With a campaign called “Don’t Fund Evil,” a coalition of environmental and public-advocacy organizations has urged Google to sever ties with a think tank that among other things is working against the government’s clean-energy regulations.
The Sierra Club, Forecast the Facts, the Center for Media and Democracy and others are blasting the tech giant’s support of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for what they call the group’s “reckless policies.”
“Google should Google ALEC’s agenda. Funding right-wing extremists at ALEC is a guaranteed way for Google to undermine its own admirable clean-energy goals. It’s like building a new house only to set it on fire after defunding the fire department,” Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said in a press release.
The coalition’s delivery of more than 230,000 petition signatures to Google representatives coincides with this week’s ALEC’s annual policy summit. (Among the topics for discussion at the summit: ALEC is pushing for legislation to penalize homeowners for installing solar panels, the Guardian reported this week.) The Center for Media and Democracy, Forecast the Facts and others protested Thursday outside the ALEC summit in Washington, D.C., according to Trey Pollard of the Sierra Club.
Google has not yet responded to our request for comment. On its transparency page for public policy, the company says: “Google’s sponsorship or collaboration with a third party organization doesn’t mean that we endorse the organizations’ entire agenda, its events or advocacy positions nor the views of its leaders or members.”
The Center for Media and Democracy recently studied Google’s increasing support of right-wing groups. One of the groups the company funded over the past year is Heritage Action, which was one of the forces behind this year’s government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act.
Earlier this year, FWD.us, the political action committee founded by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, was also targeted by green groups such as Credo. The PAC funded ads for a couple of politicians, one of whom supported the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Photo of Google headquarters in Mountain View by Ryan Anson/AFP/Getty Images