March 23, 2015

BP Leaves ALEC

Other Fossil Energy Companies, Including Shell, Should, Too

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (March 23, 2015) – BP confirmed today that it has stopped supporting the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group that routinely misrepresents climate science to U.S. state legislators, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

Below is a statement by Peter Frumhoff, UCS’s director of science and policy and a former Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author:

“BP was right to leave ALEC, an important decision consistent with the company’s public acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change. UCS President Ken Kimmell and I asked senior BP officials to take this step last fall. We are gratified that they have listened and that a growing number of people and groups are calling on fossil fuel companies to end their support for ALEC.

"Oil companies need to play a more constructive role in the climate debate and cutting their funding for groups that spread misinformation about science is an obvious step they should have taken decades ago. BP should further examine all of its political activities and the carbon pollution consequences of its energy portfolio and ask if they are helping or hindering our ability to effectively deal with climate change.

“Shell should follow BP’s lead. The company’s CEO says Shell does not want to align with groups that reject climate science, but their support for ALEC does exactly that.”

According to a first-of-its-kind database of carbon extraction that was updated earlier this year, BP and Shell are among just 90 entities responsible for extracting the coal, oil, and gas that have produced about two-thirds of all industrial carbon pollution. More than 2.3 percent of all industrial carbon emissions can be traced back to BP’s products while just over 2 percent of emissions can be traced back to Shell’s.

Earlier this week, UCS released a graphic chronicling fossil fuel companies’ history of deception on climate science and advocacy and trade groups they support. More than 125,000 UCS members and supporters have called on Shell to disassociate itself from ALEC.