Apple, others bolt Chamber of Commerce over regulation of greenhouse gases

Apple has followed the lead of several other companies and resigned from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over the latter's extreme statements against regulating greenhouse gases. Bravo, Apple. by John Dodge

Apple has bailed on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce because of its "Chicken Little" stance on global warming.

Commendably, Apple in a sharply-worded letter to Chamber president and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said it was resigning from the organization immediately. "We strongly object to the Chamber's recent comments opposing the EPA's effort to limit greenhouse gases. Because the Chamber's position differs so sharply with Apple's, we have decided to resign our membership immediately," wrote Apple vice president of worldwide government affairs Catherine Novelli.

Catherine Novelli

The Chamber has said only Congress can create "any additional regulations" to regulate greenhouse gases rather than the EPA using existing ones such as the Clean Air Act. It claims such regulations hurt businesses and jobs creation. The Chamber also put out a "Chicken Little" position paper that said a there was "a paucity" of data to support the notion of global warming and that we should "stop worrying about the weather."

Apple is not the first to quit or criticize the Chamber for its hardened stance. In late September, Pacific Gas & Electric, Nike, Duke Energy and Johnson & Johnson either quit the Chamber or were critical of its position.

While utilities are more isolated from backlash, Apple's position is not without risk. The Chamber could urge its members not to buy Apple products, but such a measure would seem extreme. As for me, I'd be more inclined to buy Apple products.

Apple is doing the right thing and putting the public's interest before purely business interests.

On a related note, the Boston Globe carried separate stories describing corporate behavior at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Does witch hazel lead to good corporate behavior?

One was about how venerable Dickinson Brands Inc. has made the witch hazel "cure all" tonic from the namesake flowering plant for 133 years and prospered without lay-offs. I'll have to check if Dickinson is still with the Chamber or even a member. A nearby story done by the New York Times  told a disturbing tale about how equity bankers made huge profits piling debt on  133-year-old Simmons Bedding and simultaneously driving the company into the ground. Why is this allowed to this happen?

Kudos to Apple and others for doing the right thing.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com