With last week's National Association of Manufacturers' (NAM) multi-million dollar ad buy opposing clean energy and climate change legislation, a similar conflict of interest has arisen. General Electric, Caterpillar and Boston Scientific Corporations boast memberships in both NAM and USCAP (as do our friends at Shell and BP, to whom evidently memberships are collectible items).
Which puts these corporations in a bit of a pickle considering NAM and USCAP's starkly different objectives. As members of USCAP, the above corporations' logos appear endorsing a report that supports climate change legislation (PDF):
In our view, the climate change challenge, like other challenges our country has confronted in the past, will create more economic opportunities than risks for the U.S. economy. Indeed, addressing climate change will require innovation and products that drive increased energy efficiency, creating new markets. This innovation will lead directly to increased U.S. competitiveness, as well as reduced reliance on energy from foreign sources. Our country will thus benefit through increased energy security and an improved balance of trade. We believe that a national mandatory policy on climate change will provide the basis for the United States to assert world leadership in environmental and energy technology innovation, a national characteristic for which the United States has no rival. Such leadership will assure U.S. competitiveness in this century and beyond.Yet the hefty membership dues that the companies pay to belong to API and NAM are also funding ads claiming the following:
Congress' cap-and-trade program is a tax that will cost up to 2.4 million U.S. jobs and force more businesses to close their doors. More taxes? What is Congress thinking?Of course, that job loss number is bogus, coming from a study NAM itself conducted in association with the right-wing front group American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF). You may recall that the ACCF is conducting its own smear tour, complete with Exxon-funded Bush cronies. Maybe that's why their numbers contradict everything the real economists over at the Political Economy Research Institute have said, including that a clean energy bill would help create 1.7 million new jobs while weaning us off of foreign oil that just keeps getting pricier.
You can find a full debunking of the bogus ACCF/NAM "study" here, courtesy our friends at NRDC Switchboard. Guess which side every non-partisan analysis agrees with.
Which leaves one question: if Duke Energy can stand up to NAM, why can't the above organizations, too?