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Energy Secretary Chu: Apple Leaving Chamber ‘Wonderful’

chu2Stepping into controversial territory, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that Apple’s decision to leave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was “wonderful.”

Speaking to reporters at a solar energy event, Chu went on to comment on the chamber’s “foot dragging” and “denials” over climate change, reports the San Jose Business Journal.

Chu said that more companies should follow Apple’s lead in leaving the chamber, if that helps convince the chamber to change its stance. Chu said that efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would be part of the economic future of the U.S., according to the article.

Meanwhile, Thomas Donahue, President of the Chamber of Commerce, blasted Apple in a press conference, suggesting that the company’s decision was part of an “orchestrated campaign” to embarrass the chamber, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Donahue said that Apple misstated the chamber’s stance on climate change.

Donahue also further distanced himself – and the chamber – from comments made earlier this year by a chamber executive who called for the science behind climate change to be put on trial, calling it “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century.”

Responding to the defections by Apple, and three utilities, Donahue said, “”If people want to attack us, bring ’em on. The current attacks on us will not weaken us. In fact, additional supporters are rallying to our cause,” the Journal reported.

He further suggested that none of the companies had made a serious attempt to convince the chamber to change its stance.

Earlier this month, in a letter to the chamber, Apple Vice President Catherine Novelli wrote, “Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the Chamber at odds with us in this effort.”

Also recently, Nike signaled its displeasure with the chamber by giving up its seat on the chamber’s board of directors.

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