As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Death Of The Chamber Of Commerce? Please?

Look who's feeling some heat on climate change, our old friends at the Chamber of Commerce. The current Waxman-Markey climate bill is modeled fairly closely on a proposal by a coalition called USCAP, which includes a fair number of business interests. Businesses recognizes that the cost of failure now to address the warming climate will be extreme later, so they'd rather have a knowable price for carbon they can use to innovate and manage. The Chamber, of course, includes far-right interests that just want to ride the status quo into the center of the sun. That's causing some tension:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is taking heat from Johnson & Johnson, Nike and other corporate members over its opposition to global warming legislation pending in the House.

In a letter to the Chamber, Johnson & Johnson has asked the Chamber to refrain from making comments on climate change unless they “reflect the full range of views, especially those of Chamber members advocating for congressional action.”

Nike spokeswoman Anne Meyers said her company has also been “vocal” with the Chamber’s leaders “about wanting them to take a more progressive stance on the issue of climate change.”

While the Chamber’s opposition to cap-and-trade legislation introduced by House Democrats mirrors the views of some in industry, particularly energy producers, Meyer said Nike “didn’t feel that consumer companies had a particularly strong or vocal voice around the issue of climate change.”

Lobbyists at business coalitions that support federal climate change legislation say other companies are discussing the possibility of sending their own letters to the Chamber — or of threatening to withhold dues from the Chamber in protest.

Oh, to see a crackup inside the Chamber of Commerce. I can't think of a bigger threat to right-wing obstructionism or a bigger boost to progressive governance. Eventually this will come to a head on health care as well, with those businesses who want to remain globally competitive reason that the status quo with a broken system will surely bankrupt them.

On a related front, we may see both sides of the climate issue come together around a deal that includes nuclear power. Politics, art of compromise, all that. I guess my support on this would depend on the targets in the climate cap and the aggressiveness of the renewable energy standard.

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