touche LLP
Joseph W. Craft III Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. Materials/Mining
Kane Calamari Ace Hardware Corporation
Karen M. Olson Beenken Blue Rock Companies Distribution
Kathy G. Beckett Steptoe & Johnson PLLC Law Firm (Energy Industry)
Ken W. Cole Pfizer, Inc. Pharmaceuticals
Kim T. Rumph Brambles Limited Distribution
Lance M. Fritz Union Pacific Corporation Rail Transport
Lane Beattie Salt Lake Chamber Business Association
Laura Lane United Parcel Service Shipping
Lee R. Anderson, Sr. APi Group, Inc. Construction
LeRoy Walker, Jr. LTM Enterprises
Manuel Perez de la Mesa Pool Corporation
Mark D. French Leading Authorities, Inc. Consulting
Mark E. Watson III Argo Group International Holdings Ltd Insurance
Mark S. Ordan WPGlimcher Shopping Centres
Martin H. Richenhagen AGCO Corporation Agriculture Equipment
Matthew K. Rose BNSF Railway Company Rail Transport
Maura W. Donahue DonahueFavret Contractors Holding Company Construction
Michael J. Graff American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. Industrial Supplier
Michael L. Ducker  FedEx Freight Shipping
Michelle H. Browdy International Business Machines (IBM) Computer Technology
Mick Truitt Ludlum Measurements, Inc Radiation Detection
Nicholas J. DeIuliis CONSOL Energy, Inc. Coal/Gas
Norman C. Chambers NCI Building Systems, Inc. Construction
Patricia Elizondo Xerox Corporation
Patrick M. Finken Odney
Paul J. Klaassen Sunrise Senior Living, Inc.
Paul S. Speranza Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. Food Industry
Paul W. Jones A.O. Smith Corporation
Philip D. Kennedy Comanche Lumber Co., Inc.
Ralph de la Torre Steward Health Care System LLC Health Care
Rance C. Miles Select Milk Producers, Inc. Food Industry
Randal K. Quarles The Cynosure Group Financial
Raymond F. Kerins Jr. Bayer Pharmaceuticals
Richard Bagger Celgene Corporation Pharmaceuticals
Richard J. Tobin CNH Industrial N.V. Manufacturing
Richard K. Studley, IOM Michigan Chamber of Commerce
Richard L. McNeel LORD Corporation Manufacturing
Robert D. Fatovic Ryder System, Inc.
Robert O. Agbede Chester Group Power Delivery/Generation
Robert S. Milligan Wood Stieper Capital Group Financial
Scott Anderson Great Western Lodging Lodging
Scott L. Holman, Sr. The Bay Cast Companies Manufacturing
Steve Van Andel Amway Multi-Level
Stewart Alvarez Amadeus North America
Susan K. Neely American Beverage Association
Suzanne Sitherwood The Laclede Group Energy
Tamara L. Lundgren Schnitzer Steel Industries, Inc. Manufacturing
Thomas D. Bell, Jr. Mesa Capital Partners, LLC Financial
Thomas J. Donohue U.S. Chamber of Commerce Lobbying
Thomas J. Wilson Allstate Insurance Company Insurance
Thomas V. McKernan Automobile Club of Southern California
Tracy G. Schmidt CNL Financial Group Financial
Wayne S. DeVeydt Anthem, Inc. Health Insurance
William G. Little Quam-Nichols Company, Inc.
Wolfgang G. Pordzik DHL Shipping

Former Directors (2015) [70]

Name Position Corporation
Daniel F. Evans, Jr. President & Chief Executive Officer Indiana University Health
David Adkisson President & Chief Executive Officer Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Tchad Robinson Managing Partner Clark Robinson Capital
Walter J. Galvin Retired Vice Chairman Emerson

Actions

June 15, 2016

Grist magazine reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the latest conservative group to spread anti-solar messages.  In an email, the Chamber opposes net metering, a policy that pays back people who are feeding solar power back into the grid from solar panels. [69]

While your neighbor is receiving a credit (in the form of a reduced electricity bill) for putting excess energy back on the electricity grid, these outdated net metering policies overlook the costs to use, maintain, and update the grid. So, who is actually paying those costs? You — and everyone else!” The U.S. Chamber email reads. [69]

The Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy also posted a video to its YouTube channel on their anti-net-metering case: [69]

June 14, 2016

A Senate report from Senate Democrats including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders found that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's “lobbying is at odds with its own public positions,” The New York Times reports. [60]

The Senate report found that none of the U.S. Chamber's 108 board members explicitly supported the group's policies on tobacco and climate change. While the Chamber “strongly professes that it is anti-tobacco” and has claimed to support “efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” it continued to work globally to fight antismoking measures and opposed the EPA's regulatory measures on climate change. [60][61]

The Senate report also found many of the board members had opposing views to the Chamber: “Approximately half of the companies on the chamber’s board of directors have adopted anti-tobacco and pro-climate positions that contrast sharply with the chamber’s activities. Not a single board member explicitly supported the chamber’s lobbying efforts.” [60]

Members are often left in the dark about the Chamber's activities. Ten companies serving on the board said they “had no knowledge of or input into the chamber’s lobbying activities on tobacco or climate issues.” [60]

The New York Times previously reported on the Chamber's efforts to combat President Obama's climate change regulations. The chamber's strategy included regular meetings with corporate lawyers, coal lobbyists, and Republican political strategists. [62]

    February 22, 2016

    The US Chamber of Commerce filed an opening brief against the EPA's Clean Power Plan. [23]

    “We are confident in our case, and the sheer number and diversity of challengers in this case is itself a powerful statement against EPA’s overreach,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy in the Chamber's press release.
    The brief argues that the EPAs Rule “unlawfully attempts to radically transform the electric sector and usurp states’ traditional authority over the electric grid.”

    The US Chamber of Commerce's 
    Institute for 21st Century Energy also released the graphic below (click to view full size):

    December 23, 2015

    The U.S. Chamber filed a lawsuit challenging the EPA's new Ozone Standard. [24]

    “The EPA set an unattainable mandate with this new ozone standard that will slow economic growth opportunities,” said William Kovacs, senior vice president, Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 
    According to their press release, the Chamber told local communities that “a lower ozone standard would threaten local jobs and economic growth” with efforts including panel discussions with government officials, business leaders and local Chambers of Commerce.

    June 13, 2016

    The US Chamber of Commerce was listed as a creditor in Peabody Energy's 2016 bankruptcy filings, reports the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD/PRWatch). [65]

    While the available bankruptcy documents do not list the scale or dates of funding, they outline Peabody Energy's financial ties to a large network of groups promoting climate change denial. [66]

    Prominent individuals appearing in the documents include climate deniers Willie SoonRichard LindzenRoy Spencer and Richard Berman. The long list of organizations also includes groups such as Americans for ProsperityAmerican Legislative Exchange CouncilCFACTInstitute for Energy ResearchState Policy Network, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and dozens more. [67]

    The Guardian also analysed and reported on the Peabody bankruptcy findings: [68]

    These groups collectively are the heart and soul of climate denial,” said Kert Davies, founder of the Climate Investigation Center, who has spent 20 years tracking funding for climate denial. “It’s the broadest list I have seen of one company funding so many nodes in the denial machine.”

    The company’s filings reveal funding for a range of organisations which have fought Barack Obama’s plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions, and denied the very existence of climate change. […]

    Among Peabody’s beneficiaries, the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change has insisted – wrongly – that carbon emissions are not a threat but “the elixir of life” while the American Legislative Exchange Council is trying to overturn Environmental Protection Agency rules cutting emissions from power plants. Meanwhile, Americans for Prosperity campaigns against carbon pricing. The Oklahoma chapter was on the list. […]

    The breadth of the groups with financial ties to Peabody is extraordinary. Thinktanks, litigation groups, climate scientists, political organisations, dozens of organisations blocking action on climate all receiving funding from the coal industry,” said Nick Surgey, director of research for the Center for Media and Democracy.

    We expected to see some denial money, but it looks like Peabody is the treasury for a very substantial part of the climate denial movement.”

    Notable organizations listed in the initial documents include:

    Notable individuals named in the initial documents include the following:

    December 13, 2015

    Writing as a guest blogger on Watts Up With That, CFACT's executive director Craig Rucker denounced the latest UN climate change agreement: [39]

    “This agreement will not meaningfully alter the temperature of the Earth, even under the U.N.’s own computer models.

    “The bad news is that it plants the seeds of a new UN climate regime that left unchecked will swell into a bureaucratic behemoth.”

    September 18, 2015

    Senators sent letters to the Board of Directors for all 108 member companies of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce asking their positions on the Chamber's efferts to oppose the Clean Power Plan. Full text of the letter is available here (PDF)[63], [64]

    Letter signatories included: [63]

    • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI),
    • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),
    • Patrick Leahy (D-VT),
    • Barbara Mikulski (D-MD),
    • Dianne Feinstein (D-CA),
    • Barbara Boxer (D-CA),
    • Bernie Sanders (I-VT),
    • Tom Udall (D-NM),
    • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH),
    • Al Franken (D-MN),
    • Mazie Hirono (D-HI), and
    • Ed Markey (D-MA)

    The letters were sent after The New York Times reported on the U.S. Chamber's “worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds.” [61] The letter explains that the senators seek to “fully understand the U.S. Chamber's support for the tobacco industry, the decision-making process that resulted in this support, and the role of … board members in this process.” [63]

    June 9, 2015 
     
    “While there are many long overdue reforms being considered by the Energy Committee, the one that will have the single biggest positive impact is lifting the outdated ban on crude oil exports,” said Harbert. “Allowing the U.S. to export oil will benefit our economy and reduce the influence of countries and groups that use oil exports for purposes inconsistent with America’s interests.” [25]
    February 24, 2015 
     
    The U.S. Chamber of commerce's President and CEO, Thomas J. Donohue, released the following statement regarding Obama's decision to veto legislation that would have approved the Keystone XL Pipeline
    “By vetoing this legislation and continuing to delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, it is becoming harder and harder to take President Obama’s commitment to job creation and energy security seriously. The lack of approval for Keystone has major implications for America’s relationship with Canada—our strongest and most reliable ally—and on the way America is perceived around the world. On behalf of job creators across the country, the Chamber will continue to push for Keystone’s approval.” [26
    September, 2014 

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce started its “Keystone XL Pipeline Lost Opportunity Tour,” in Montana at the starting point of the proposed pipeline. [27]

    According to the press release, the Chamber visited with “economic development leaders and a small business eagerly awaiting construction of the pipeline.”  

    The tour ended in Nebraska, the final state on the pipeline route.  
    [28]
    September 4, 2013 

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released the third part of a study, titled America's New Energy Future: The Unconventional Oil and Gas Revolution and the U.S. Economy” (PDF), which opposes regulation to shale energy production (hydraulic fracturing). [29]
    “While shale energy development holds a great deal of promise, the movement to restrict shale development with further regulations places it all in jeopardy,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy. “By continuing to push unnecessary federal regulations when strong state regulations already exist, the federal government is risking the only reliable sector of job growth in the entire economy.” [30]
    March, 2013
    The Hill reported that “the Chamber is making the case that scrapping Keystone would amount to succumbing to 'fringe groups.'”
    “For the business community, the Keystone XL pipeline has become a bellwether indicator of whether America will be open for business during President Obama's second term or not. If the pipeline permit is denied, it will send a strong signal to the private sector to put their money elsewhere,” Karen Harbert, president and chief executive of the Chamber’s Energy Institute, told The Hill in a statement.
    July 26, 2012 

    The U.S. Chamber's Institute for 21st Century Energy launched a “Shale Works for US” campaign focused on “galvanizing support for shale energy resources across America.
    “Shale energy has the potential to be an economic game-changer for our entire nation,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Energy Institute.  “Thanks to American innovation, we are now in a position to take advantage of vast amounts of shale energy resources that will create jobs and make us more energy secure.  The Shale Works for US campaign will help educate the public and the business community about the benefits and opportunities presented by increased shale production.” [32]
    The campaign was launched in Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York, with more states to follow.
    November 28, 2011 
     
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed a brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals to reject a challenge to the federal offshore permitting process that would halt offshore oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. 
    “Now that oil and natural gas production is finally resuming in the Gulf of Mexico, environmental groups are once again seeking to put the Gulf out of work,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.  “We cannot afford a ‘just say no’ energy policy.  Every drop of oil we produce in the Gulf generates investment in the U.S and reduces our dependence on oil from unstable regions. In addition, if successful, this lawsuit could put tens of thousands of Americans out of work at a time when unemployment is already far too high.” [33]
    “What do you think could happen if one of our energy sources was suddenly unavailable (e.g., power plant maintenance, government curb on production, etc.)?” The book asks.
    According to Politico, “U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants middle school students to consider what would happen if government regulations shut down the coal industry or another domestic energy source.“ [34]

    U.S. Chamber officials maintained that there is no “hidden agenda” behind the question or the educational outreach effort in general, although the book is notably being distributed at a time when the Environmental Protection Agency is set to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
     
    Dan Weiss, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, suggested the Chamber has ulterior motives. “It sounds like this may be one part education and one part fear-mongering,” Weiss said.  [34]
    “Weiss said he was concerned about a partnership between the Chamber, which is spending millions to defeat Democratic congressional candidates and has opposed federal and state efforts to deal with global warming, and Scholastic, which has a large presence in public schools around the country.” [34]
    June 28, 2010

    Months after the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, recognized as the worst oil spill in Oil History, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called for an end to the ban on drilling in the Gulf:
    “We must avoid snap decisions following the spill that would threaten U.S. energy security and harm our economy,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. [35]
    November 12, 2009 

    Prior to the 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy released a report titled “The Prospects for Copenhagen:  More Realism Can Smooth the Way” (PDF). [36]

    The report suggests that “how rapidly advanced energy technologies are developed and adopted will be the single most important factor in determining how quickly—and at what cost—greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced” and calls for “realistic goals”:
     
    “For businesses to remain competitive, our national leaders must ensure that a new global climate agreement sets realistic goals, recognizes growing energy needs, ensures global participation, promotes technology, encourages trade, and doesn’t weaken intellectual property,” said Stephen Eule, vice president for climate and technology at the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21 Century Energy.  [37]
     
    On November 17, Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy testified at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearingexploring the international aspects of global climate change” where she largely based her testimony on the report findings.
    According to Harbert, an “agreement focusing on technology offers a path forward that developed and developing countries and the business community can embrace” is needed.  [38]
     
    September 21, 2009 

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted the Major Economies Business Forum (MEBF) on Energy Security and Climate Change.”
    “We have to recognize that for many countries, providing modern energy services to their citizens is as important—if not more so—than reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.  “An international agreement that fails to recognize the growing need for affordable and reliable energy will not be viable over the long-term.” [39]
    June 26, 2009 
    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied against climate change legislation to be introduced by congress (namely the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill). In a statement, the Chamber said it favors “mainstream, common sense views” on climate change but opposes the carbon-capping bill that the House of Representatives passed on June 26. [40]
    “The last thing this country needs is fourteen hundred new job-killing regulations and mandates,” said the Chamber’s Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs William Kovacs in a press release. “The Chamber hopes, at some point, that Congress will find a way to balance the need for a strong U.S. economy while still addressing global climate change.  Unfortunately, Congress has fallen short with this bill.”  [41]
    The Chamber also wrote a letter (PDF) to all members of the Houseexpressing concern over the bill and suggested ways that the bill could be modified.” [42]
    As of September, 2009, the Chamber's actions and stance on climate change had caused a rift in its own membership with prominent member Exelon Corp announcing it would not renew its membership, following similar departures from PG&E Corp and PNM Resources Inc. Nike also announced its disagreement with the Chamber's stance in a September 22 statement.  [40]
     
    Johnson & Johnson also criticized the chamber earlier in the year for failing to “reflect the full range of views” of its members on climate change.  At the time, Exelon, Duke Energy, PG&E and PNM were all members of the corporate and environmental coalition U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which favors federal law requiring “significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.” [40]

    The US Chamber of Commerce's submitted comments (PDF) conclude: there are “profound and wide-ranging scientific uncertainties” about climate change and its impacts on health and welfare that are “vehemently controverted among scientists and technicians of numerous stripes.” [44]

    The Chamber also submitted a supporting document, “Detailed Review of EPA’s Health and Welfare Scientific Evidence” (PDF) that included a number of additional statements: [45]
    “Humans have become less susceptible to the effects of heat due to a combination of adaptations, particularly air conditioning. The availability of air conditioning is expected to continue to increase.”
    “Reduced exposure to cold days is a significant factor in the increased life expectancy experienced in the U.S. over the past 30 years. This benefit from reduced exposure to cold can be further attributed to people migrating to warmer climates.”
    “Overall, there is strong evidence that populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological, and technological adaptations.”
    “[T]he scientific evidence is clear that cold is a more potent hazard than heat.”
    April 20, 2007

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a website titled myenergypolicy.com designed to “help educate businesses and the general public about ways to help protect the environment.”
    “Economic growth and environmental progress are not incompatible pursuits,” said William Kovacs, Chamber vice president of environmental policy. “A strong economy gives us the resources to protect our environment.” [46]

    November, 2007

    The US Chamber of Commerce released a video titled “Wake Up to Climate Change Legislation!” that called for US voters to tell their Senator to “vote NO on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill.” [47]

    The description reads as follows:

    “If this bill becomes law, 3.4 million Americans will lose their jobs. American GDP will decline by $1 trillion. And American consumers will be forced to pay as much as $6 trillion to cope with carbon constraints.*
    The only way to address the climate change challenge is through technology and energy efficiency. This bill avoids both.”

    See video below:

    Transcript: “Climate legislation being considered by congress could make it too expensive to heat our homes, power our lives, and drive our cars. Is this really how Americans want to live? Washington politicians should not demand what technology cannot deliver. Urge your senator to vote 'No' on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Bill.”

    March, 2008

    PR Daily reports that general James L. Jones, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe, joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as a lobbyist to head the new Institute for Energy. [48]

    “Jones will head the Institute for Energy, which is to present itself as a grassroots organization. The Chamber went a similar path with the creation of the Institute for Legal Reform.”

    The Institute would focus on global warming and seek “to 'unify energy stakeholders behind a common strategy' to produce affordable and secure supplies while protecting the environment.” 

    US Chamber of Commerce Contact & Location

    As of May, 2016, the US Chamber of Commerce listed the following contact information on their website: [59]

    Chamber of Commerce of the
    United States of America
    1615 H Street, NW
    Washington, DC 20062-2000
    Main Number: 202-659-6000
    Customer Service: 1-800-638-6582

    Related Organizations

    Yucca Energy Solutions

    Yucca Energy Solutions (YES) is described in the 2005 annual report (PDF) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as being a “200-member coalition was formed by the U.S. Chamber to advocate for congressional approval of, and funding for, Yucca Mountain as the site of a permanent federal repository for nuclear waste.” [56]

    Particulate Matter Coalition

    The Particulate Matter Coalition is described in the 2005 annual report (PDF) of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as being “made up of industries concerned with EPA’s continued revision of the particulate matter air quality standards. The U.S. Chamber is a member of the steering committee and plays a lead role in managing the coalition’s activities.” [56]

    American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)

    According to files on record at the Center for Media and Democracy's Sourcewatch, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a member of a number of the American Legislative Exchange Council's task forces including: [57]

    • The Civil Justice Task Force,
    • the Education Task Force,
    • the International Relations Task Force,
    • and the the Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force

    The following is also taken from CMD's Sourceawtch records:

    ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Meeting (2011)

    Sourcewatch reports Page Faulk, Chamber Vice President, presented “The Promoting Merit in 'Merit Selection' Act” model legislation at Civil Justice Task Force Meeting at ALEC's 2011 meeting.

    ALEC Education Task Force Meeting (2011)
     
    Stanton D. Anderson, Senior Counsel to the President and Chief Executive Officer, issued remarks on the “Free Enterprise Education Act” model legislation, and Roberta Philips sponsored discussion and voting on the act.
     
    Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force Meeting (2011)
     
    Mark Elliot, Executive Vice President, and Andrew Kovalcin, Director of Stakeholder Advocacy, both of the Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center, introduced the “Resolution in Support of Federal Efforts to Address Rogue Internet Sites that Sell Counterfeit Products and Facilitate Digital Theft” at the Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force Meeting.
    International Relations Task Force Meeting (2011)

    He also presented on the “Erosion of Intellectual Property” and introduced the “ALEC Resolution to Counter Rogue Internet Sites” model policy at the International Relations Task Force Meeting at the 2011 meeting.
    The Chamber's International Division joined ALEC's International Relations Task Force on July 3, 2013, according to ALEC board materials.

    American Crossroads

    Sourcewatch reports that American Crossroads and the Chamber are closely tied, and closely coordinated their efforts in the 2010 midterm elections.

    According to Think Progress:
    “At every turn, from the operatives running the two organizations to their targeted races to their media firms, American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are bound to one another…the two groups have exhibited uncanny coordination in their election targeting. In a number of Senate races, the Chamber and American :Crossroads coordinated their advertisements – one group put up ads in a race as the other group pulled its own down – in :order to ensure attack ads were always running against the Democratic candidate.” [58]

    Resources

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    34. Josh Voorhees. “Chamber: Worry about regs, kids,” Politico, October 19, 2010. Archived February 27, 2016. WebCite URLhttp://www.webcitation.org/6fcZOOs4S

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    44. “Petition of the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America for EPA to Conduct Its Endangerment Finding Proceeding On The Record Using Administrative Procedure Act §§ 556 and 557” (PDF), April 24, 2009.  Retrieved from Mother Jones. Archived .pdf on file at DeSMogBlog.

    45. ATTACHMENT 1: Detailed Review of the Health and Welfare Science Evidence and IQA Petition for Correction” (PDF) retrieved from Mother Jones. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.

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    Other Resources