Op/ed paints MN Chamber as radical fringe group on climate issues


August 24, 2021

(St. Paul, MN) -- MN350 Action continued its campaign to spotlight the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce’s atrocious record on climate policy with the publication Friday of an op/ed in the Minnesota Reformer. The piece portrayed the Chamber as a massively funded extremist group that is nonetheless influential in Minnesota because for years it has been one of the top spenders on lobbying in the state.

From the Reformer op/ed:

In light of all that scientists have repeatedly demonstrated about the impacts of climate change, by opposing nearly every pro-environment proposal and legislation over the past decade or more, the Chamber has emerged as a fringe group. It is not only woefully out of step with the aforementioned member companies — all of which have strong sustainability goals and policies — but it is also out of step with the values of Minnesotans, 66% of whom favor a 100% transition to clean energy sources by 2050.

The latest in the long history of opposition to climate legislation from the Chamber came just last month after the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board’s recommendations to update the 50-year-old review standards for new industrial projects. The new standards would require that projects calculate the potential carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions in order to develop mitigating strategies for those emissions.

What is most striking about the Chamber’s history of opposition is just how radical it is on environmental issues, even in comparison to many of the state’s Republican lawmakers. . . .

It makes one wonder what kind of catastrophe would need to happen for the Chamber to endorse an update to environmental standards that were developed before anyone had even heard of climate change.

The coalition behind the Minnesota campaign has called on members of the MN Chamber of Commerce to sever ties with the organization or to disavow publicly the Chamber’s positions, many of which flatly contradict the stated environmental policies and goals of members like Best Buy, Target, Cargill and General Mills.

The Minnesota effort is affiliated with the national student-led Change the Chamber campaign, which is similarly pressuring members to cut ties with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


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