PG&E CEO: We Left The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Because They Lied To Us About Climate Policy

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"PG&E CEO: We Left The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Because They Lied To Us About Climate Policy"

Tom Donohue, the embattled president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, today defiantly defended the attacks on clean energy legislation and climate science that have caused a mass exodus of companies from his organization. Donohue told reporters, “We’re not changing where we are,” saying of critics, “Bring ‘em on.” One of the chamber’s sharpest critics is Peter Darbee, chairman, president, and CEO of electric utility Pacific Gas & Electric, which was the first company to quit the chamber after they called for “monkey trials” on climate science. In a recent interview with E&E News, Darbee explained that his company quit the chamber after they repeatedly lied about their approach to climate policy:

The reason for our departure from the chamber is that we had repeated discussions with the chamber about how the direction they were on was not consistent with our position, in fact, very much at odds. And their response was, “We’ll take care of it. Really, our position and yours, PG&E, are much closer than you believe them to be, and don’t be concerned about that.” And we went down a road over several years, and there was fact after fact, development after development that caused us to believe that fundamentally we had entirely different positions.

Watch the video at E&E News.

The Chamber claims that federal regulation to limit global warming pollution would “strangle the economy.” and has even called for a “Scopes monkey trial” on the science of global warming. Darbee, not surprisingly, called that “extreme language, certainly not language that we at PG&E were comfortable with.”

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This is how the Chamber of Commerce showed its “support” for “strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change” last year:


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,BusinessWeek asks, “Does the U.S. Chamber Speak for Big Business?”


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,Credo Action has a new petition for the companies on the U.S. Chamber’s board:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has taken a radical stance against climate change legislation and is promoting dangerous junk science to block needed reforms. I urge you and your company to denounce the Chamber’s extremist position on global warming and revoke your membership effective immediately.


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,SEIU has a petition asking U.S. Senators to break up with the chamber, with a video starring PG&E’s Darbee:


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,Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, speaking at the unveiling ceremony for the 2009 Solar Decathlon, said he thinks “it’s wonderful” that companies are abandoning the polluter-controlled Chamber:

I would encourage the Chamber of Commerce to realize the economic opportunity that the United States can lead in a new industrial revolution.

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