In what is rapidly becoming the trend of the moment, Apple has announced that it is the latest company to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the Chamber's opposition to climate change legislation.
In a letter today sent to Chamber CEO Thomas J. Donahue, Apple VP Catherine Novelli wrote:
We would prefer that the Chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in addressing the climate crisis. However, because the Chamber's position differs so sharply with Apple's, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately.
The Chamber is taking heat for, among other things, its efforts over the summer to force the U.S. EPA to hold a public trial on whether or not climate change science was accurate. The move, which the Chamber's vice president for the environment, technology and regulatory affairs likened to the Scopes Monkey Trial on the validity of evolutionary theory, caused an uproar and led the VP to backtrack on the statement.
Apple's departure is just the latest of a string of defections from business groups over climate policy. In addition to Apple, Nike, Exelon, PNM Resources and Pacific Gas & Electric have all left the Chamber in the past two weeks.
Earlier last month, two major energy companies left another industry group over differences in climate policy: Duke Energy and Alstom Energy both parted ways with the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity for that group's efforts to stymie the Waxman-Markey climate bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Despite the recent defections, there are still many thousands of members of the U.S. Chamber; and although the group won't disclose all their members, you can see the who's-who on their boards of directors. The list includes many of the country's biggest firms, and notably some companies with proactive green stances, like UPS, Wegman's, IBM, FedEx and Melaleuca.
Will one of those companies be the next to choose the climate over the Chamber?
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