Here they go again. Oppose regulating carbon emissions and either the media or the Obama administration is going to come gunning at you. Sometimes both.
An article in the Nov. 19 New York Times by John M. Broder scrutinizes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donahue for his organization’s opposition to President Barack Obama proposal to act on the theory of anthropogenic global warming. So what did Broder believe was important to highlight in his story about a story about a policy debate? The chamber president’s salary and his modes of transportation.
“Mr. Donohue, 71, now the president of the United States Chamber of Commerce, still flies on private jets and enjoys a chauffeur-driven car in addition to his $3 million annual salary,” Broder wrote. “And his legendary pugnacity has not faded. It was on display again this fall as he and the chamber found themselves in a maelstrom over climate change policy after a number of member companies noisily resigned in protest over the chamber’s hostile stance on climate legislation. A wave of criticism arose from Congress, the White House, environmental organizations and some businesses that accused the chamber and its president of a reactionary pursuit of anti-environmental policies.”
The whole anti-Chamber of Commerce movement kicked into overdrive after the president sent two top aides, Valerie Jarrett and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, to lobby against the chamber and its positions. The chamber has also been the target of left-wing outlets like the Huffington Post, which tried to determine who donates to the organization.
Broder considered the reason there’s a pushback against the chamber by the left-wing environmental activists as something important to point out.
“His opponents say that his words and actions are self-defeating and have served only to marginalize the chamber in one of the most important environmental and economic debates of the time,” Broder wrote.
Those opponents? The Times reached out to the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council, an organization that has very Draconian views on the issue of environmental policy, specifically global warming.
“Mr. Donohue’s chamber has damaged its credibility, reputation and influence with self-inflicted wounds caused by its extremist stance on climate policy, its obfuscating double-talk and Mr. Donohue’s own attacks on corporate members that have distanced themselves from the chamber’s position,” said Peter Altman, NRDC climate campaign director, to the Times. “The chamber appears to have realized it must express support for federal climate legislation in order to remain politically relevant, but it has yet to demonstrate a real commitment to the goal of making serious policy that would result in aggressive reductions in global warming pollution.”
Another opponent of the chamber has been John Podesta, the head of the left-wing Center for American Progress and head of Obama’s transition team. The Times spared a few column inches for his critique of the chamber as well.
John Podesta, former chief of staff in the Clinton White House and now head of the liberal Center for American Progress, has tangled with Mr. Donohue on a number of issues and has found common cause with him on others, like education and worker training.
“It’s fair to say that we disagree on most things,” Mr. Podesta said. “But he took a kind of sleepy organization and turned it into one of the most aggressive lobbying groups in town.”
On climate change, however, Mr. Podesta said that Mr. Donohue’s views put him at odds with some important members.
“When you run out on the battlefield and your troops are turning their horses in a different direction, you quickly find yourself in pretty big trouble,” Mr. Podesta said.