BICEP is a new business affiliation of progressive companies that's calling for quick action on climate change. USCAP is an even bigger coalition of companies and environmental groups, including some major power users, that calls for climate legislation (although not to the same urgent level as BICEP).
And then there's the US Chamber of Commerce, which has done all it can for years to stop attempts to control greenhouse gas emissions. The inmates are in control, and I've seen this as well on the local environmental level here in the Bay Area, where city Chambers take destructive environmental stances that have little or nothing to do with business interests.
But not always. The Chambers aren't monolithic entities, and individual ones can take different stances. The Morgan Hill Chamber of Commerce has a strong Environmental Committee organized by a friend of mine, Alex Kennett. That Chamber organizes the city's Earth Day celebration and the environmental committee promotes green businesses. Not coincidentally, the Morgan Hill Chamber has abstained from the destructive environmental stances taken by other Chambers.
There is a real opportunity for growing environmental businesses to change the destructive policies of the Chambers. Especially here in Silicon Valley, an epicenter of renewable energy, our Chambers should be taking pro-environment stances. By pushing local Chambers in the right direction, environmentalists could start affecting the state and national levels as well. I've thought for a long time that this is something some major environmental groups and foundations should be working on changing. Time to get going.