updated 09:20 am EDT, Fri October 9, 2009
Groups take sides in row over environmental laws
Both Greenpeace and the US Secretary of Energy are welcoming an Apple decision to abandon the US Chamber of Commerce. The former's toxics campaigner, Casey Harrell, on Thursday issued a statement which applauded Apple for confronting the Chamber over its opposition to mandatory limits on greenhouse gases. Apple is the first technology company to have removed itself from the Chamber over the issue, though it was preceded by shoe maker Nike, and several energy companies including Exelon, PNM Resources and Pacific Gas & Electric.
Greenpeace is asking IT firms who sit on the Chamber's Executive Board -- including IBM and Microsoft -- to either renounce group's official position on greenhouse gases and call for a change in directorship, or else follow Apple's example and leave in protest.
The Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, came out in support of Apple and other Chamber defectors at a Thursday event dedicated to solar energy, according to Reuters. "I think it's wonderful," said Chu, also chastising the Chamber, urging the group to "realize the economic opportunity that the United States can lead in a new industrial revolution." The Chamber has defended its position through claims that proposed legislation would hurt US business, result in job losses, and merely shift emissions problems to other parts of the Earth.