Some utilities splintering off from Chamber of Commerce

Environmental social movement strategy note:

Political efforts to internalize some of the environmental costs of carbon production have already produced something strategically valuable:

Some US utilities have quit the US Chamber of Commerce, as the Chamber has an aggressively pro-climate change/carbon-emissions stance. Some but not all of these dissenting utilities have nuclear holdings and/or have markets in liberal regions.

“What appears to have touched off the utilities’ withdrawals from the chamber was a recent article in The Los Angeles Times that cited chamber officials who called for a ‘Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century’ about the science of climate change. The Scopes trial was a clash of creationists and evolutionists in the 1920s,” explain Clifford Kraus and Kate Galbraith of the New York Times. “The chamber has been especially vocal recently in opposing a proposal by the Environmental Protection Agency to use an existing law, the Clean Air Act, to set limits on greenhouse gases. The proposal would most likely take effect only if Congress failed to pass climate legislation.”

Other major corporations with public image requirements, such as Nike and Johnson & Johnson, have also expressed dissatisfaction with the Chamber and NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) anti-environmental orthodoxy. The 3-million-business-member Chamber of Commerce and the NAM are the US’s premier lobbying organizations on behalf of capital.

Most citizens would reap significant long-term benefit from working with their organizations and movements to put further pressure on companies that support environmental destruction through their affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce and the NAM.


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