skip to main content

→ Top Stories:
Fracking
Safe Chemicals
Defending the Clean Air Act

Pete Altman’s Blog

PNM Resources To Sever Chamber Ties Altogether

Pete Altman

Posted September 24, 2009 in Solving Global Warming

Tags:
, , , , , , , ,
Share | | |

PNM Resources has just updated its position regarding the US Chamber of Commerce:

"At PNM Resources, we see climate change as the most pressing environmental and economic issue of our time.  Given that view, and a natural limit on both company time and resources, we have decided that we can be most productive by working with organizations that share our view on the need for thoughtful, reasonable climate change legislation and want to push that agenda forward in Congress.  

As a result, we have decided to let our membership in the U.S. Chamber lapse when it expires at the end of this year."

Wow. It just isn't a good week for the US Chamber.

These departures say two things: First, the Chamber's opposition to clean energy and climate legislation is clearly out of step with what many of its own members want.  And, second, more and more businesses are taking a stand in favor of clean energy.

So, the US Chamber's continuing opposition to clean energy and climate policies is starting to drive off its own members. Today's announcement by PNM Resources comes on the heels of a statement they released yesterday announcing that they had relinquished their membership in the Chamber's board of directors.  But, some times you gotta go all the way I guess, so PNM is leaving the US Chamber of Commerce altogether.

Here is the full statement they are issuing today:

"Our chairman and CEO, Jeff Sterba, let his term on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce board expire when it ended in January, due largely to time constraints with his schedule. While a member, he had not been active on the board for at least the previous year. 

At PNM Resources, we see climate change as the most pressing environmental and economic issue of our time.  Given that view, and a natural limit on both company time and resources, we have decided that we can be most productive by working with organizations that share our view on the need for thoughtful, reasonable climate change legislation and want to push that agenda forward in Congress.  These organizations include the Edison Electric Institute, the association of shareholder-owned electric companies, and the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a group of businesses and environmental organizations of which we are a founding member. 

As a result, we have decided to let our membership in the U.S. Chamber lapse when it expires at the end of this year. " 

Nike also expressed frustration with the Chamber this week. Earlier this spring, Johnson and Johnson made public its frustration with the Chamber's position on climate.

In fact, there are quite a few companies on the US Chamber Board of Directors that support federal policies on climate change, and only a few - mostly coal companies - that opposed them.

Once again, one must wonder - as I have earlier this week - how Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue can credibly claim to represent the interests of a broad-based business federation when he also serves on the board of directors of Union Pacific, the coal-hauling railroad that prohibits him and other directros from engaging

"in any conduct or activities that are inconsistent with the Company's best interests or that disrupt or impair the Company's relationship with any person or entity with which the Company has or proposes to enter into a business or contractual relationship."  

Directors of Union Pacific have strong incentives to toe that line closely. Mr. Donohue has earned a significant revenue from his service on Union Pacific's board - over $1.1 million in cash over the last ten years and $3.8 million worth of stock.

UPDATE: The Albuquerque Journal has posted a story on this:

"New Mexico's largest utility, PNM, is leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of a disagreement over the chamber's approach to climate change legislation.New Mexico's largest utility, PNM, is leaving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of a disagreement over the chamber's approach to climate change legislation. 

Share | | |

About

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.

Feeds: Pete Altman’s blog

Feeds: Stay Plugged In