Speaking for the “True Business Community”.
by Susan Frank, Director, California Business Alliance
July 11, 2014
A Central Coast construction firm.
A Los Angeles-area mattress company.
A Sacramento print shop.
A Silicon Valley business association.
A Southern California ethnic chamber of commerce.
A San Diego dry cleaner.
A Palm Springs art gallery.
A statewide small business association.
According to an oil industry-funded group (called “Fed Up at the Pump” or FUP), which was formed to oppose the state’s clean energy law (AB 32), none of these businesses or associations are considered part of the “true business community.” According to FUP, these mainstream companies and organizations are lining their pockets with government subsidies and are unworthy of speaking for business.
This disingenuous attack from FUP, which is orchestrated by an industry that receives billions in government subsidies annually, is nothing more than a desperate move to claim some sort of false moral high ground. In reality, FUP’s members are a who’s who of the state’s largest emitters and have been working to kill AB 32 since the day it became law eight years ago. While FUP may represent some legitimate business interests, it is a group that is bankrolled by the very industry that is seeking an exemption from AB 32.
As a former chamber of commerce CEO, I can’t imagine that the California Chamber of Commerce or the California Small Business Alliance, two of FUP’s members, would endorse a message that the businesses and associations I mentioned above shouldn’t be considered part of the “true business community.”
Perhaps what distinguishes my members from FUP’s members is that mine believe in regulatory certainty, a level playing field, and the belief that our state’s approach to clean energy is winning the day. In fact, California’s just moved up a notch to claim the spot as the 8th largest economy in the world, and my members are part of the economic engine that make that ranking possible.
To suggest that the “true business community” is only a handful of large industry groups is offensive to the more than 1,280 businesses, associations and chambers of commerce that make up the membership of the California Business Alliance, and should offend any business person that has chosen this fine state to invest in, set up shop, employ workers, and build a life for his or her family.