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Google Drops Membership From Conservative ALEC

Dustin Volz, writing for National Journal:

Last week, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in an interview with NPR’s Diane Rehm that the company was dropping its membership with ALEC, a coalition of corporations and state legislators that works to create and share model legislation in statehouses around the country.

Responding to a question from a listener, Schmidt attacked ALEC for helping to sponsor legislation that opposes environmental regulations and “just literally lying” about climate change.

“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,” Schmidt said. “And so we should not be aligned with such people.”

Great to see Google and Schmidt speaking out on this.

But Nelson, who was installed as ALEC’s chief executive just two weeks ago, said that Google’s departure, while disappointing, hasn’t hurt the group’s standing with other members, despite a wave of other companies announcing they, too, were leaving.

“Quite the contrary — I’ve had calls from companies that want to join,” Nelson said. “I am totally focused on growing the organization, and I am convinced we are poised for growth. We certainly are very optimistic about the future.”

In the wake of Google’s decision, several major tech companies — Facebook, Yahoo, and Yelp — announced they either already had or soon intended to leave ALEC as well. Microsoft also announced earlier this summer it was cutting ties with ALEC. The exodus was followed by a decision by Occidental Petroleum, the fourth-largest oil and natural-gas company in the U.S., to also divorce itself from ALEC.

You know you’re pretty far out on the right wing when you lose Occidental Petroleum as a member.

Thursday, 2 October 2014