Lobbying for Lung Cancer: Chamber Attacks "Job-Killing" Regulations, Stands Up for People-killing Profits

Yesterday, the holy trinity of big business interests – the U.S. Chamber, American Petroleum Institute (API), and National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) - held a meeting at the White House to convince the administration that stricter ozone standards are killing jobs and the economy. As we have seen, one of the Chamber’s main objectives is to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and any attempts to hold corporations accountable to the environment and people’s health. Short of calling for a Scopes Monkey Trial again, the anti-climate Chamber has declared all out war on responsible atmospheric protections, crying wolf by using its same old “job-killer” argument to do so.

And don’t be mistaken - the Chamber’s corporate-sponsored campaign against protecting the health and safety of this generation and the next is not just at the behest of the executive pocketbook, it is just as much about partisan politics. According to the Hill, the Chamber, API and NAM also just “launched an advertising campaign this week blasting the Environmental Protection Agency’s upcoming ozone regulations as a major burden on the economy.” Unsurprisingly, the ads, which are critical of the President, “ran along the route of Obama’s bus tour.” Chamber leaders always say they don’t get involved in Presidential politics but their issue ads aren’t going anywhere. The Chamber has spent the majority of the last three years as one of Obama’s largest, most outspoken opponents on every major issue or reform initiative and 93% of its electioneering funding was spent supporting the GOP in 2010. Big Business and the Chamber know that the GOP will keep profits high for them so they keep votes high for conservatives.

This is just a preview of what is to come this cycle as everyday Americans see ads sponsored by innocuous sounding coalitions, in this case “the Coalition for American Jobs”, and many to come from the “U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” These hard working Americans probably won’t even realize that it is not some coalition of concerned citizens telling them to criticize Obama’s agenda but Chevron, Exxon, BP and a long list of other self-serving companies that just warned them to oppose regulations that would reduce smog, lung cancer, asthma, and so on.

Stay tuned for the Chamber’s predicted and baseless labeling of any regulatory policy – no matter how protective of your health, safety, financial status, or ability to breathe – as “job-killing” and “bad for the economy.” When will the Chamber’s cover finally be blown? Hopefully before these so-called “job-killing” regulations are squashed in favor of “people-killing” profits and partisanship. 

Just In

Whose opportunity does U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue talk about when he talks about opportunity?

The Chamber’s policies might give the largest corporations the opportunity to grow, but that is often not the same thing as growth and opportunity for the American people. After-tax corporate profits in the third quarter topped 11 percent of GDP for the first time since the records started in 1947. But everyday Americans aren’t doing so well, with real median household income declining 4.4 percent since 2009.

When the Chamber opposes increasing minimum wages to coincide with growth in productivity and the economy overall, one must ask whose growth and opportunity the Chamber is pushing for.