On Monday, Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, sat down with NPR’s Diane Rehm for a conversation. The conversation ranged widely and in response to a question from a caller about the company’s association with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
“We funded them as part of a political campaign for something unrelated. I think the consensus within the company was that that was some sort of a mistake and so we’re trying not to do that in the future,” said Schmidt.
Although Schmidt was unclear about the reasons why Google had previously associated with ALEC, he was crystal clear about the reason the company broke its ties with ALEC: climate change.
“The company has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts – what a shock. 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 make the world a much worse place. And so we should not be aligned with such people – they’re just, they’re just literally lying,” said Schmidt.
ALEC has, of course, been on the wrong side of a lot of climate legislation over the years. It supports the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and constantly combats scientific evidence of climate change. Key investors include the Koch’s and major oil companies.
ALEC had some parting words for Google:
“It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership in the American Legislative Council as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial,” said Lisa Nelson, ALEC’s chief executive.
Though for Google, it seems like no love lost in the breakup.