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U.S. Chamber members disagree on climate

May 5, 2009 at 10:47 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- Some large corporations say the U.S. Chamber of Commerce should moderate its vocal opposition to pending climate-change legislation.

The business lobby's strong stance against a draft House of Representatives bill creating a cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gases and promote the development of renewable energy technology has drawn rebukes from chamber members Johnson & Johnson and Nike, with others considering withholding dues in protest, the Washington publication Politico reported Tuesday.

Johnson & Johnson reportedly demanded in a letter to the chamber that it refrain from making comments on the issue of climate change unless the statements "reflect the full range of views, especially those of chamber members advocating for congressional action."

Nike spokeswoman Anne Meyers told Politico her company has also been "vocal" with the chamber's leaders "about wanting them to take a more progressive stance on the issue of climate change."

But U.S. Chamber of Commerce official William Kovacs downplayed the divide within the powerful lobbying group, telling Politico, "We deal with 300 to 400 issues a year and there are times when members would disagree. But on 95 percent of the issues, we have 95 percent of the support."

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