| Tuesday May 31st 2016

Apple withdrew its membership from the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Emmanuelle ChriquiYesterday, technology juggernaut Apple withdrew its membership from the United States Chamber of Commerce. They aren’t the first, and they won’t be the last.

Why are we seeing an exodus from the Chamber? In Apple’s words

“As a company, we are working hard to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions by relying on renewable energy at our facilities and designing more enery-effcient products for our customers. We have undertaken this unilaterally and without government mandate, because we believe it is the right thing to do. For those companies who cannot or will not do the same, Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort.”

The specific catalyst for Apple’s departure is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s threat of litigation if the Environmental Protection Agency regulates greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.

Additionally, The Chamber of Commerce is requesting the EPA publicly present their findings on carbon emissions – conveniently ignoring the fact that the EPA has held two public hearings on this matter already – one on May 18, 2009 in Arlington, VA, and one on May 21, 2009 in Seattle, WA. Transcripts of those hearings can found here and here.

The United States Chamber of Commerce’s position that there isn’t enough evidence to support carbon emissions being regulated as a pollutant is disingenuous at best. The Chamber has an invested interest in fighting policies that might effect their member’s bottom lines. Knowing this it’s hard to believe that the Chamber is arguing the EPA based on a rational reading of the scientific data, but rather from a position fearful of alterations to the status quo.

Apple’s departure was proceeded by Exelon, Pacific Gas & Electric, PNM Resources and Nike all withdrawing their memberships for the same reason.

Don’t be surprised if you hear of more departures in the coming days.

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