Environmental groups are happy with Apple’s decision to bail on the US Chamber of Commerce.  The US Chamber of Commerce is not.  Here’s what they had to say about Apple via Dow Jones News Wires:

But wait.  Before you read it, read the FakeSteve story – which is more real than you’ll get on any newswire.  Money quote:

So, we’ve pulled out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with Nike and some power utilities. It’s not just that they’ve taken the wrong position on global warming. It’s why they’re doing it. And the way they’re doing it. If they’d just be honest, and come out and say, Look, we’re getting shitloads of money from oil companies and power utilities, and so we’re basically just a bunch of coin-operated whores who will say and do anything if you pay us, well, I’d almost respect them. I even liked them when they were threatening to sue the EPA and have a Scopes Monkey Trial over global warming. I mean, it was nuts, but at least they were being honest.

OK, now U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Tom Donohue:

"It is unfortunate that your company didn’t take the time to understand the Chamber’s position on climate and forfeited the opportunity to advance a 21st century approach to climate change." He said that the business group is committed to the environment but also to preserving the competitiveness of American business.

"While we do support legislation to address climate change, we oppose legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill that numerous studies show will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse gas emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits," Donohue wrote. He said that the business group was focused on innovation and technology to combat climate change.

"It is a shame that Apple will not be part of our efforts," he wrote.

UPDATE: What makes the Chamber’s "efforts" more open to criticism – and very likely attributed to the departure of Apple and others from the group – is the deeply opaque and seemingly undemocratic way it has reached its decisions on these matters.

Nike quit its executive seat recently, and now characterises its decision as going beyond a simple policy disagreement. The company describes the Chamber as lacking transparency and accountability, "that conflicted with the organization’s own supposedly democratic principles and suggested the outsized influence of a few Chamber members in setting its climate stance."

Donald Sterhan, chair of the Chamber’s energy and environment committee, says that its board of directors and its committees never formally endorsed the climate stance, according to Mother Jones. There has never been a vote, and members seeking a change in the Chamber’s position have been unable to find any avenue in which to make such a change happen.

This is because these decisions are being made in such a way in which there is no forum for a change in policy, the report explains. The 100-plus board makes them. And a large number of board members c"ome from companies tied to the production or burning of fossil fuels."  Three of the five members of the board’s senior council represent such interests, the report also explains.


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