Google Inc (GOOG), Facebook Inc (FB) and Not-so-green Contacts

A lot of recent announcements on behalf of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) seem to insinuate the two giants are seeking renewable alternatives.

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has said it expects, by 2015, a quarter of the power of its data centers to be provided by renewable energy. The company has also recently announced that one of the data centers it operates in Iowa will be running on wind power by 2015. This will be the company’s second data center that runs entirely on renewable energy. We like this, Facebook.

Similarly, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has recently invested more than $1 billion in environmentally friendly projects. Some of these include wind farms in various regions such as North Dakota and Oregon, a solar facility in Germany, and many contracts for renewable energy to power its data centers worldwide. Moreover, last Friday it announced it would be spending $80 million in solar facilities located in Arizona and California.

It all sounds very convincing, but a few other facts make us doubt as to Google and Facebook’s actual posture when it comes to the environment. Are they really that committed?

 

Hanging out with the wrong crowd?

Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has publicly shown support for Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, a well-known climate change skeptic. He once said, “It’s also important to question whether global warming is even a problem for human existence. Thus far no one has seriously demonstrated any scientific proof that increased global temperatures would lead to the catastrophes predicted by alarmists. In fact, it appears that just the opposite is true: that increases in global temperatures may have a beneficial effect on how we live our lives.” Furthermore, he claims that climate change is a “hoax” because “God’s still up there.” Interestingly, Google recently hosted a fundraiser lunch for this man.

Google has also recently spent $50,000 at another fundraising dinner for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which is a think tank that also skeptical of climate change which has recently posted ads on carbon dioxide emissions that read “They call it pollution. We call it life.” Guess who else contributed $25,000 to this dinner? Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).

Benign contacts?

Probably not. Many companies such as Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), just to name a few, have recently cut ties with an organization called American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) while Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have kept it in their friends list. ALEC is an organization that is known for its opposition to renewable energy. So isn’t it slightly contradictory for Google and Facebook to be tied with them?

 

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