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Seattle Chamber of Commerce Distances Itself from US Chamber

Pete Altman

Posted November 23, 2009 in Solving Global Warming

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Another local Chamber of Commerce has publicly distanced itself from the US Chamber of Commerce's position on climate policy. The President and CEO of the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce posted an open letter to his members on his Chamber's "News" page, saying:  

Several members have recently asked about the Greater Seattle Chamber's relationship to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its position on climate change. These questions stem from national news over the past few months about the U.S. Chamber's stance on climate change and their efforts concerning legislation at the federal level...

Published under the title "Chamber CEO clarifies policy, structural differences with U.S. Chamber: Organizations are separate; environmental records different," the letter states

The Greater Seattle Chamber is an independent, membership-driven association solely governed by our local board of trustees...we are the "captains of our own destiny" and our positions are not dictated by the U.S. Chamber on this or any other matter.

Sustainability and climate change touches every business and we must respond with both a diverse range of solutions and participants. I invite you to become involved by joining the Chamber's member-led Clean Energy Committee.

We are proud of our role and accomplishments, and we are looking forward. There are tremendous opportunities for our region--and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce--to jumpstart a new economic engine, to create jobs and to ensure our high-quality of life for decades to come.

That's certainly a different message and attitude than the US Chamber's approach, which continues to emphasize all the reasons it reserves to oppose a climate bill, rather than clearly stating what it will support in a climate policy.

So, we'll update our US Chamber Climate Credibility Crisis Counter:

U.S. CHAMBER CLIMATE CREDIBILITY CRISIS COUNTER:

Quit the U.S. Chamber over climate: Apple, Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E, PSEG, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Mohawk Paper.

Quit the U.S. Chamber Board over climate: Nike.

Refused to join the U.S. Chamber over climate: NRG Energy

Reduced payments to the US Chamber over climate: Duke Energy

Companies that say the U.S. Chamber doesn't represent their views on climate: Johnson & Johnson, General Electric, Alcoa, Duke, Entergy, Microsoft, Royal Dutch Shell, Seventh Generation, Dow, PEPCO, Cisco Systems and small businesses in Minnesota, Colorado and Wisconsin.

Local Chambers distancing themselves from the U.S. Chamber: San Jose Chamber of Commerce, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

Editorials and columns noting that the U.S. Chamber is damaging its reputation and credibility: BusinessWeek, PRWeek, Fortune Magazine's Marc Gunther, Newsweek, L.A. Times, Washington Post, Time, Marc Gunther (2nd story).

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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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