Washington, D.C.– Energy Secretary Steven Chu should not cheer companies that sever ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its climate policies, especially since those companies have significant overseas manufacturing operations, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking member on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, told Chu in a letter sent Wednesday.
In media reports, Chu said it was “wonderful” that Apple, Nike and a few other companies left or reduced their involvement with the Chamber of Commerce because of the business group’s position on costly climate legislation. Sensenbrenner criticized Chu for his comments because they failed to take into account the use of overseas manufacturing by Apple and Nike.
Since Apple and Nike manufacture most of their products in developing countries that refuse to cut their emissions, these companies won’t feel the economic pain that will come from cap-and-tax legislation that Congress is weighing. The National Association of Manufacturers projects that the Waxman-Markey cap-and-tax bill that narrowly passed the House in June will raise domestic energy costs, eat into American’s household incomes and cut nationwide manufacturing output by more than 6 percent.
“I do not believe they should be given credit for acting in their own self-interest,” Sensenbrenner wrote. “As Energy Secretary, I hope you will express similar support for domestic manufacturers, especially when, as here, the credit comes at the expense of companies based and operating in the United States trying to survive in these tough economic times.”
“It is disingenuous of Apple and Nike to criticize the Chamber while manufacturing their products in countries that consistently refuse mandatory emission impacts,” Sensenbrenner wrote. “Any financial impact from a U.S. climate change bill will be much smaller on these companies because their carbon footprint is abroad. Their concern for the environment and criticism of the U.S. Chamber would carry more weight if they would in fact be significantly affected by the legislation they are advocating.”
Click here for the letter.