Energy Secretary Applauds Apple’s Chamber Resignation; Chamber Cries Conspiracy

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U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu thinks Apple, PG&E, and other companies that have quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its efforts to block legislation and policies to address climate change have done the right thing. In a related story, U.S. Chamber President & CEO Thomas J. Donohue told reporters that his organization was the victim of a conspiracy by environmental groups to discredit it.

Mr. Chu made his comments at a solar energy event in Washington D.C., saying, "I think it's wonderful" when asked what he thought about Apple, PG&E, and other corporations pulling out of the Chamber.

"Part of our economic future in the United States," lies is curbing greenhouse gasses, Mr. Chu told reporters. "I would encourage the Chamber of Commerce to realize the economic opportunity that the United States can lead in a new industrial revolution."

Mr. Chu and others in the Obama administration have advocated the position that curbing greenhouse gasses and transitioning away from dependence on fossil fuels offers great economic benefit to the country, and opportunities for American businesses.

Steven Chu
Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy

Representing many of those businesses, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has attacked proposed regulations and greenhouse gas-related legislation as being damaging to business, predicting that it will send companies and jobs to countries with little or no regulation.

Apple Inc. resigned the Chamber earlier this week because of its position and efforts to block change, following Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which did the same thing earlier this year. PNM Resources and Exelon have announced that they, too, plan to leave the Chamber in opposition to its environmental position and policies.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Thomas J. Donohue responded to Apple's departure with a letter chastising the Cupertino company for "forfeiting the opportunity" to work with the organization to approach climate change in a way the Chamber deems prudent.

He followed that up Thursday by telling reporters that his organization was the victim of a conspiracy by environmental groups trying to discredit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by pressuring his member companies to quit. In a press conference, Mr. Donohue told reporters, "There is under way an orchestrated pressure campaign by a couple of environmental groups."

He added, "If [these companies] want to quit, we're sorry to see them go, but it's sort of interesting that we have turnover all the time and these four companies sort of woke up one morning and all decided they were on their own, going to quit and put it in the newspaper."

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7 Comments Leave Your Own

Bryan Chaffin

Mr. Donohue is sounding a tad desperate, IMO. That conspiracy claim is just sort of bizarre sounding to me. I suspect he’ll be looking for a new gig before too long.

geoduck

One man’s conspiracy is another’s grass roots movement.

Tiger

I second your notion Bryan. Maybe he can launch a talk show?

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

?The American public?just like your teenage kids, aren?t acting in a way that they should act,? Dr. Chu said. ?The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.”

Repeat after me, Dr. Chu… Whah Tahnah Siam.

Josh

Sounds to me like everyone here has decided that Apple is right with the minimum of actual investigation.  For all of the chamber of commerce’s faults, the issue being trotted out as the cause of Apple’s resignation, opposition to Cap-and-Trade is probably the most sound of their stances on the environment.  C&T will not actually result in a net decrease in global CO2 emmissions, which is what it is supposed to be aime at.  Instead it will increase energy costs in the US, pushing the handful ofanufacturing jobs that remain here in the US to countries that don’t participate in the program.  Many cynical people I’ve spoken with mistakenly believe that all the job that can be out sourced have already done so.  This is not even remotely true.  Ther are lots of smaller factories that have tries to stay in the US out of patriotism (no one is more patriotic than a blue collar worker IMO), that will be forced to reconsider that decision in the face of international competition that is not paying this CO2 tax.  The COC has taken stances on other related issues that are unfortunate and would be more valid reasons for criticism, but opposition to legislation that will nothing to address it’s stated purpose and instead make American manufacturing more expensive is not something that should be beaten up over.

adamC

Do you know what is sad?

People who whined about the US going broke, the US $ going down the toilet, jobs are going overseas and Obama sucks.

Take a look at China, flush with cash and buying up the world - the secret ingredient the govt owned and controlled the economy.

The US run by corporations but the country is poor and the govt perpetually borrowing money from the rest of the world just to fund their programs and excesses.

It’s time the US govt should put aside this poor excuse of funding of the govt thru taxes, it doesn’t work and has not been working. It time for the govt to start getting other sources of income than just taxes and the more pathetic borrowing. (I am no economist, I can offer no solution - just a suggestion how about a sovereign wealth fund))

Sorry for the rant, it is just sad to see a great country going down the drain.

Josh

China is growing in large part because they have little care for the long term impact they are having on the envireonment.  I’m not suggesting that we should do nothing, but this is not the correct economic climate for us to take unilateral action that will be completely ineffectual.  If th C&T plan also included a provision for some sort of protective tarrif for goods manufactured in countries without similar plans for controlling CO2 emissions then it might be beneficial to someone other than those running manufacturing facilities in China or a this world country. 

P.S. China makes alot of it’s money off of taxes just like any government that isn’t sitting on oil reserves that it has nationalized.

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