Green Chamber of Commerce
Offers a New Voice for Business
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has-how to put this-not been a friend of environmental legislation or regulation. The Chamber-which represents more than 3 million U.S. businesses-spent millions to lead the successful fight against carbon cap-and-trade legislation, along with health care reform and most of President Obama's other legislative goals. It remains an implacable opponent of EPA environmental regulations-of greenhouse gases or just about anything else, arguing that they raise costs and hurt job creation.
But while the Chamber leadership may be fighting tooth-and-nail against efforts to protect the country's environment, not every business wants to join the battle. Major companies like Pacific Gas and Electric and Apple left the Chamber in protest of its fight against cap-and-trade, and now a group of progressive businesses in San Diego is working to provide an alternative to the Chamber. It's called the Green Chamber of Commerce, and it offers a place for businesses that want to embrace sustainability, not fight it. "There are businesses out there that want their voices heard," says David Steel, the president of the U.S. Green Chamber of commerce. "They don't feel represented by the positions that the U.S. Chamber might have."
The group began in San Diego, home to a number of green businesses and sustainability-minded citizens. Like most local chambers of commerce around the U.S. just form committees dedicated to sustainable business-assuming there's a demand-but the green companies of San Diego wanted something more. So they broke off into their own chamber, a place where entrepreneurs and executives working in renewable power or energy efficiency could trade contacts and advice. San Diego was fertile territory-the city is studded with solar installations, and San Diego's biotech hub now features startups working on next-generation biofuels. "It was a place where you could network with the like-minded," says Steel.
Read more of the Times article here.
US Green Chamber Website Badge
Show your support for the US Green Chamber!
Place our badge on your website!
Get it here.
US Green Chamber Launches
as Complement to Chamber of Commerce
Eighteen months ago, in the fevered run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's lobbying priorities caused an uproar in the business and environmental communities. The group's stance on climate legislation led a number of companies to abandon the chamber.
What a difference a year and a half can make. With hopes for climate legislation in the U.S. dead in the water, the chamber dust-up seems like a quaint memory.
But even as the policy front goes from bad to worse, the greening of business is only getting better, and a new group based in San Diego hopes to harness the networking power of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and put it toward environmental initiatives.
The U.S. Green Chamber, launched last weekend, is the evolution of the Green Chamber of San Diego, a spinoff of a Chamber of Commerce chapter in San Diego County. Now, with a national focus and an ever-expanding membership roster, the group hopes to take its successes, and its membership of about 250 companies -- mostly in Southern California, but with some members across the country -- and scale them up to the national level.