2. US Chamber Talking Points
It seems that practically everyday the US Chamber of Commerce does something new to show how out of touch it is with the majority of American businesses. We’ve assembled a list of talking points and examples that should help you with your local media work. You can also do your own research about your local and state Chambers of Commerce.
Top Talking Points
Climate change is bad for business.
The simple truth is that we can’t solve the climate crisis until we end corporate polluters’ stranglehold on our democracy.
Right now, the best way to take on corporate polluters is to damage the credibility of their biggest front group, the US Chamber of Commerce.
The US Chamber of Commerce tries to fool a lot of people with its image. The US Chamber is not a government agency and it has no association with the vast majority of local chambers of commerce.
The US Chamber is the largest special interest lobby group in Washington. In 2009 it spent five times as much on lobbying as the next highest spender: Exxon Mobil.
The US Chamber spends millions to oppose any action on climate change and the environment, while actively supporting the interests of big polluters.
The US Chamber has lost all of its integrity by acting as the attack dog for the wealthy special interests that fund it.
Businesses across the United States are saying “The US Chamber of Commerce” doesn’t speak for them on energy and climate change.
Major companies like Apple and Nike and local chambers, from New Hampshire to California, are publicly splitting ties with the US Chamber over their pro-polluter lobbying.
Businesses deserve the right to decide where they stand on climate change, not let the US Chamber misrepresent them.
More Facts on the US Chamber
The US Chamber is a massive lobby organization that often has no ties to local chambers of commerce.
The US Chamber spends more than any other entity in Washington DC on lobbying and politics.
In 2009, the US Chamber spent $144 million on lobbying which is more than next five largest lobbyists combined.
Because the US Chamber is a 501c6 trade organization it doesn’t pay any taxes and it doesn’t have to disclose where its contributions come from.
The President of the US Chamber, Tom Donahue, has courted huge, multi-national corporations while claiming to represent small business.
The Chamber has been exaggerating its membership roles 15 fold, claiming 3,000,000 members when the real number is probably closer to 200,000.
Of the nation’s 7,000 local chambers of commerce, only 249 are accredited with the US Chamber.
The US Chamber got 55 percent of its funding from just 16 companies, each of which gave more than a million dollars.
Their value to their members is that the members can hide behind the name, “The US Chamber of Commerce.” It makes it sound like your mom and pop store down the street is opposing climate legislation, not the biggest dirty energy companies in the world.
During the BP Oil Spill, Tom Donahue argued against lifting the paltry liability cap of $75 million and even suggested that tax payers should clean up the mess.
The chamber has long opposed environmental standards. In the 1980s, it fought a ban on the dumping of hazardous waste. In the 1990s, it fought smog and soot standards. Now, it’s fighting action on climate change.