Google plans to officially cut ties with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, the company’s chairman announced Monday, declaring that the group is “literally lying about climate change” and so Google can no longer be associated with it.
The Internet giant would be the second major technology to part ways with ALEC in the last two months. Microsoft announced in August that it would end its relationship with ALEC, and that decision was linked to Microsoft’s support for renewable energy projects.
“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,” Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told NPR’s Diane Rehm in explaining the decision. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”
He would not specify when Google would formally disconnect from ALEC. Microsoft and Google had been members of the group’s communications and technology task force, according to CNET.
Other major corporations including Coca-Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Proctor & Gamble have severed ties with ALEC in recent years. National Journal reported that more than 50 liberal groups had urged Google in a letter sent earlier this month to disavow the group.
ALEC, founded in the 1970s, gained renewed national attention after Republicans won major victories in state governments in 2010 and the group’s signature pieces of model legislation were introduced in statehouses nationwide. It was described by Bob Edgar, the president of the liberal advocacy group Common Cause, as “proof positive of the depth and scope of the corporate reach into our democratic processes.”
One of its recent initiatives, according to the Huffington Post, has been model legislation that would require a “balanced” teaching of climate science.