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Climate Issues Divide US Chamber

Source:  Copyright 2008, Wall Street Journal
Date:  April 17, 2008
Byline:  Elizabeth Williamson
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Thomas Donohue built the U.S. Chamber of Commerce into Washington's biggest-spending lobbying group by seizing the opportunities of a pro-business, Republican decade.

But as Washington tilts more Democratic, populist and green, some big companies are becoming leery of allying too closely with conservative, antiregulatory institutions such as the chamber. On issues such as climate change, Mr. Donohue is finding his efforts countered by big corporations, several of them chamber members, taking a more liberal public stance.

General Electric Co. has bucked the chamber in a fight over caps on greenhouse-gas emissions. GE, with its strong power-equipment business, sees its future in green energy.

All three presidential candidates say they want to cap greenhouse-gas emissions and create a market for companies to trade pollution rights. The chamber and the White House have been less enthusiastic, but at least eight powerful ...

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