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Chamber Businesses Pressured To Take A Stand On Climate Change

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Politico reports that businesses which make up the ranks of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are taking the heat for the business association's controversial stance on some issues.

This week's departure of Mohawk Fine Paper marked the seventh business in recent weeks -- including Apple, Exelon Corp. and Pacific Gas and Electric -- to leave the chamber's membership in protest of its stance on climate change legislation.
Now, companies such as Toyota, maker of the hybrid Prius, are feeling pressure from environmentalists to take a stand against the chamber.

Moveon.org is asking owners of the Prius to send photos to Toyota asking it to resign its membership. Advocates are asking for the group to at least publicly distance itself from the Chamber's strict opposition to the legislation, reports Mother Jones.

Other companies are under fire as well.

Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said his company will remain a member of the Chamber -- in spite of the group's position on climate change, not because of it.

"We told the Chamber that we are a member for a variety of reasons, and climate change isn't one of them," Lowery told POLITICO. "But I don't think anyone doubts where our company stands on this issue."

The Chamber of Commerce spent a staggering $34.6 million in the third-quarter aggressively lobbying lawmakers on issues including climate change legislation and financial reform.

The Chamber's president Tom Donohue has said that the organization does support some form of climate change legislation -- just not the Boxer-Kerry bill currently in the Senate or the Waxman-Markey bill narrowly passed by the House in June.

From a Chamber press release:

Some in the environmental movement claim that, because of our opposition to a specific bill or approach, we must be opposed to all efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, or that we deny the existence of any problem. They are dead wrong.