3 Million Businesses Oppose Climate Action - Against Their Will?

chamber commerce climate bill photo

Photo via Global Giants

The US Chamber of Commerce is the most powerful lobbying group in the nation. It represents 3,000,000 businesses, and tens of thousands have direct membership. It's one of the major players in determining whether we see major climate action from Congress. And it strongly and vocally opposes the climate legislation that would instigate a nationwide cut in carbon—but could there really be 3 million businesses that oppose action to curb carbon emissions?Nope. The USCC's opposition has outraged many of the very companies it represents, including corporate giants like Nike and Johnson & Johnson.

In fact, it's caused at least 35 major corporations to argue for measures that would tax their carbon output, in order to fight climate change. Now that's not something you see every day—corporations arguing for what's essentially higher taxes on themselves. They argue that the Chamber of Commerce's views do not represent the whole of the business community, and they want the Chamber to change its tack.

As of now, the USCC is in line with the popular anti-climate legislation line of attack: it would hurt the economy, and would place a burden of thousands of dollars of taxes on every American family. Of course, it's been revealed that climate opponents have willfully distorted those numbers, and a study has found that comprehensive climate legislation could actually save Americans families as much as $900 a year in the near future.

So what we have here is the most powerful lobbying group in the nation opposing climate action on behalf of millions of businesses—even though many of those businesses may be in favor of climate legislation. The 35 that have spoke up, including Nike and Johnson & Johnson, are the more visible, major players that have come out against the Chamber's actions, but how many of those 3 million (most of which are small businesses) actually agree with its stance?

Next to impossible to say, of course. But this visible rift within the Chamber's members is a small bit of good news for the climate bill—it helps undermine the lobbying it's done to oppose the measure. It's very public evidence that not all companies are against climate action—and that some are willing to step up to the plate to prove it.

Follow me on Twitter @bcmerchant
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