Dirty fuels or clean energy, which is it, Mark Zuckerberg?
This week I was excited to learn about the new FWD.us (pronounced "Forward U.S.") political action committee funded by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and aimed at achieving much-needed immigration reform in America. That excitement quickly turned to surprise and dismay, when FWD.us quickly showed that they’re willing to sell out our climate future to curry favor with lawmakers, by running divisive political ads aimed at promoting oil drilling in the Arctic and supporting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Just last week, the Sierra Club announced our support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants -- so we know how important immigration reform is to the future of our country. The way to achieve reform, however, isn't by pushing dirty fuel schemes that threaten our future and our families. We are committed to partnering with all who share our concerns about advancing democracy and fighting the climate crisis. And that includes the country's 11 million undocumented immigrants.
This is how reform and action should work - with a diverse coalition supporting measures that benefit everyone. Our goals are intrinsically tied to each other's. If I may even quote the Sierra Club’s founder, John Muir: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." Dirty fuels threaten our future and our families - including those who need a path to citizenship
Zuckerberg has said in the past that he supports clean energy and that the U.S. should be investing more in it. Last week the news came out that one of Facebook's data centers will be located in Iowa over Nebraska because Iowa has more wind power. His funding of FWD.us undermines those clean energy goals.
Start-up innovator and Branch.com CEO Josh Miller stated it very eloquently in his column on BuzzFeed: "Zuckerberg claimed his PAC would push for reform in a very different way, yet it's become just as insider and dirty as the polluters' lobbyists. You trade me this and I'll give you that."
That's not how we will achieve our goals on immigration or climate disruption or any other issue our movement sees as critical. Immigration reform coalitions are now piling on to the effort to call on Zuckerberg and FWD.us to stop its plans.
I don't believe Mark Zuckerberg wants to engage in dirty politics, and I feel even more sure that he doesn't want to promote dirty energy. Rather than working in our own silos, we should work together to sustain a clean tech revolution and achieve a just path to citizenship for new Americans. Join us, Mark!