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July 10, 2013

Why Is Google Supporting a Climate-Denying Senator?

Google and inhofe
In recent years, Google has developed a strong reputation when it comes to supporting clean energy. The company has invested nearly $1 billion in renewable energy projects around the world, from solar financing projects, to solar panels on their Mountain View campus, to major offshore wind projects. They've even made a commitment to powering their company with 100% renewable energy. All in all, the company has built a strong reputation as a clean energy leader.

So why are they helping climate-denying Senator James Inhofe? This week news broke that Google is hosting a $250 - $2,500/plate fundraiser for Senator Inhofe on July 11.

Senator Inhofe is notorious for his climate denial and disgust for clean energy. He regularly repeats misinformation and outright lies about climate science, going so far as to say that carbon pollution and warming temperatures are "beneficial to our economy and our environment" and calling climate change "the greatest hoax perpetuated on the American people."

(Update: As of Wednesday afternoon, he even took to the Senate floor to mock and rail against the President's climate action plan!)

Inhofe's rhetoric doesn't really mesh with a company whose chairman, Eric Schmidt, recently said, "You can lie about the effects of climate change, but eventually you'll be seen as a liar."

Google's fundraiser for Senator Inhofe comes on the heels of the news that Google also donated $50,000 for a fundraising dinner for the anti-environment Competitive Enterprise Institute. CEI staff also deny climate disruption and the organization receives significant donations from the dirty fuels industry.

Yet Google's donation to CEI even outdid donations from the Koch brothers!

This is no way for Google to lead on clean energy and climate action. Google's support of the most outspoken climate denier in the Senate is backwards, out of place, and doesn't stand with their strong clean energy credibility.

Google needs to get back to their roots and continue their support for clean energy, not climate deniers like Senator Inhofe and CEI. Google will never be able to meet their goal of 100% renewable energy, if they continue to support those who work against climate action and who see no place for clean energy in our country's future.

-- Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club Deputy Director of Federal Policy

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