Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Ford Motors Dumps Right Wing Climate Denial Group ALEC

Climate

By Nick Surgey, Center for Media and Democracy

Ford Motor Company confirmed to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that it is cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that has drawn heavy criticism for promoting climate change denial and for opposing the development of renewable energy sources.

"As part of our annual budget review, we have adjusted our participation in several groups. We will not be participating in ALEC in 2016," wrote Christin Baker, a Ford spokesperson in an email to CMD.

Its products might be "Ford Tough," but in making the decision to stop funding ALEC, Ford executives are responding to consumer concern over its membership in the controversial, Koch-funded ALEC, which has both an extreme anti-worker agenda as well as an anti-environmental agenda.

The departure makes Ford the 108th identified company to cut ties with ALEC in recent years.

ALEC Keeps Getting Dumped Over Climate Denial

One of the largest auto makers in the world, with many union plants in North America, Ford has tried to present itself as as a leader on worker relations, climate change and fuel efficiency.

Ford touts itself as "forward-thinking" and "environmentally responsible" and advocates "science-based" strategies for addressing climate change. Ford also participates in the United Nations Global Compact, which requires corporations to address key principles such as human rights, labor standards and the environment.

Ford claims that the company "is committed to doing our share to prevent or reduce the potential for environmental, economic and social harm due to climate change."

CMD first reported on Ford's funding of ALEC in November 2015 at a time when other companies were fleeing ALEC. Google announced it was leaving ALEC in September 2014, calling its membership a "mistake." Chairman Eric Schmidt told NPR's Diane Rehm that ALEC climate deniers were "making the world a much worse place … they're just literally lying." The departure of Google lead to a corporate exodus and the Koch-ALEC war on renewable energy has generated a great deal of public attention, most recently with an expose in Rolling Stone.

The Koch-ALEC role in promoting controversial anti-union legislation, like "right to work" passed in Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia, may have also caused concern for the union firm.

Since CMD launched the ALEC Exposed investigation in 2011, 108 corporations and 19 non-profits have left ALEC, including BP, Shell, Visa, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McDonald's and Google (now Alphabet). In 2015, CMD/PRWatch co-launched a website that documents the teaching of climate change denial to legislators at ALEC conferences: ALECClimateChangeDenial.org.

Jessica Mason contributed to this article.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

World's Tallest Solar Tower to Supply 120,000 Homes With Renewable Energy

ExxonMobil, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Radioactive Leak at Indian Point Nuclear Plant Shows 'We Are Flirting With Catastrophe'

High-Profile Trial of the 'Heathrow 13' Enlists Climate Scientist as Expert Witness

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Heavy industry on the lower Mississippi helps to create dead zones. AJ Wallace on Unsplash.

Cutting out coal-burning and other sources of nitrogen oxides (NOx) from heavy industry, electricity production and traffic will reduce the size of the world's dead zones along coasts where all fish life is vanishing because of a lack of oxygen.

Read More Show Less

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has restricted the ability to gather in peaceful assembly, a Canadian company has moved forward with construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A gas flare from the Shell Chemical LP petroleum refinery illuminates the sky on August 21, 2019 in Norco, Louisiana. Drew Angerer / Getty Images.

Methane levels in the atmosphere experienced a dramatic rise in 2019, preliminary data released Sunday shows.

Read More Show Less
A retired West Virginia miner suffering from black lung visits a doctor for tests. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

In some states like West Virginia, coal mines have been classified as essential services and are staying open during the COVID-19 pandemic, even though the close quarters miners work in and the known risks to respiratory health put miners in harm's way during the spread of the coronavirus.

Read More Show Less
Solar panel installations and a wind turbine at the Phu Lac wind farm in southern Vietnam's Binh Thuan province on April 23, 2019. MANAN VATSYAYANA / AFP via Getty Images

Renewable energy made up almost three quarters of all new energy capacity added in 2019, data released Monday by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) shows.

Read More Show Less