A press release sent out under the banner of the Chamber of Commerce, announcing a major shift in the group's position on climate change, is a hoax.
J.P. Fielder, a spokesman for the Chamber, confirmed the hoax to TPMmuckraker. He said the Chamber was unaware of who was behind it.
The name Erica Avidus is listed as a contact on the press release. A recording at the number listed for Avidus says "this is Erica Avidus with the Chamber of Commerce." But Fielder said that no one by that name works there. Avidus is Latin for "greedy."
The release declares that the Chamber "is throwing its weight behind strong climate legislation," and announces a press conference at the National Press Club this morning, at which Chamber CEO "Tom Donahue" will appear. The Chamber's CEO spells his name Donohue. And the Press Club told us earlier this morning that no such event is scheduled.
Reuters, the New York Times, and the Washington Post may all have been taken in by the hoax. A Reuters report on the "news" appeared on both papers' web sites.