Maryland Businesses Decry U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Stance on Global Warming Policy

We wanted to get this press release out to the masses:

Local leaders join national companies in speaking out against the Chamber’s stance on climate
TAKOMA PARK—Business leaders in Maryland today spoke out againstthe U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of its obstruction of climatelegislation. A number of major companies, including Apple and LeviStrauss & Co., have recently resigned from the Chamber because theydisagree with the Chamber’s stance on global warming. Local businessesjoined the national companies in declaring that the U.S. Chamber ofCommerce doesn’t represent them.
“Every business talks ‘green’ these days, but the real test of agreen commitment is where a business stands on supporting progressiveenvironmental legislation at the state or national level,” said GarySkulnik of Clean Currents. “Clean Currents is proud to stand firmly inthe true green camp in supporting serious legislation to reduce thegreenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change, as opposed to theU.S. Chamber and its head-in-the-sand approach.”
The U.S. Chamber spent $26 million on lobbying Congress in thefirst half of 2009, double the total of second-biggest lobbying firmExxonMobil. The influential Chamber has also opposed every major pieceof climate legislation introduced on Capitol Hill – it opposedMcCain-Lieberman in 2003 and 2005, Lieberman-Warner in 2007, andWaxman-Markey in 2009.
“As a business owner it is clear to me that this is the time tomake major investments in the industries that will power our future andcreate millions of career-track green-collar jobs,” said RichardDeutschmann, VP of Policy & Market Development for groSolar, anational solar energy company. “A recent study indicated that investingin the clean energy economy could provide as many as 1.7 million newjobs. That’s exactly what our ailing economy needs.”
“We must do all we can to minimize climate change which is alreadyaffecting global biodiversity.  At current projections, 50% of theworld’s species could be facing extinction by the end of century,” saidKeith Bowers of Biohabitats. “The bottom line is that all livingorganisms depend on natural capital.”
Traditionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce claimed to representthe collective interest of American business. The recent publicresignations have exposed the Chamber as majorly out of step with thetoday’s businesses.
“As a business owner I stand with major companies like Apple,Pacific Gas and Electric, Microsoft, and Nike that have spoken outagainst the Chamber because they understand the modern economy,” saidGeorge L Peters Jr, President & CEO of Sustainable UrbanInfrastructures, Inc. “I don’t stand with the backward looking,mired-in-the-failed-status-quo energy policies of the U.S. Chamber.”
The companies have left the US Chamber entirely, left the Board ofthe US Chamber, or spoken out against the US Chamber, include:
o Apple, Inc. – Resigned
o Exelon – Resigned
o PNM Resources (NM) – Resigned
o Pacific Gas and Electric Co (CA) – Resigned
o PSE&G – Resigned
o Levi Strauss & Co – Resigned
o Nike – Resigned from board, will quit Chamber next year
o Johnson & Johnson, GeneralElectric, San Jose Chamber of Commerce, Alcoa, Duke, Entergy,Microsoft, Toyota – Say chamber doesn’t represent their views on climate
Maryland business leaders available for interview:
Keith Bowers, President, BioHabitats
Baltimore, MD
Richard Deutschmann, VP Policy & Market Development, groSolar
Jessup, MD
443-451-3512 office, 410-707-4368 mobile
George L Peters Jr., President & CEO, Sustainable Urban Infrastructures, Inc.
Baltimore, MD
Gary Skulnik, President/Partner, Clean Currents, LLC
Rockville, MD 20850
301-754-0430 x701, 202-413-8534 (cell)