Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said Monday that the company's participation in, and funding of, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was a "mistake," and that the organization's fight against climate legislation and in promoting denial of global warming is "making the world a much worse place."
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt indicated in an interview Monday with NPR's Diane Rehm that Google would drop its ALEC membership "in the future," but did not specify a date."We funded them as part of a political [campaign] of something unrelated," Schmidt said in response to a caller asking if Google "is still supporting" the influential conservative organization. "I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of mistake, and so we're trying to not do that in the future."
Rehm then asked Schmidt why Google first involved itself with ALEC.
"Well, the company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts—what a shock," Schmidt said. "And the facts of climate change are not in question anymore. 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."
Google is a member of ALEC's Telecommunications and Information Technology Task Force and sticks out like a sore thumb, with its famous "don't be evil" ethos, on that massive list of corporate supporters of the organization. That's led Google to be one of the primary targets for activists trying to get these companies to dump ALEC. Microsoft left ALEC last month, joining large corporations like Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble who have all said they will leave the group.
Update From ThinkProgress:
Google has reportedly confirmed to Bloomberg News that it will end its membership with ALEC at the end of the year. Also in a statement to Bloomberg, ALEC’s public affairs direction said Google’s decision was “a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial.”