Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Why Is Microsoft on the Board of the Dirty-Air Lobby?

Energy
Why Is Microsoft on the Board of the Dirty-Air Lobby?

Last week, the Sierra Club wrote to the leaders of Microsoft, Verizon, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers asking them to terminate their relationships with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). Our members are now making the same request through a public petition to which you can add your voice.

Although may never have heard of NAM, a polluter lobby group in Washington, DC, it’s the leading (and highly public) opponent of new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) safeguards against air pollution, which are designed to protect children, the most vulnerable communities and all American families.

Sierra Club re-branded NAM the "National Association of Polluters." Image credit: Sierra Club

Unfortunately, each of the companies we wrote to currently has senior executives on NAM’s Board of Directors. With each new week, as the EPA gets closer to finalizing these important new clean air protections, NAM throws more money into deceptive advertising campaigns that cloud the debate around commonsense protections that, according to polls, have “overwhelming” public support.

This isn't a simple case of "polluters gotta pollute." While NAM certainly counts many notorious polluters in its ranks, including fossil fuel giants like Exxon, BP, and Koch Industries, we also believe that many of the companies currently associated with NAM actually care about clean air, children’s health and the views of the medical community.

That's why we’re engaging Microsoft, Verizon, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers. As we told them in our open letter: “We can hardly imagine that these are actions you support, as they are certainly at odds with the standards of contemporary corporate social responsibility. Still, your leadership role and relationship with the National Association of Manufacturers gives these positions more weight than they deserve.”

NAM’s lobbying efforts are directly opposed to the recommendations of scientists and expert medical organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Medical Association and the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, all of which have advocated a standard no higher than 60 parts per billion. Compared with the current standard of 75 ppb, a revised standard of 60 ppb would save an estimated 7,900 lives and prevent 1.8 million juvenile asthma attacks. It would also save up to $70 billion in health care costs, and result in 1.9 million fewer missed school days due to health emergencies triggered by high smog levels each year.

Despite all this, after our letter went public NAM CEO Jay Timmons told E&E News in response that if these new smog protections are finalized, “you actually create a situation where Americans are less healthy and less able to fend for themselves.”

That’s right—read it again—NAM’s CEO said cleaner air will make Americans “less healthy.” Unfortunately for Timmons, words still have some meaning even in the face of the slickest PR ad blitz. His statement is a blatant affront not just to basic science but also to every public health organization that has come out in support setting the strongest possible standard for clean air protections. His ridiculous comments should provide even more motivation for companies like Microsoft, Verizon, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers to cut their ties with this outrageous polluter lobby and demonstrate true corporate responsibility.

If you agree, then please join me and add your voice today.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Koch Brothers: Apocalyptical Forces of Ignorance and Greed, Says RFK Jr.

Stephen Colbert Explains Why Bernie Sanders Is Rocking Rallies All Over the Country

Exxon Advertised Against Climate Change for Decades After Top Executives Knew Burning Fossil Fuels Would Warm the Planet

With restaurants and supermarkets becoming less viable options during the pandemic, there has been a growth in demand and supply of local food. Baker County Tourism Travel Baker County / Flickr

By Robin Scher

Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tearing through the crowded streets of Philadelphia, an electric car and a gas-powered car sought to win a heated race. One that mimicked how cars are actually used. The cars had to stop at stoplights, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, and swerve in and out of the hundreds of horse-drawn buggies. That's right, horse-drawn buggies. Because this race took place in 1908. It wanted to settle once and for all which car was the superior urban vehicle. Although the gas-powered car was more powerful, the electric car was more versatile. As the cars passed over the finish line, the defeat was stunning. The 1908 Studebaker electric car won by 10 minutes. If in 1908, the electric car was clearly the better form of transportation, why don't we drive them now? Today, I'm going to answer that question by diving into the history of electric cars and what I discovered may surprise you.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A technician inspects a bitcoin mining operation at Bitfarms in Saint Hyacinthe, Quebec on March 19, 2018. LARS HAGBERG / AFP via Getty Images

As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.

Read More Show Less
OR-93 traveled hundreds of miles from Oregon to California. Austin Smith Jr. / Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs / California Department of Fish and Wildlife

An Oregon-born wolf named OR-93 has sparked conservation hopes with a historic journey into California.

Read More Show Less
A plume of exhaust extends from the Mitchell Power Station, a coal-fired power plant built along the Monongahela River, 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 24, 2013 in New Eagle, Pennsylvania. The plant, owned by FirstEnergy, was retired the following month. Jeff Swensen / Getty Images

By David Drake and Jeffrey York

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The Big Idea

People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.

Read More Show Less