Duke Energy Quits The Right-Wing National Association Of Manufacturers Over Differences On Climate Policy

The National Association of Manufacturers is a right-wing trade organization that refuses to address — or even acknowledge — man-made global warming. Last month, it protested the EPA’s decision to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, stating that the “clean air laws” are supposed to only focus on “local pollutants.” It has also funded climate change denier groups and heavily lobbied against any efforts to curb emissions.

The organization’s resistance to change is getting to be too much for its members. Today, Bloomberg reports that Duke Energy Corp., which owns utilities in the Southeast and Midwest, announced that it won’t be renewing its membership with NAM, in part because of NAM’s refusal to address global warming:

“We are not renewing our membership in the NAM because in tough times, we want to invest in associations that are pulling in the same direction we are,” Duke Chief Executive Officer Jim Rogers said last month in an interview. The association, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans “ought to roll up their sleeves and get to work on a climate bill, but quite frankly, I don’t see them changing.”

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke is a founding member of the United States Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of business and environmental groups that seeks to influence legislation on greenhouse gases linked to global warming. The National Association of Manufacturers has opposed mandatory controls, arguing they will harm the economy.

A Duke spokesman also said that the company would like to see cap-and-trade legislation “happen this year if possible.”


Duke isn’t the only corporation that is being frustrated that trade organizations — such as NAM and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — are refusing to address global warming. Some other examples:

— Thirty-two corporations — including Duke, Caterpillar, Xerox, News Corp, Dow Chemical, and PepsiCo — are members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which has called for a cap-and-trade system.

— Businesses such as Johnson & Johnson and Nike have asked the Chamber of Commerce to refrain from publicly opposing cap and trade legislation because the position doesn’t “reflect the full range of views, especially those of Chamber members advocating for congressional action.”

— Last year, a group of companies — including Starbucks, Nike and Sun Microsystems “banded together to urge Congress to regulate greenhouse gas emissions and promote investment in renewable energy.” The partnership, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, asked that “polluters be required to pay for the freedom to pollute and wants Congress to stimulate renewable energy development and ‘green’ job growth.”

In response to Duke’s newest announcement, NAM simply told Bloomberg that it has a “balanced policy on climate change.”