Google will sever ties with the right-wing lobbying group American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, Google’s Executive Chairperson Eric Schmidt said in an interview with NPR on Monday.
Calling Google’s association with the business advocacy group a “mistake” and accusing ALEC of “literally lying” about the reality of climate change, Schmidt reportedly said that “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 literally lying,” Schmidt reportedly said.
Although Schmidt did not disclose how much money Google had provided ALEC, he said that the company had initially supported ALEC over an "unrelated" issue. However, he added, ALEC’s stand on climate change convinced Google to withdraw its support.
Google confirmed on Monday that it will not be renewing its ALEC membership at the end of the year, according to a Bloomberg report.
Google’s announcement came just hours after a joint report published by "Forecast the Facts" and "Sum of Us" -- two nonprofit climate research organizations -- accused Google of providing nearly $700,000 between 2008 and 2014 to Congressional members of an unofficial “climate denier caucus.”
Responding to Google’s announcement, ALEC’s CEO Lisa Nelson said, in a statement released Monday: “It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial.”
Google is not the first company to part ways with ALEC. In August, Microsoft had also dropped its support for the organization because its stance on climate change and several other issues "conflicted directly with Microsoft's values,” according to a Bloomberg report.