This morning, activists from the Yes Men troupe claiming to represent the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the organization was reversing its years of opposition to any climate bill before Congress, saying in jest that the “Kerry-Boxer Bill is a good start to a strong climate bill.” CNBC and the Fox Business Network cited the many companies who have quit the Chamber as a reason for the fictional about-face.
The Chamber of Commerce quickly tried to quash the reports that it had reversed its “Scopes monkey trial” stance. Chamber of Commerce official Eric Wohlschlegel broke into the press conference held by the Yes Men at the National Press Club, shouting, “This guy is a fake!” After a “mild shoving match at the podium,” Wohlschegel told reporters, “It is a very sad day.” U.S. Chamber of Commerce official Thomas J. Collamore decried “public relations hoaxes” and called for “law enforcement authorities to investigate this event”:
Public relations hoaxes undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change. These irresponsible tactics are a foolish distraction from the serious effort by our nation to reduce greenhouse gases.
Of course, it is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other right-wing corporate groups that have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars supporting “public relations hoaxes” to “undermine the genuine effort to find solutions on the challenge of climate change.” As PG&E Chairman and CEO Peter Darbee explained his company’s departure from the Chamber, “extreme rhetoric and obstructionist tactics seem to increasingly mark the Chamber’s stance on this issue.”
It’s doubtful that the Chamber — chaired by race-baiters and corrupt global warming deniers — will now be decrying clean coal carols, climate skeptics, fearmongering, and broken economic analyses as it spends over $100 million a year to lobby Congress.
Watch the confrontation between the Yes Men’s Andy Bichlbaum and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Eric Wohlschlegel: