Archive for October 7th, 2009

Keep calm and carry on…

October 7, 2009

an open letter to U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue about the recent defections of companies from the Chamber…

October 7, 2009

Mr. Tom Donohue
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20062-2000

Dear Mr. Donohue:

We urge you to continue your strong opposition to the cap-and-tax bills passed by the House and now introduced in the Senate.

Much has been made in the pro-cap-and-tax mainstream press and trade media about the relatively few companies who have quit the Chamber over “cap and tax.” We say good riddance to rent-seekers and hypocrites:

  • Exelon Corp. is one of the very few utilities that are actually planning to make money off of “cap and tax” – up to $750 million annually per $10 increase in the price of CO2 – for doing nothing other than selling the free credits it gets from Congress, according to CEO John Rowe. Consumers and taxpayers are the ones who will be looted for this booty.
  • Apple Corp. said it was leaving the Chamber because of its supposed concerns for the environment. If Apple was really concerned about the environment, it would stop exploiting lax-to-non-existent Chinese environmental laws in the manufacture of its products. If Apple really cared about the environment, it would pressure China to adopt the Clean Air Act for starters. For all its green posturing, Apple should quit China not the Chamber.
  • Nike manufactures its shoes and clothes in sweatshops in Indonesia, paying its workers approximately $1.25 a day, while competitor New Balance manufactures its products in the U.S. So Nike wants new federal laws that place New Balance at a competitive disadvantage. Perhaps we are being too harsh. Maybe Nike is truly concerned about “global warming” increasing the temperature in its sweatshops and, thereby, decreasing the productivity of its near-slave-labor.

These are three companies out of the thousands that you represent. The Chamber has a long and proud history of being the nation’s strongest voice for American business. We are all depending on your leadership against “cap and tax,” which will do nothing but harm American businesses, families, workers, consumers and, ultimately, America itself.


Steve Milloy