230,000 members and supporters of the Sierra Club, Forecast the Facts, SumOfUs, RootsAction, and the Center for Media and Democracy urged Google to end its alliance with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This week represents the first time ALEC’s annual States and Nation Policy Summit in Washington DC has Google as a corporate member. The tech giant is bucking the trend by joining the right-wing think tank at the same time as other companies like GE, Kraft, and McDonald’s are cutting ties and pulling support from ALEC due to the group’s reckless policies.
While having a stated commitment to move toward 100% renewable energy to combat climate pollution, Google recently joined ALEC as the group continued its climate denial and attacks on efforts to make renewable energy more affordable and accessible to millions of Americans. Along with Google, ALEC also receives backing from dirty-energy giants like Koch Industries, BP, Peabody Energy, and ExxonMobil.
“Google should Google ALEC’s agenda. Funding right-wing extremists at ALEC is a guaranteed way for Google to undermine its own admirable clean-energy goals. It’s like building a new house only to set it on fire after defunding the fire department,” said Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club. “For a company celebrated for its leadership in imagination and innovation, Google is showing a remarkable lack of foresight. Tens of thousands of Americans are taking note, and it’s time Google did the right thing by leaving ALEC behind.”
The “Don’t Fund Evil” campaign, launched by the climate-accountability group Forecast the Facts in July, has called out Google for the company’s financial support of climate deniers including Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heritage Action, and now ALEC.
“Google’s support for ALEC is part of a disturbing embrace of the climate denial machine by a company that professes to fight global warming,” said Brad Johnson, Campaign Manager of Forecast the Facts. “It may be time to pronounce Google’s famous ‘Don’t Be Evil’ motto dead.”
Google’s continued support of ALEC comes as ALEC plans to attack the first-ever federal limits on carbon pollution from new power plants. In addition, new reports indicate that ALEC is plotting to push legislation that would financially penalize homeowners who install their own solar panels.
“If Google thinks the public won’t notice or care about its political funding practices, it hasn’t read the thousands of outraged comments I’ve read from our members,” said David Swanson, campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org.
“In ALEC, Google is now funding a group that promotes an anti-worker, anti-environment and anti-consumer agenda,” said Nick Surgey, director of research at the Center for Media and Democracy. “At ALEC’s conference this week, it is going to debate new “model” bills to limit the power of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, to make it more difficult for public employees to collectively bargain, and to oppose consumer-friendly country-of-origin labeling laws. What on earth is Google doing funding this organization?”
The Sierra Club’s SierraRise community, Forecast the Facts, SumOfUs, RootsAction. and the Center for Media and Democracy delivered to Google representatives more than 230,000 petition signatures collected from Americans across the country urging Google to abide by its motto of “Don’t Be Evil” by standing by its clean energy commitments and to stand up to ALEC’s polluter-backed attacks on climate action.
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most-influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels, and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.
Forecast the Facts is a grassroots organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation, and to hold accountable those who mislead the public.
The Center for Media and Democracy is a boutique investigative research and reporting group with a demonstrated capacity to break major news stories and highlight the work of advocates. Located in Madison WI, it is a national non-profit watchdog organization founded in 1993. CMD’s niche is investigating and exposing the undue influence of corporations and front groups on public policy, including public-relations campaigns, lobbying, and electioneering. CMD publishes PRWatch.org, ALECexposed.org, and SourceWatch.org.
SumOfUs is a global corporate-accountability watchdog with more than two million members around the world. The SumOfUs community fights to ensure that the companies we do business with every day respect their workers, their consumers, and our communities.
RootsAction is an on-line initiative dedicated to galvanizing Americans who are committed to economic fairness, equal rights, civil liberties, environmental protection–and defunding endless wars.