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Another Firm Bails on the US Chamber's Extreme Climate Stance

Pete Altman

Posted October 20, 2009 in Solving Global Warming

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The Associated Press is reporting that

Mohawk Paper quits US Chamber over climate stance

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Mohawk Fine Paper is joining a growing number of companies quitting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over climate change policies.

The Cohoes, N.Y.-based paper company says membership in an organization that opposes climate change policies hurts its position as a business with a strong commitment to environmental innovation and climate protection.

The business community is sharply divided on cap and trade climate bills before Congress. In recent months the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been critical of the legislation, has seen a number of companies resign their memberships over the issue.

Update:

Mohawk's statement, as reported by PR Newsire, says: 

"We believe that our continued membership in an organization that vigorously opposes sensible climate change policies is detrimental to our position as a business leader with a strong record in the areas of environmental innovation and climate protection," says George F. Milner, Mohawk's Senior VP, Energy, Environmental, and Government Affairs.

"We understand that the U.S. Chamber's job is to promote policies that represent the consensus opinion of its membership; but the Chamber also has a responsibility to shape that consensus with vision, guidance and leadership that looks beyond ideological divisions. That is particularly important in the area of climate change policies," wrote Milner in a letter to the Chamber last week.

UPDATE, again:

Mohawk just sent me the full text of their letter. Its not much longer than what I quoted from PR Newswire, but for the record, here's the whole thing.

MEMO

To: US Chamber of Commerce

From: Mohawk Fine Papers, Melissa Stevens

RE: Membership

I am informing you that Mohawk Fine Papers Inc. is withdrawing from and will not renew its membership in the US Chamber of Commerce. 

We understand that your organization's job is to promote policies that represent the consensus opinion of your membership; but the Chamber also has a responsibility to shape that consensus with vision, guidance, and leadership that looks beyond ideological divisions. This is particularly important in the area of climate change policies. 

We believe that our continued membership in an organization that vigorously opposes sensible climate change policies is detrimental to our position as a business leader with a strong record in the areas of environmental innovation and climate protection.

Melissa Stevens

National Business Development Manager

Mohawk Fine Papers

www.mohawkpaper.com

Mohawk Fine Papers is a Women-Owned Enterprise certified by the New York State Department of Economic Development

==========

US Chamber's Climate Credibilty Crisis Counter:

Quit US Chamber over climate:  Apple, Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E, PSEG, Levi Strauss & Co*, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Mohawk Paper.

Quit US Chamber Board over climate: Nike.

Companies that say the US Chamber doesn't represent their views on climate: Johnson&Johnson, General Electric, Alcoa, Duke, Entergy, Microsoft, Toyota(?), Royal Dutch Shell, Seventh Generation.

Editorials and columns noting that the US Chamber is damaging its reputation and credibility: BusinessWeek, PRWeek, Fortune Magazine's Marc Gunther, Newsweek, LA Times, Washington Post.   

Local Chambers distancing themselves from the US Chamber: San Jose Chamber of Commerce, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce.

Whodoesthechamberrepresent.org?

* UPDATE 11/12/09: Levi-Strauss informed us that the company did not leave the US Chamber over climate concerns, as Greenwire had reported. 

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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