The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has historically been the bane of progress on legislation that caters to healthy and sustainable communities. It’s no surprise, given the U.S. Chamber’s Board, which consists of big business magnates including Massey Energy’s Don Blankenship. Massey Energy is best known for the neglect of and resistance to government safety regulations that led to the explosion in the company’s West Virginia coal mine that killed 29 miners and wounded many others earlier this year. News stories frequently cover pending legislation by framing it as, “The environmentalists are for it, but business is against it, because the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says so.” The U.S. Chamber definitely represents a segment of the business world, but more the Wall Street/Big Business crowd than the Main Street/Small Business crowd, where the majority of new jobs come from, and who generally support Cap and Trade, Toxics Inventories, and other progressive legislation.
Despite the fact that Apple, Nike, Pacific Gas and Electric, and several other big players moved away from the U.S. Chamber earlier this year in protest to the body’s opposition to Cap & Trade legislation, there remains no strong, cohesive political voice of the progressive business community. Enter the Green Chamber of Commerce. And today, the group announced they are expanding, with their first new chapter outside the progressive business element that is the San Francisco Bay Area. Destination: Las Vegas? Really?
Since forming in 2007 in San Francisco, the Green Chamber of Commerce has grown significantly. Through allegiances with The American Sustainable Business Council, which represents over 50,000 businesses; California Business Alliance for a Green Economy, and B-Corp, the Green Chamber aims to advance progressive legislation favoring social responsibility in the business community in national and regional policies.
But Las Vegas? “The fact that Las Vegas is ready for a Green Chamber of Commerce is evidence that the commitment to green business is moving beyond the obvious early adopters [like San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, etc.] and is on its way to being commonplace throughout the United States,” said Melinda Cheel, Executive Director, Green Chamber of Commerce.
Bravo! Imagine the day when the Green Chamber represents more businesses than the U.S. Chamber, and cable news is forced to ask their opinion on legislation, rather than simply regurgitating the whims and wants of Big Coal, Big Oil, and Big Ag.
Interested in starting a Green Chamber in your community? Contact President Janet Pomeroy, Green Chamber of Commerce: Janet [at] greenchamberofcommerce.net.
Scott Cooney’s business, GreenBusinessOwner.com, is a proud member of the Green Chamber of Commerce.