Climate

EBay Cuts Ties To Conservative Political Group ALEC

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A spokesperson for eBay Inc. has confirmed to Reuters that it will end its association with the conservative political group American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.

The confirmation comes two months after a coalition of more than 80 organizations asked eBay to leave ALEC, citing the conservative group’s “extreme agenda” that includes “denying the science of climate change, defunding public services, curtailing workers’ rights and opposing net neutrality.”

“[W]e all know that eBay has been a leader in the fight to protect net neutrality and investing in clean energy alternatives,” the coaltion, — which included Forecast the Facts, the Sierra Club, and the AFL-CIO — said. “Yet eBay has not heeded requests to reevaluate your membership in ALEC, despite the fact that ALEC’s agenda is severely out of step with your corporate culture.”

EBay’s spokesperson did not elaborate on the company’s reasoning behind its decision to leave ALEC. But the mass of other tech companies that have also left ALEC this year have provided reasoning — the free-market lobbying group’s advocacy for climate denial and attacks on renewable energy. In September, Google chairman Eric Schmidt said those positions were harmful to future generations, and a bad investment idea for the tech giant.

“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 at the time. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.”

Other companies quitting ALEC — which this year have included Facebook, Yelp, and Microsoft — seem to have been similarly motivated. And anti-ALEC activists have stepped up pressure on companies that support the group, particularly tech companies which strive to appear green despite supporting an organization that encourages state legislatures to limit renewable energy, oppose the EPA, and teach climate denial in schools.