Apr 18, 2019

America’s business lobby shifting on climate change

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is subtly shifting its position on climate change and growing vocal about the need to address it.

Driving the news: The chamber recently updated its website with new language, including a statement stronger than anything the group has said before: “Inaction is not an option.” The group last week also released what it dubbed an energy and climate agenda, focused on clean-energy innovation.

Why it matters: As America's biggest trade group representing business, the Chamber of Commerce gives voice to the common denominator position on a host of issues, including climate change. Official statements like this hold more weight.

What they’re saying: “Companies of all sizes and in every industry are paying ever more attention to climate change and are seeking sensible solutions,” a chamber spokesman said.

But, but, but: It's unclear whether this shift changes its long-held opposition to most regulations, which have been the main avenue of federal climate policy to date. The chamber has actively fought climate regulations issued by former President Obama and supported Trump's regulatory rollbacks.

Flashback: A decade ago a top official, who has since retired, said the group wanted to put climate-change science on trial — similar to what President Trump is considering today. (The group’s official position at the time was more in line with mainstream science, however.)

Where it stands: The main thrust of last week’s announcement was a new poll, and the group doesn’t appear to be supporting any new policies, instead becoming more vocal on issues it already backs.

  • This includes energy efficiency, nuclear power and technology capturing carbon emissions.
  • The group doesn't have positions on more controversial and sweeping policies, like carbon taxes or the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • The chamber does support amending a lower-profile environmental treaty reducing emissions from greenhouse gases emitted from appliances.

Go deeper: Trump clashes with business on Obama-era climate treaty

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

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  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 5,559,130 — Total deaths: 348,610 — Total recoveries — 2,277,087Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7:30 p.m. ET: 1,679,419 — Total deaths: 98,852 — Total recoveries: 384,902 — Total tested: 14,907,041Map.
  3. Federal response: DOJ investigates meatpacking industry over soaring beef pricesMike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. Congress: House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting.
  5. Business: How the new workplace could leave parents behind.
  6. Tech: Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets about mail-in voting for first timeGoogle to open offices July 6 for 10% of workers.
  7. Public health: CDC releases guidance on when you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus.
  8. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
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Updated 4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Twitter fact-checks Trump's tweets for first time

President Trump briefs reporters in the Rose Garden on May 26. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Twitter fact-checked two of President Trump's unsubstantiated tweets that mail-in ballots in the 2020 election would be fraudulent for the first time on Tuesday, directing users to "get the facts" through news stories that cover the topic.

Why it matters: Twitter and other social media platforms have faced criticism for not doing enough to combat misinformation, especially when its propagated by the president.

House Republicans to sue Nancy Pelosi in effort to block proxy voting

Photo: Michael Brochstein / Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

20 House Republicans plan to file a lawsuit late Tuesday against Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an effort to block the chamber's new proxy voting system amid the coronavirus pandemic, three congressional sources tell Axios.

The big picture: The lawsuit, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, alleges the rules are unconstitutional because the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present in order to conduct business. The lawsuit was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.