Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
Climate Change Changes the Chamber
Monday, October 19, 2009
This blog was taken in by an email from the Chamber of Commerce, but talkingpointmemo was not. Turns out the Chamber's apparent shift on climate change was a hoax.
The US Chamber of Commerce has had some high level defections over its opposition to climate change legislation. Today, the group makes what it is billing as an about-face (though the phrase "free enterprise climate policy" in the header sort of muddles the move).
Here's the email:
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Announces Free Enterprise Climate Policy
Internal Conflict Resolves in Commitment To Long-Term Prosperity
WASHINGTON, D.C.-The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is throwing its weight behind strong climate legislation, a spokesman for Chamber President Tom J. Donahue announced today at the National Press Club.
"We believe that strong climate legislation is the best way to ensure American innovation, create jobs, and make sure the U.S. and the world are on track to reduce global carbon emissions, and to provide for the needs of the American business community for generations to come," said the spokesman, Hingo Sembra.
The new position is an about-face on climate policy for the Chamber, which previously lobbied against government action. The shift comes after the defection of several prominent members of the Chamber, including PG&E, Apple, PNM Resources, and Exelon.
"We believe the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act is a good start towards strong legislation," noted Sembra, adding that such legislation "should include a stiff carbon tax and correspondingly strong incentives for industries we wish to foster."
"A carbon tax means less need for legislating by Congress, a surer business environment for companies, and a simpler, competition-friendly mechanism for reducing carbon than the bill's current cap-and-trade approach," said Sembra.
The Chamber announced an immediate moratorium on lobbying and publicity work opposing climate legislation.