The U.S. Chamber of Commerce today announced its economic agenda, continuing its hard stance against regulation of global warming pollution. In “The State of American Business 2009,” the chamber “agenda for recovery, jobs, and growth” says the nation should “address climate change.” However, they fear that President-elect Barack Obama may take immediate action to actually address the pollution:
Congress should reassert its legislative authority over climate change policy and not leave it to EPA regulators to impose a top-down approach.
In the press conference releasing this report, chamber president Thomas Donohue claimed carbon dioxide regulation by federal regulators would “strangle the economy.” In contrast, R. Bruce Josten, the chamber’s top lobbyist, praised the draft legislation of Reps. John Dingell (D-MI) and Rick Boucher (D-WV) as “being a very workable approach.”
Strangely enough, when Bush ran the White House, the chamber’s position was very different. The Chamber of Commerce tarred Congress’s attempt to address climate change — the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill — as “HillaryCare redux,” using shoddy economic analysis to spread fears of a world without electricity or automobiles.
In all likelihood, the Chamber of Commerce’s policy of obstruction and inaction will continue as long as its directors include the likes of rabid global warming denier Don Blankenship, the right-wing coal magnate. Stripped of platitudes, the chamber’s position on global warming and energy policy remains the same — a continued call for massive subsidies for the oil, coal, and nuclear power industries and the prevention of any regulation of their pollution.