National Black Chamber of Commerce

The National Black Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) is a nonprofit organization that receives funding from fossil fuel and utility companies and advocates for specific energy policy positions that support the continued use of fossil fuels. The NBCC was founded by Harry Alford, who serves as the organization’s president and CEO; he is also a board member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. According to IRS form 990s, NBCC’s only officers are Alford and his wife, Kay DeBow Alford.

Alford is a longtime ally to utility and fossil fuel companies. Since 1998, the National Black Chamber of Commerce has received $800,000 from Exxon Mobil, according to ExxonSecrets. With the beginning of Exxon funding, NBCC opposed the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Alford testified in 1998 saying the climate treaty would be detrimental to minority-owned small businesses. NBCC membership at the time included General Motors, Texaco, Caterpillar, and Daimler Chrysler.

In 2011, the National Black Chamber of Commerce also started to receive money from the Edison Electric Institute. Alford recently testified in Congress pushing back on the EPA’s updating of ground-level ozone rules (emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds from cars and power plants make up smog when they are “cooked” by the sun). Alford has also criticized EPA’s Clean Power Plan saying, “The EPA’s carbon dioxide regulation is a slap in the face to poor and minority families.”

NBCC’s website states that if a member contributes at least $35,000 that member becomes part of the organization’s “Public Policy Council” where it will be able to work with NBCC to “formulate positions on issues of commonality such as Energy, Environmental Protection, Taxation, Broadband Deployment, Free and Fair Trade, Economic Development in Underserved Communities, Procurement Opportunities, Capital Access, etc.”  In 2010, the cost to create NBCC’s policy positions was $30,000, and that year NBCC advertised that the money will help “formulate positions on issues of commonality such as Global Warming Treaty, Tax Reform, Social Security, Tort Reform, National Air Ambient Quality, OSHA laws, procurement, telecommunications, diversity and regulatory affairs.”

In 2016, Alford made it known that he is on the Board of Directors for the 501(c)(4) Partnership For Afforadble Clean Energy (PACE), which is a front group with ties to Southern Company.

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