Score one more for the corporate responsibility crowd: Pacific Gas & Electric has up and left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the business lobby’s climate policy. In its reasoned explanation, PG&E referred to some of the other recent principled stands that Duke Energy and Alstom have made in quitting the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy. Other companies, like Nike and Johnson & Johnson, have taken the Chamber to task for its regressive stance. But PG&E is the first to actually jet—or at least announce its departure in a high-profile way—over statements like Vice President Bill Kovacs’ nonsense about putting the EPA’s climate change science through a “Scopes monkey trial.” As people like the NRDC’s Pete Altman keep bird-dogging the issue, it’s got to be a matter of time before either the Chamber moderates or more businesses jump ship.
We got this news too late to pursue a comment from the Chamber, but we know where they are: hosting business leaders of the “world’s largest economies” in a forum to figure out what to do about the Copenhagen summit 10 weeks down the line. Their statement for what the Obama administration should do on energy is no Waxman-Markey, favoring the “all-of-the-above” approach to energy development—but it certainly doesn’t deny that global warming is a serious issue. On the international stage, does the Chamber feel compelled to act more responsibly than when confined to the domestic arena?