Aspen Chamber, U.S. Chamber still clashing over climate change bill

Aspen’s ongoing war of words with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce continued this week, with a Chamber rep standing his ground on climate change legislation and policies.

According to the Aspen Times, Peter Havel, executive director of the southwest region for the U.S. Chamber, told a gathering of the Aspen Chamber Resort Association (ACRA) that his organization does not oppose climate change legislation and may wind up supporting the Senate version being crafted by Sens. John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham.

But the legislation must protect American jobs and the ability of U.S. businesses to compete globally, and it can’t unduly raise taxes, Havel said.

“There are many flavors of climate-change legislation,” Havel reportedly told the membership of the ACRA, which last fall passed a resolution questioning the U.S. Chamber and its president, Thomas Donohue, for calling Waxman-Markey climate change legislation a job killing bill based on junk science.

Aspen Skiing Company Senior Vice President David Perry, an ACRA board, questioned Havel on Donohue’s outspoken ways – which have led to high-profile defections by companies like Apple and Levi Strauss – and his potential conflict of interest as a board member of Union Pacific Railroad, which hauls coal to the nation’s carbon-dioxide-belching power plants.

Havel said he did not know if the U.S. Chamber had a policy on such potential conflicts.

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