The United States Chamber of Commerce has consistently advocated against the best interests of the American people, serving the interests of fossil fuel companies at the expense of the future health of our planet.
But it couldn’t do this alone. The U.S. Chamber gains its lobbying power through the use of ample donations from corporations across country. This new blog series, Chamber Climate Conflicts, surveys how specific corporations’ continued support of the oil and gas lobbying U.S. Chamber of Commerce directly contradicts these companies’ own messaging on the importance of environmental activism and continued care for the planet.
First up: The Walt Disney Company
With its enduring status as an iconic symbol within American culture, Disney is one of the most recognizable brands in America. Most of us have fond childhood memories of the adventures of Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. Just this past holiday season, its newest movie, Soul, touched hearts across the country (and it was pretty funny too). However, what’s the point of all of the joy generated through Disney’s entertainment if its support of the oil and gas lobbying U.S. Chamber of Commerce could ultimately serve to deplete the joy of future generations because of climate change?
In recent years, Disney has affirmatively marketed itself as an environmentally conscious organization. Even just this last December, Disney released a new set of long term goals to be met by 2030, specifically detailing the company’s desire to “achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions” and to “collaborate with industry groups and invest in low carbon fuel innovation.” Similarly, last month Disney announced that it is producing a new movie showcasing the harms of climate change inflicted on the ice caps of Svalbard, Norway (an undeniably timely move, given the frightening situation of Svalbard’s quickly rising temperatures this last summer).
And while a quick glance of the House of Mouse’s a deeper dive into their website reveals their And what does the Chamber of Commerce do with Disney’s ample donations and funding?
Perform noxious lobbying that directly contradicts the intent behind all of Disney’s positive stances, posts, and proclamations regarding the fight against climate change.
In fact, the Chamber of Commerce has served as an effective villain to the movement to combat climate change for quite some time, taking destructive actions including advocating for an indefinite reliance on oil, natural gas, and coal; cheering and lobbying for the success of the environmentally harmful Keystone XL Pipeline Project (which much to the dismay of the Chamber has thankfully been halted by the Biden Administration); and using its extensive influence and reach to prop up climate change-denying congressional candidates across the nation. In the past, the Chamber has even funded widely debunked research studies critical of environmental protection agreements trying to save our planet.
These shockingly backward positions have been repeated in the recent anti-climate policies and personnel being pushed by the trade association. Even as recently as the last two years, the Chamber of Commerce advocated for oil and gas interests by not only filing across the nation, but also during the Trump Administration. Not a great look when the effects of climate change are all around us. And, the Chamber’s positions are contrary to public opinion polling that continues to make it clear that the American people believe we all need to be taking the dangers of climate change more seriously.
If Disney’s leadership truly wants to make environmental advocacy a core tenet of the corporation, they have to be more mindful of the company that they keep. It’s time for the Walt Disney Co. to drop ties with the toxic U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and fully join the rest of us in the fight for a better environment for generations to come.
The “happiest place on earth” can only be a place with a real commitment to a sustainable and livable future.