You are hereMother Jones: Why Are These "Green" Companies Still in the US Chamber of Commerce?

Mother Jones: Why Are These "Green" Companies Still in the US Chamber of Commerce?

October 8, 2009- Amid all the recent headlines about the US Chamber of Commerce, it's easy to forget that it does much more than work to derail climate legislation. The nation's largest business lobby, with more than 3 million member companies, takes positions on everything from financial regulation to judicial nominations to health care. That's why some companies that disagree with the Chamber's antiregulatory climate stance say they're sticking with the group. Their prepared statements start with some variation of: "We don't always agree with the Chamber, but. . ."

To be sure, a company that has never staked much of its profits or reputation on the environment can reasonably claim that the Chamber's dirty behavior isn't a relationship breaker. But what about companies that manufacture solar panels or took out full-page ads in the green issue of Vanity Fair? Belonging to the Chamber would seem to undermine their bottom lines, or at least pull the rug out from under their green marketing campaigns.

According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, at least 18 remaining members of the Chamber’s board publicly support federal climate policy. Bruce Freed, the president of the Center for Public Accountability, a shareholder activism group, is urging them to distance themselves from the Chamber.  "Where there is a fundamental disagreement with company values, with company business strategies," he says, "companies really do need to act on that. Its a matter of companies holding their trade associations accountable."



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