Business Groups Losing Members Because of Climate Policies

| by NRDC

Not every blog should be set to music, but the "Walls Come Tumbling Down" by John Mellencamp seems like a suitable accompaniment for this one. So, turn up your speakers, click here and read on ...

Even as Politico reported on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce faces increased opposition from its members about the Chamber's obstructionist approach to climate change science and responsible climate/energy/green jobs policy - a story that Reuters picked up - the National Association of Manufacturers got its own black eye for its handling of the climate policy debate. As Bloomberg is reporting:

"Duke Energy Corp., the owner of utilities in the U.S. Southeast and Midwest, won't renew its membership in the National Association of Manufacturers partly because of differences over climate policy.

'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 ... 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 (USCAP), 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."

NAM has a history of opposing environmental polices, as Think Progress notes in a post about the breakup. What also makes this development particularly interesting is that NAM and the US Chamber are working as a team to trash the basis for and policy initiatives to seriously deal with global warming.

Readers of this blog know that we have focused on growing cracks between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and some of the members of its board of directors when it comes to climate policy. As we noted when Johnson & Johnson and Nike broke ranks with the Chamber on climate policy:

Who exactly is the U.S. Chamber representing when it comes to global warming?

NRDC took a look at the Chamber's board of directors and their public positions on global warming and gee, what we found... it turns out that the staff of the U.S. Chamber appears to be projecting the views held by a tiny sliver of its board of directors - just four out of 122 members on the board. The Chamber's oft-stated views, which question the scientific consensus on climate change and reject the need for federal regulation to reduce global warming pollution, stand in sharp contrast to the views expressed by 19 members of the Chamber's board that support federal regulations with goals to reduce total US global warming pollution.

You read that right: only 23 members of the U.S. Chamber's board have a publicly stated position on climate change and more than 80 percent are not on board with the U.S. Chamber's "Dr. No" position on climate policy action.

So who is in the minority that has shanghaied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on climate policy? Be prepared to be shocked! Three of the four climate deniers are coal companies: Peabody Energy, Massey Energy Corp., and CONSOL Energy ...

So, what's next? One development is that it may turn out the U.S. Chamber doesn't represent all small business voices on this matter either. MoveOn.org has been mobilizing its small business members who support moving forward to a clean energy future.