On Earth Day, Companies That Profess to Care About the Environment Should Rethink Their Support for the Chamber
This Earth Day, we hope you will take some time to join with us in reflecting on the effect our lifestyles have on the planet and to make positive changes. We would also like for corporations that claim to be environmentally responsible to have that same introspection and take forward-thinking action.
Earlier this month, Australian miner BHP Billiton finalized its decision that it would be withdrawing from the World Coal Association over differences on climate change. Notably, it also announced it would remain a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Previously, the miner has been an outspoken advocate for the Paris Climate Agreement and was publicly considering leaving the Chamber over the Chamber’s lobbying against the Agreement. Even a brief glance at the Chamber’s shameful history on environmental issues reveals what a mistake BHP has made in staying with the Chamber.
The Chamber habitually throws around its more than $272 million in corporate-donated money and its significant lobbying weight to pursue a climate agenda beholden to the fossil fuel industry and Big Oil. It has frequently stood in opposition to environmental safeguards like the Clean Water Rule, the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, and the Stream Protection Rule. It has brought a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to block implementation of the Clean Power Plan. In fact, the Chamber sued the EPA 15 times during a recent three-year period.
Most notoriously, the Chamber has routinely attempted to block efforts to combat climate change. In 2009, the Chamber infamously called for a “Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” to put climate science on trial. It has also funded a now-debunked study on the Paris Climate Agreement that dramatically overstated the potential costs of the Agreement and ignored its benefits. President Trump later cited this sham “study” as part of his rationale to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
BHP’s website has an entire section on the environment, with subsections devoted to “climate change” and “water” among other topics. Its continued support of the Chamber, however, is in effect condoning the Chamber’s constant attacks on the environment.
If BHP is truly committed to engaging on climate and green energy issues, it should take a consistent stance in which organizations it will refuse to do business with. A number of companies have already left the Chamber over its environmental policies including its anti-climate advocacy. No company that proclaims to care about the environment, sustainability, public health or the planet should remain a member.
This is why we call on the many corporations that fund it to #DropTheChamber. This Earth Day, please sign the petition to tell companies like Gap, Pepsi, and Disney to make a better decision than BHP and quit the Chamber and leave its fossilized thinking behind and put our planet on a better path to the future.