US Chamber of Commerce

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
All Sectors
Washington DC, United States

Climate Policy Engagement Overview: The US Chamber of Commerce (the Chamber) demonstrates active opposition to US climate policy. While the Chamber updated its climate position statement to a nominally more positive stance in 2021, its positive top-line communications follow years of strategic opposition to most strands of climate policy and, from 2016-2020, active support for the Trump administration’s deregulatory agenda. Moreover, the Chamber has continued to oppose critical climate measures from 2022-23, including running strategic campaigns against both the US Build Back Better and Inflation Reduction Act.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Chamber’s top-line messaging has been relatively limited in recent years. The Chamber was a signatory of the B7 Tokyo Summit Joint Recommendation in April 2023, a document that supported reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The Chamber’s 2021 position statement endorses a market-based approach to emissions reductions but stops short of supporting global emissions reductions in line with IPCC advice. Rather, a statement on its website expresses concern with certain proposed timelines that are “not viewed as feasible.” In April 2021, the Chamber signed a joint letter supporting the Paris Agreement, although its reversal on the Paris Agreement followed years of strong opposition.

Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: The Chamber has consistently opposed legislative and regulatory intervention on climate. In a May 2023 Politico article, Martin Durbin, President of the Chamber’s Global energy Institute, suggested that the EPA's proposed standards for power plants were not technically feasible and would raise energy prices to the detriment of the economy. In February 2023, the Chamber joined comments suggesting that the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FAR)’s was acting beyond its legal boundary in proposing a rule that would direct federal contractors to set science-based targets to reduce their GHG emissions. The Chamber has also lobbied against automotive policy: in May 2022 comments to the EPA, it criticized the Clean Trucks proposal and reiterated its support for “one national standard.” This falls in line with its earlier opposition from August 2019 to the EPA waiver allowing California to enact its own, stricter fuel economy standards.

In January 2022, the Chamber submitted comments to the EPA appearing to contest the EPA’s legal authority to regulate methane emissions from existing sources. A month later, according to an article from the Hill, the Chamber ran ads in two of Arizona’s largest newspapers pressuring state Senators Sinema and Kelly to vote against the Inflation Reduction Act. The Chamber also signed an August 2022 coalition letter to congress firmly opposing the bill due to its corporate tax increases. Previously, the organization campaigned heavily against the Build Back Better Act.

Two policy areas with slightly more positive engagement from the Chamber include circular economy, as indicated in the April 2023 Joint Recommendation document at the B7 Tokyo summit, as well as the phasedown of HFCs, as evident in a May 2022 letter strongly supporting approval of the Kigali Amendment.

Positioning on Energy Transition: The Chamber has consistently maintained a negative position on the energy transition. Notably, following its initial opposition to the IRA in 2022, the Chamber signed a joint letter to policymakers in May 2023 advocating to weaken implementation of the bill’s clean hydrogen production credits.

From 2022-23, the group has frequently advocated for permitting reform to facilitate the buildout of fossil fuel infrastructure. In May 2023, Chamber CEO Suzanne Clarke submitted a letter to Congress advocating for the permitting reform provisions in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, urging approval of the Mountain Valley Pipeline. In April 2023, the Chamber also submitted joint comments to the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) advocating for policymakers to rescind the Interim Guidance on considering GHG and climate impacts under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and suggested that the CEQ is acting beyond its legal boundary.

In May 2022, the Chamber’s Senior VP of Policy, Martin Durbin, published a blog titled “An Effective Climate and Energy Security ‘Grand Bargain’ Is Within Reach.” While the post offered some support for the electrification of transport, it also stated clear support for hydrogen produced from fossil gas as well as continued investment into infrastructure that would lock in unabated fossil fuels into the energy mix. Following this, in October 2022, the Chamber submitted joint comments to the Department of Energy opposing its proposal to raise energy conservation standards for gas furnaces, a move toward electrification. In November 2022, Durbin asserted in a November 2022 press release that U.S. LNG to Europe is beneficial on the basis that it is cleaner than Russian oil.

While most of the Chamber’s energy-related advocacy is in the US, the group submitted a Joint Industry Association Letter to the Prime Minister of Japan in March 2023 directly advocating for new fossil fuel infrastructure.

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