Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Breaking up is hard to do

The anti-clean energy coalition is falling apart.

Today, PG&E Corp -- one of the country's largest utilities -- parted ways with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, citing the Chamber's "extreme position on climate change."

This was not a quiet break-up. No, it was one of those break-ups that comes complete with electric guitars, televisions and old photo albums getting thrown out of second-story windows.

On the company's blog, which it calls "a dialogue on the next century of energy," PG&E said it faced "irreconcilable differences" with the chamber. It cited two other companies that have already made similar moves, Duke Energy and Alstom (both of who left the pro-coal ACCCE), in making its decision.

In a letter to the Chamber, PG&E Chairman and CEO Peter Darbee did not hold back, blasting the Chamber for its completely false stance on whether climate change actually exists:
We find it dismaying that the Chamber neglects the indisputable fact that a decisive majority of experts have said the data on global warming are compelling and point to a threat that cannot be ignored. In our opinion, an intellectually honest argument over the best policy response to the challenges of climate change is one thing; disingenuous attempts to diminish or distort the reality of these challenges are quite another.

Darbee also took the opportunity to stress the need for urgent action:

"I fear it has forfeited an incredible chance to play a constructive leadership role on one of the most important issues our country may ever face," Darbee said.

With member companies quitting while calling its positions extreme, we have to ask: does the Chamber of Commerce have any credibility left at all?

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