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