Yesterday, The Hill reported that the US Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the American Petroleum Institute to run a “grassroots” project to combat “misinformation” about the Keystone XL pipeline. Putting API, Big Oil’s front group aside, the US Chamber of Commerce has its own misinformation problems. Let’s review the numbers:
- The US Chamber functions like a beltway consulting firm, hired out by big corporations–it spent $132,000,000 on lobbying and electoral battles in 2010.
- The US Chamber is anti-science: of the $32,000,000 the Chamber spent on the 2010 midterm elections, 94% went to climate change deniers.
- The Chamber is consistently on the wrong side of history, lobbying against engagement in WWII, against the Civil Rights Act, against the Americans with Disabilities Act and and against the Clean Air Act.
- The US Chamber has a crisis of legitimacy. While it claims to represent 3,000,000 businesses, only 200,000 are involved in the Chamber in any significant way, and 16 multinational corporations provide the vast majority of its funding.
This is why over 6200 businesses, many of them small, and 53 local chambers of commerce, have signed on to the “US Chamber Doesn’t Speak for me” campaign. While the US Chamber of Commerce teams up with Big Oil over an export pipeline that would bisect our country, these businesses are committed to a planet safe from catastrophic climate change.