Chamber Of Commerce Rewrites History: ‘We’ve Never Questioned The Science Behind Global Warming’

Tom Donohue
Tom Donohue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO

Energy companies are abandoning the sinking ship of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in droves over its opposition to clean energy action, whether by the EPA or by Congress.

Under pressure, Chamber president Tom Donohue today claimed the Chamber “continues to support strong federal legislation and a binding international agreement to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change.” And spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel recently argued that the Chamber respects the science of climate change:

We’ve never questioned the science behind global warming.

This is a blatant falsehood, by any definition. Just last month, the Chamber’s Senior Vice President William Kovacs called for the “Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” to put “the science of climate change on trial.” The Chamber, dominated by pollution-industry skeptics such as Don Blankenship, Harry Alford, and Fred Palmer, has questioned climate science since at least 1992:

2008: Chamber President Tom Donohue Says ‘Scientific Inquiry’ Into Climate Change ‘Should Continue’ Because Of ‘Cooling Trend.’ [U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 3/4/08]

2001: Chamber Claims Global Warming ‘About One Percent From Human Activity,’ Says ‘Things Just Change.’ [CNNFN, 7/16/01]

1992: Chamber Sponsors Global Warming Denier Pat Michaels To ‘Refute The Global Warming Warnings.’ [Chicago Sun-Times, 5/13/92]

In addition to being the Chamber of Commerce president, Tom Donohue works for Union Pacific, a company opposed to climate regulation.


Tomorrow, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) unveil comprehensive climate legislation. At Climate Progress, Joe Romm writes that Boxer-Kerry is “the only game in town”:

If you want a clean energy future with millions of clean energy jobs, this is the bill. If you want a chance at a global climate deal and hence a chance at preserving a livable climate, this is the bill. . . . This bill is key to taking back control of America’s future from Big Oil, the corporate polluters and their lobbyists, and you can be sure they are going to fight as hard — and as dirty — as possible to kill it.

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