Google is to stop funding a major conservative group over its stance on climate change. Speaking in a radio interview with NPR's Diane Rehm, Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google would not be renewing its membership to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), because the group was "literally lying" by opposing efforts to reduce global warming. The right-leaning ALEC, which has received donations from fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, has fought against the US government's efforts to pursue renewable energy sources, battled against regulations for coal power plants, tried to get ecological activists classified as terrorists, and questioned climate change research.
ALEC has received a number of donations from fossil fuel companies
Google's executive chairman clearly stated Google's stance on the issue, saying that the facts of climate change "are not in question any more," and that the company "should not be aligned with such people" for the sake of future generations. "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." He justified Google's belief in climate change, saying the company "has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts."
Schmidt did not disclose how much money Google had provided ALEC with, but said that the company initially started supporting the group over an unrelated issue. The Washington Post says Google, along with Microsoft, were part of ALEC's Communications and Technology Task Force, a body that produced proposals for changes in online privacy that could have proved tempting for tech companies, but that the group's politics turned both firms off. Like Google, Microsoft has also pulled its support for the group, in August saying ALEC's stance on climate change and other issues "conflicted directly with Microsoft's values."