"Apple has stormed out of the biggest lobby group in the United States," reads a post on the environmental organization's Web site. "At issue is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's use of funds to oppose climate change legislation. Apple has done the right thing, and IBM and Microsoft should think different too."
Catherine Novelli, Apple's vice president of worldwide government affairs, informed the Chamber of Commerce in a letter on Monday that the company would be resigning its membership. Apple cited differences in environmental policies.
"Apple supports regulating greenhouse gas emissions, and it is frustrating to find the chamber at odds with us in this effort," Novelli said in a letter to chamber President Thomas Donohue.
Donohue didn't take the news laying down. In a letter addressed to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Donohue said that "while we do support legislation to address climate change, we oppose legislation such as the Waxman-Markey bill that numerous studies show will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse gas emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits."
Not surprisingly, Greenpeace doesn't agree with Donohue's position. It said the Chamber of Commerce should think about the number of jobs that would be created by helping clean up the environment, instead of lecturing Jobs about innovation.
Apple is the fourth company to leave the chamber in the past few weeks, and Greenpeace challenged other companies to follow Apple in departing the Chamber of Commerce.
"The stakes have never been higher for the climate," Greenpeace said. "Apple's move will throw an uncomfortable spotlight on any company that stays on in the chamber but doesn't act to change its policies."
The relationship between Apple and Greenpeace has been contentious, to say the least. The two have argued publicly over the extent of Apple's commitment to reducing the use of harmful chemicals in its products.
Greenpeace even demonstrated outside Jobs' Macworld keynote in 2007 to bring attention to its environmental efforts. Apple took the challenge and have worked for the last couple of years to remove harmful chemicals like PVC, mercury, arsenic, lead, and BFR from its products.
Greenpeace even released its own iPhone app version of its "Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide." The app allows users to compare brands to find the most environmentally friendly.