Saturday, December 20, 2014

EBay follows tech crowd, cutting ties with conservative group


Online auction and shopping giant eBay is the latest tech company to cut ties with the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).
"After our annual review of eBay Inc's memberships in trade associations and third party organizations we've decided not to renew our membership with American Legislative Exchange Council," the company said in a statement on Friday.
The move comes months after other major tech companies began an exodus from the group, with some citing ALEC’s resistance to climate change legislation.Ryan Canney, a senior campaigner at Forecast the Facts — an environmental action group that has been pressuring companies to ditch ALEC — called the move “a major victory.”
“Denying climate change has no place in the modern economy, and this decision shows the credibility of eBay’s commitment to climate change,” he added.
The move follows similar decisions from Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yelp and other companies, which have come under pressure to ditch the organization over its conservative stance.
ALEC offers draft legislation for state lawmakers and lobbies them to support conservative and market-friendly policies, which has earned it wide support from many businesses.
Those same policies have also earned it ire, however, especially from green groups pushing for new environmental protections.
EBay declined to say why it was leaving the group, but executive director John Donahoe has previously opposed its stance on climate change and other issues.
“We only are with ALEC on one issue: Internet,” Donahoe told activists earlier this year. “So, on climate change and other things, we are not with them. We’re with many other organizations — so, it’s that one small issue."
The recent tech exodus was prompted by Google, after executive chairman Eric Schmidt accused the company of “literally lying” about climate change.
“The facts of climate change are not in question anymore,” he said during an interview on NPR in September. "And so we should not be aligned with such people.”
Now that eBay has left the organization, Forecast the Facts said that it was going to target AT&T, Verizon, FedEx and UPS next to leave the organization.

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