Will last company to leave the Chamber’s Boardroom please turn off the lights!

On Tuesday, PG&E Corp. quit the US Chamber Of Commerce over its “extreme position on climate change.” Now New Mexico power company PNM has given up seat on the Chamber’s Board of Directors, issuing this statement:

We strongly disagree with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change legislation and particularly reject its recent theatrics calling for a ‘Scopes Monkey Trial’ to put the science of climate change on trial. We believe the science is compelling enough to act sooner rather than later, and we support comprehensive federal legislation to meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect customers against unreasonable cost increases.

Again, they would seem to be leaving the Chamber’s Board because it has been overrun by climate science deniers and disinformers (see “Are Chamber President Tom Donohue’s Ties to Union Pacific Railroading the Companies that Support Climate Policy?” and “Chamber admits calling for ‘Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century’ was dumb “” but it still apes the deniers”).

NRDC’s Pete Altman notes that on Monday “Nike circulated this statement regarding their serious disagreement with the US Chamber for its recalcitrant position on climate policy”:

“Nike fundamentally disagrees with the US Chamber of Commerce’s position on climate change and is concerned and deeply disappointed with the US Chamber’s recently filed petition challenging the EPA’s administrative authority and action on this critically important issue.

Nike believes that climate change is an urgent issue affecting the world today and that businesses and their representative associations need to take an active role to invest in sustainable business practices and innovative solutions to address the issue. It is not a time for debate but instead a time for action and we believe the Chamber’s recent petition sets back important work currently being undertaken by EPA on this issue.

Nike helped to found BICEP, a coalition of businesses supporting congressional action to address strong U.S. climate and energy legislation. Nike has worked to address its own environmental footprint through the development of more sustainable products, energy efficiency programs and emission reductions.”

NRDC’s Altman, who has been doing terrific work on the Chamber, further notes:

Why is the Chamber so hard-headed in the face of all these companies that want to move forward? It is interesting to note — as I have earlier this week — that US Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue serves on the board of Union Pacific, which earns a significant portion of its revenues from hauling coal.

Mr. Donohue has earned a significant revenue of his own from Union Pacific — over $1.1 million in cash over the last ten years and $3.8 million worth of stock. But that comes at a price, as Union Pacific puts some heavy handcuffs of gold on its directors:

“Directors may not engage in any conduct or activities that are inconsistent with the Company’s best interests or that disrupt or impair the Company’s relationship with any person or entity with which the Company has or proposes to enter into a business or contractual relationship.”

Gee, what happens when the US Chamber of Commerce must choose a policy position and some of its members have interests that are “inconsistent” with Union Pacific’s?

It is time to turn the lights out on the unenlightened folks at the Chamber.