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Tuesday, October 06, 2009, 05:45 pm PT (08:45 pm ET)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce criticizes Apple for departure

After Apple resigned from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in protest of its stance on climate change, the Chamber has fired back at the Mac maker, stating the company "didn't take the time to understand" its position.

Chamber President Thomas Donohue fired a letter to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs Tuesday in which he chastised the company over its departure from the Chamber, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"It is unfortunate that your company didn’t take the time to understand the Chamber’s position on climate and forfeited the opportunity to advance a 21st century approach to climate change," Donohue wrote in his letter to Jobs.

On Monday, Apple announced it was leaving the chamber in protest of statements recently made against the Environmental Protection Agency's efforts to limit greenhouse gases. The chamber recently threatened litigation if the EPA enacts such regulations; it would rather see Congress set policy through legislation.

In his letter, Donohue also reportedly criticized the leading proposal to limit greenhouse gas emissions that is currently in the U.S. Congress. He said that the government plan "will cause Americans to lose their jobs and shift greenhouse-gas emissions overseas, negating potential climate benefits."

In its own letter Monday, Apple noted that it has worked hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at its facilities, and is also designing more energy-efficient consumer products. Catherine A. Novelli, vice president of Worldwide Government Affairs for the company, said the work has been done without any mandates from the government because "it is the right thing to do."

"We would prefer that the Chamber take a more progressive stance on this critical issue and play a constructive role in addressing the climate crisis," Novelli said. "However, because the Chamber's position differs so sharply with Apple's, we have decided to resign our membership effective immediately."

The spat between the chamber and Apple comes weeks after the Mac maker began reporting carbon emissions of its hardware on its Web site. The "Apple and the Environment" Web site notes that a majority of the company's emissions come from consumer products, while less than 5 percent are as a result of manufacturing facilities.