US Chamber Flip-Flops – On Same Day! – On Climate Legislation

Desperation must be the message of the day over at the US Chamber, which has just revealed (spoiler alert!) that it opposes the American Clean Energy and Security Act.

Which is interesting because only this morning the Chamber's Bruce Josten was quoted in Roll Call insisting that the Chamber hadn't worked up a position on the bill:

"And Josten stressed that so far, at least, the Chamber hasn't worked up a formal position on the climate change bill. "We have never stated firm opposition to any federal regulation that requires reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," Josten said in response to Political Action's delivery of a petition from 10,000 small-businesses asking the Chamber to stop lobbying against laws to reduce global warming pollution.

Which as anyone who pays attention knows is horse-hockey. Last week we reported that some of the Chambers's own board members have become thoroughly annoyed with its opposition to climate legislation, and have started agitating for change. Something tells me that this isn't the change they were looking for.

The open opposition comes just as moderate and conservative lawmakers are announcing they have reached deals (here, here, here and here) that will allow the bill to move forward. I guess once coal-country Democrat Rick Boucher got on board, the bill's strengthened prospects scared the doom and gloom crowd enough that they figured they should take the veil right off, just in case there's anyone left who listens to them.

But maybe the Chamber should be doing more listening itself. Here's what they are reported as saying as of the close of business today:

"Unfortunately, the debate in Congress has left the nation with two terrible options: (1) expensive, complicated, regulation-heavy, domestic-only legislation like ACES, or (2) an "even worse" set of mandatory CO2 controls on everyone and everything through existing Clean Air Act programs. The rigid ideology exhibited over the last twenty years of the climate change debate has not only clearly divided the nation but it has failed miserably to produce any results. 

So much for that supposedly open mind from 10 a.m.  It had snapped shut like a steel trap by 5 p.m.  Sounds like the Chamber is projecting more than a little bit when it talks about Congress as an organization in the grips of "rigid ideology" on climate change.