Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said that Google joining the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was a "mistake", according to reports.
Schmidt made the comments Monday on the "The Diane Rehm Show" saying that Google had joined for "a political campaign for something unrelated" to climate change, according to Ars Technica. ALEC has been reported as saying that "human-created climate change could be beneficial and opposes environmental regulations," the report said.
Schmidt said that group attempting to deny climate change are "just literally lying." Previously, Google was mum after advocacy groups asked the tech titan to end its relationship with ALEC. ALEC also supports the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger and opposes net neutrality.
Schmidt broke that silence on the NPR show when he was asked by a listener why Google supports ALEC. Schmidt said that Google had used them for a political campaign "for something unrelated," which he didn't explain. He also said, "I think the consensus within the company was that was sort of a mistake, and so we’re trying to not do that in the future. . . . (Google) has a very strong view that we should make decisions in politics based on facts, what a shock, and the facts of climate change are not in question anymore."
Google was a member of ALEC’s Communications and Technology Task Force, and shared membership with Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo; however, Microsoft recently left ALEC.
"It is unfortunate to learn Google has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council as a result of public pressure from left-leaning individuals and organizations who intentionally confuse free market policy perspectives for climate change denial," wrote ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson in a statement.
It seems as if Google may have joined ALEC without looking too deeply into its politics. Now that both Microsoft and Google have left the group, it would be wise for Yahoo and Facebook to make similar exits or be tainted by a group that advocates climate change skepticism be taught in schools
Published at 5:53 PM PDT on Sep 23, 2014