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Behavior Change
AOL, SAP Join Tech Company ALEC Exodus

AOL and SAP have joined a slew of tech companies to cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative lobbying group that has become renowned for its opposition to environmental regulations.

Last week, a company representative for SAP cited ALEC's conservative stance on climate change and its long-standing positions on gun control and voter rights as reasons for dropping support.

Environmental organizations and public-interest groups have accused ALEC of denying the existence of climate change, which ALEC denies. However, ALEC sponsors model legislation that runs counter to the scientific consensus on climate change.

"This further shows more companies don't want to be in bed with ALEC anymore, whether it's regarding ALEC's denial of climate science, opposition to net neutrality, or the fact that ALEC is facing an IRS complaint charging the organization with tax fraud," said Jay Riestenberg, research analyst with Common Cause, a progressive group that opposes ALEC.

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In August, Microsoft announced it would be ending its relationship ALEC due to the lobbying group’s anti-renewables lobbying efforts, including measures to repeal renewable energy standards and block the disclosure of chemicals in fracking. The following month, Google, Yelp and Facebook also expressed their intentions to stop supporting ALEC for similar reasons.

eBay and currently are the two remaining high-profile tech companies being targeted by anti-ALEC activists. Expedia has said it will remain with the lobbying group, while eBay has recently announced it will review its ALEC membership.

In 2012, several major corporations, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Kraft left the organization following public outcry over the group's sponsorship of controversial "Stand Your Ground" laws, which came under the public spotlight during the Trayvon Martin case. ALEC no longer works on legislation related to firearms. It will be interesting to see if it will do the same for climate change, given recent events.


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