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The ALEC exodus


Hot on the heels of the climate marches that took place all over the globe last weekend, tech giants have made a series of flurried exits from the American Legislative Council (ALEC).

Who’s funding Big Carbon? — ALEC pushes to undermine renewables

ALEC is a controversial right-wing group in the US with 300 corporate and 2,000 legislative members. It has come under repeated attack for writing and promoting pro-business legislation that endangers the environment.

‘We should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.’

Google chairman, Eric Schmidt

It has the unenviable reputation of being the most influential of climate change deniers, and receives funding from the utilities industry and fossil fuel producers.

Google, Facebook and Yahoo leave

Speaking on Diane Rehm’s call-in radio show on Monday, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said, ‘Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place… And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.’

Facebook stepped up on Tuesday and confirmed to The Guardian that it would quit, after the decision was reported in the San Francisco Chronicle.

On Wednesday night, Yahoo issued a statement to Common Cause in which it explained the company had ‘decided to discontinue’ its membership in ALEC as part of a periodic review. It closed with: ‘at this time, we will no longer participate in the ALEC Task Force on Communications and Technology.’

Yelp, Amazon and Microsoft’s early exit

Also on Wednesday, Yelp revealed that it had parted ways with ALEC several months ago due to a backlash from the public.

Microsoft left ALEC in August, because its stance on climate change and several other issues reportedly ‘conflicted directly with Microsoft’s values’.

AOL and eBay still maintain ties with ALEC, though Amazon ended its relationship with ALEC in 2012. The companies will now come under increased pressure to withdraw support from the legislative council.

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