"PG&E CEO: We left Chamber Of Commerce because they lied to us about climate policy; Chu says “it’s wonderful” companies are fleeing the Chamber"
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Thursday applauded companies that have quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because they disagree with the business group’s climate change policy. “I think it’s wonderful,” Chu told reporters at a solar energy event on the National Mall. He said companies that left the Chamber object “to foot dragging, to denials” and realize that efforts to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses are “part of our economic future in the United States.”
… “I would encourage the Chamber of Commerce to realize the economic opportunity that the United States can lead in a new industrial revolution,” said Chu, a supporter of alternative fuels and strong regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.
You just can’t keep up with all the news about the nano-Chamber of Commerce. But here are the key points:
- BusinessWeek asks, “Does the U.S. Chamber Speak for Big Business?” The answer, on climate policy, is “no.”
- The Chamber has not been following its own stated guidelines (see The Chamber claims its “Board of Directors is the principal governing and policymaking body.” Nike says that’s false, and American Enterprise Institute agrees, calling the Chamber board “mostly ceremonial.”)
- The Chamber has been lying to the public (see The incredible, shrinking industry group falsely claims “We’ve never questioned the science behind global warming”)
- The Chamber has been lying it is members, as this repost from Wonk Room makes clear.
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.”
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: