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Microsoft pulls out of bad energy group ALEC to boost green credentials

It's been a gas, oil be seeing you
Wed Aug 20 2014, 15:52
Microsoft is pulling out of the ALEC energy group

MICROSOFT HAS WITHDRAWN from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) just around a year after it announced that it was participating in it.

Times change, of course, as do policies, and while ALEC might be saddened by its loss, Microsoft's withdrawal was welcomed by groups including Greenpeace.

ALEC, a right wing corporate interest group with oil tentacles and a gassy heart, is somewhat controversial now. It apparently was not, in Microsoft's view, this time last year.

Then, a blog post entitled "Powering Forward" authored by Robert Bernard, who is apparently Microsoft's chief environmental strategist, confirmed a relationship, if not one with entirely mutual ends.

"Microsoft participates in ALEC's Communication and Technology Task Force, as do many leading companies in the technology sector," he said.

"We do not participate in any other ALEC task forces or provide any support or funding for ALEC's work on environmental issues or other issues outside of communication and technology policy."

Now, one year and a bit later Microsoft has dropped out of the ALEC task force, according to reports from organisations like Greenpeace.

"Microsoft's [green] progress has been undermined by its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, a shadowy, increasingly controversial organization that has led an attack by the fossil fuel industry against successful clean energy and climate policies in nearly all 50 states," said the environmental group.

"Today, we learned that Microsoft is correcting that inconsistency, as news spread, confirmed by Microsoft to Greenpeace, that the company has dumped its ALEC membership."

Greenpeace had high praise for Microsoft, but none for ALEC. It described the outfit as "dominated by deep-pocketed coal and oil interests like Exxon Mobil and Peabody Energy". It added that the "shadowy" group backs legislation that resists green and clean technology.

Advocacy group Common Cause has the Microsoft statement announcing its withdrawal, and the INQUIRER is waiting for a response from the company.

"In 2014 Microsoft decided to no longer participate in the American Legislative Exchange Council's Communications and Technology Task Force, which had been our only previous involvement with ALEC," it said.

"With this decision, we no longer contribute any dues to ALEC... we are no longer members of ALEC and do not provide the organization with financial support of any kind."

The Bill Gates Foundation used to fund ALEC, but it stopped supporting the group in 2012. µ


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