Donohue Will Stay the Course; Business Week Says Its Costing Him Credibility and Clout

US Chamber CEO Tom Donohue insisted today that despite the growing controversy around his organization's position on climate, the New York Times reports:

"We're not changing where we are...We've thought long and hard about what is important here and we're not going anywhere."

That's funny. Donohue just chastised Apple for refusing to get on the Chamber's bus to the 21st Century, but I guess that bus has broken down. Or all the customers that wanted to make the trip have left, like Apple?

As the Times reports,

Fewer than a dozen members have raised objections to the chamber's position climate policy, Mr. Donohue said, and "Almost nobody is pressing us to change our position."

Hmmm... by our count, there's more than a dozen companies that have made their frustration with the Chamber known, so far:

Apple, Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E, PSEG, Levi Strauss & Co* have quit the US Chamber over climate.

Nike quit the US Chamber board.

And Johnson&Johnson, General ElectricAlcoa, Duke, Entergy, and Microsoft say the Chamber doesn't represent them on climate.

And I'm not sure how companies whose combined market value equals $715 billion count as "Almost nobody", but then clearly the Chamber has its own special brand of math.

But the Chamber may have to start factoring the impact on its credibility and clout, accourding to Business Week, which has a big story asking:

"Does the U.S. Chamber Speak for Big Business?

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's aggressive opposition to climate change legislation is costing it credibility, clout-and members.

Donohue is renowned for his bulldog style. Now he and his colleagues find themselves embroiled in a fight over climate change that raises questions about how broadly they speak for business."

Which is a point that more and more Chamber members might start to focus on, because if the Chamber's antics on climate start to erode its influence on other key issues, its going to have more than a climate fight on its hands.

* UPDATE 11/12/09: Levi-Strauss informed us that the company did not leave the US Chamber over climate concerns, as Greenwire had reported.