Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pacific Gas & Electric Company Leaves U.S. Chamber of Commerce Over Its Global Warming Denialism


One of the biggest opponents of climate change legislation has been the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the “world’s largest business federation” that calls itself the “voice of business.” The Chamber has claimed the Obama administration is secretly hiding evidence that climate change isn’t a real threat, claimed that global warming regulations would “strangle the economy,” and even called for a new “Scopes trial” to call into question the science of global warming.

Today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced that it is quitting the Chamber over its “extreme position” on climate change:

PG&E Corp. (PCG) said Tuesday it is leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over objections to what its top executive called the chamber’s “extreme position on climate change.”

In a letter to the U.S. Chamber published on PG&E’s blog, www next100.com, PG& E Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Darbee wrote that company employees “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.”

PG&E isn’t the only company the Chamber has angered with its global warming denialist views. Yesterday, Nike, one of the co-founders of the climate change action coalition Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), circulated a statement denouncing the Chamber’s efforts to attack the science surrounding climate change:

Nike fundamentally disagrees with the US Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change and is concerned and deeply disappointed with the US Chamber’s recently filed petition challenging the EPA’s administrative authority and action on this critically important issue.

Nike believes that climate change is an urgent issue affecting the world today and that businesses and their representative associations need to take an active role to invest in sustainable business practices and innovative solutions to address the issue. It is not a time for debate but instead a time for action and we believe the Chamber’s recent petition sets back important work currently being undertaken by EPA on this issue.

The right-wing trade organization National Association of Manufacturers has similarly experienced a disbandment of its membership over the climate change issue. It remains to be seen whether the discontent among their members will change these organizations’ extremist views on global warming.

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