There have been a couple new developments since I last wrote about the US Chamber of Commerce and its whacked out stance on climate change (basically, denial and roadblocking important legislation):
First, Nike stepped down from the Chamber board of directors while keeping its membership in the group.
Second, Apple split with the Chamber.
And as Grist points out, the Chamber has tried to do damage control, without changing its opposition to clean-energy legislation. And, the New York Timeseditorial page pronounced that “no organization in this country has done more to undermine [climate] legislation.”
Furthermore, hundreds of business executives descended on Washington this week in support of a clean energy economy, including Starbucks, HP, Ebay, Duke Energy, Levi Strauss, Cliff Bar, Avista, Exelon, PG&E and many others. Calling for investment in American jobs instead of global warming pollution, the CEOs participating in the Business Advocacy Day for Jobs & Competitiveness—an effort organized by the new We Can Lead coalition—are telling the Senate to take action with strong climate legislation like the Clean Energy Jobs Act introduced last week by Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA).
So, our question remains…Which Northwest company will be the next to step up and condemn the Chamber’s heavy-duty lobbying against smart climate and energy policy? Lobbying being done in members’ names?
Ahem, Microsoft…? Grist’s Jonathan Hiskes met with Microsoft’s chief environmental strategist, Rob Bernard.
Microsoft has never been considered an environmental leader, but it’s got a decent climate policy on paper. It opened an energy-efficient data center this summer that could lead to significant energy savings, particularly if the company finds ways to use the innovations in larger server labs.
Given all this, why is Microsoft a Chamber member? Bernard told me Microsoft takes climate change very seriously and tried to distance the company from the Chamber’s climate shenanigans. “The views expressed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce do not reflect Microsoft’s position on climate change and we are not participating in their climate initiatives,” he said in a followup email.
Kudos to Hiskes for asking the tough questions. I would think Microsoft employees would be asking those too—or employees at Amazon, Boeing, or Costco for that matter.
Meanwhile, as part of SEIU’s ongoing campaign to shed light on the extreme positions of the US Chamber of Commerce, they put together this video highlighting the recent high-profile exodus for the Chamber’s “backwards position on climate change.”
We’d like to see some Northwest business leaders willing to leave the Chamber with an achy breaky heart too.
Great post. Glad you’re following this!BTW, Yes, Dave Roberts was referred to in the Grist post. But it was actually Jonathon Hiskes (writer of the post) who met with Microsoft’s Rob Bernard…Love that video! 🙂
Sightline-Grist Fan Take-2
er, Make that JonathAn (with 2 a’s) Hiskes 🙂
Thank you! I changed the name to Jonathan’s…sorry to mix it up!!