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Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce traded its opposition to climate change legislation for a resounding approval of alternative energy.
Make that the fake Chamber of Commerce.
In a press conference at the National Press Club, representatives of the Yes Men, an activist group whose members often pose as corporate or governmental officials, fleeced several news outlets with a convincing presentation of the Chamber's “new” stance:
“We do feel that the subsidies for clean coal [that] would have been given by this administration are completely misplaced...Clean coal is a technology that has not only not been proven; it basically doesn't exist.”
Andy Bichlbaum, the Yes Men member posing as a Chamber rep, went on to tout solar technology in what sounded like a dramatic reversal, especially coming from an organization that has been known to dismiss the importance of climate change, leading to the withdrawal of climate-conscious companies like PNM and Apple from the organization.
Midway through Bichlbaum's speech, though, real Chamber of Commerce communications director Eric Wohlschlegel barged in, calling Bichlbaum a fraud and throwing the meeting into confusion.
“Do you have a business card?” he asked Bichlbaum.
“Do you have a business card?” Bichlbaum fired back.
The whole thing was revealed to be staged, but not before various news outlets (Reuters, CNBC) seized on the "story" of the Chamber's change of heart. Check out the video of the Chamber rep showdown above—it's priceless.