Sen. Durbin Questions U.S. Chamber Chief's Role on Corporate Boards

It looks like more people are wondering how Tom Donohue manages his dual identities: His day job is to run the US Chamber of Commerce, and he has part-time work as a member of the Board of Directors of Union Pacific. As Ben Geman at E&E News (subscription only) reports:

"The No. 2 Senate Democrat today said the departure of several utilities from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides a boost for climate legislation and raises "legitimate questions" about chamber CEO Thomas Donohue's role on corporate boards."

In response to questions about the potential conflict of interest Mr. Donohue faces as a well-compensated member of Union Pacific's board, a role that bars him from "any conduct or activities that are inconsistent with the Company's best interests," while at the same time he is the head of the nation's biggest business federation, Durbin said:

"I think they raise some legitimate questions about Mr. Donohue ... his membership on corporate boards and the position he has taken, as to whether it's consistent with the positions taken by individual members," Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters in the Capitol today.

Several members of the US Chamber of Commerce have complained that the federation is failing to represent their views when it comes to climate change. The current tally is:

Quit US Chamber: Exelon, PNM Resources, PG&E.

Quit US Chamber Board: Nike.

Says Chamber doesn't represent their views on climate: Johnson&Johnson, General Electric.