A few weeks ago, I noted an article explaining that yet another major firm was leaving the Chamber of Commerce over its climate change policy. That was a company called PNM Resources, notable because it was a utility company. Pacific Gas & Electric left the week before that. Several other notable companies like Nike and Johnson & Johnson have expressed concern. But none of that is quite as notable as today's news: Apple has been the latest departure from the Chamber. That's a pretty high profile firm to leave the largest business lobbyist.

Here's their entire letter (opens .pdf), via Green Inc. It explains that Apple is dedicated to climate change, and frustrated with the Chamber of Commerce's opposition to the EPA's efforts to limit greenhouse gases. It concludes:

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. However, because the Chamber's position differs so sharply with Apple's, we decided to resign our membership effective immediately.

According to opensecrets.org, the Chamber spent nearly $92 million in 2008 -- far more than any other lobbyist. AARP was a distant second at around $28 million. So it probably doesn't really need Apple -- it has plenty of other members to keep the lights on. Still, Apple is one of the most well known and loved firms in the U.S. these days. It must want a company like Apple as one of its members.

If this trend continues and other notable firms continue to depart based on the Chamber's climate change policy, it might soften its stance. But I think you'll have to see several other big names depart before it really takes such a shift in its views seriously.

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