Ski town's local businesses weigh rift with Chamber of Commerce over climate change
Published: Friday, March 16, 2012
A business association in the snow-anxious Colorado ski town of Aspen is considering a break with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, expressing frustration over the chamber's past efforts to block climate change legislation.
The issue was raised by Pitkin County Commissioner George Newman on Wednesday, at a meeting of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA). Much of Aspen's economy revolves around winter tourism, but the region's ski resorts have seen lighter -- and later -- snowfall in recent years.
That's prompted business leaders in the area to push for more agressive climate change legislation. The Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, has been a vocal opponent of both national and international climate legislation.
"By pulling out of the U.S. Chamber, we'll have much more ability to affect change," Newman said.
As a high-profile resort, Aspen's withdrawal could bring renewed attention to the chamber's anti-carbon- regulation lobbying activities, Newman added, and possibly even prompt other community business organizations to follow suit.
Major corporations, including Nike Inc., eBay Inc. and Apple Inc., have already withdrawn from the Chamber of Commerce over the issue of global warming.
The ACRA, which pays $800 annually for membership in the U.S. Chamber, circulated a poll among its members this winter asking whether they supported a withdrawal. With 64 businesses responding, 77 percent supported keeping membership while attempting to affect change from within its ranks (Andrew Travers, Aspen Daily News, March 15). -- NM
Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net. 202-628-6500
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