BP Leaves ALEC, Shades of Global Climate Coalition Defections

In what could be a throwback to the 1990s, the National Journal just broke that British Petroleum (BP) has quit the American Legislative Exchange Council today, saying ALEC membership was not needed to pursue its interests.

“We continually assess our engagements with policy and advocacy organizations and based on our most recent assessment, we have determined that we can effectively pursue policy matters of current interest to BP without renewing our membership in ALEC,” the spokesman said.

BP was not specific about what triggered this move.  Shell and others have been under increased pressure since Google left ALEC in a hurry last September as a result of ALEC’s climate change stance.

While BP is far from a green company and is not even greenwashing itself like it was in the “Beyond Petroleum” days, this reminds some climate policy observers of the late 1990s corporate defections from the Global Climate Coalition, when companies were no longer denying the urgency of climate change nor the scientific consensus underpinning that urgency.

As Lester Brown writes in his essay “The Rise and Fall of the Global Climate Coalition”, BP left the GCC in 1997 after CEO Sir John Browne’s famous speech on climate change at Stanford.  Dupont departed even earlier. Then, Shell jumped ship in 1998 and soon companies couldn’t leave fast enough, as Ross Gelbspan recaps here:

“Between December, 1999 and early March, 2000, the GCC was deserted by Ford, Daimler-Chrysler, Texaco, the Southern Company and General Motors. While many of the defecting companies said their anti-Kyoto posture had not changed, this was a major blow to a 10-year campaign by oil, coal and automotive interests to prevent public action to address the climate crisis.”

We have detailed ALEC’s CLIMATE DENIAL history in this Climate Investigations Center blog.

Big Companies Have Left ALEC

How important is it for ALEC to lose membership of large companies? Climate Investigations Center has compiled a table of the companies who have left ALEC since 2012.


Twenty three companies in the Fortune 500 top 50 have left ALEC since 2012.  (BP is not in the Fortune 500 of U.S. Companies)

Ranked by Market Cap, the results are even more stunning.  The total Market Cap of the companies that have left ALEC in recent years is over $7.25 Trillion (trillion with a T)  The biggest company that is still an ALEC member is ExxonMobil with a current Market Cap of $355 Billion.

These tables with sources are available for reporters, please contact us at [email protected]


Big Companies that have left ALEC 2012-2015
23 of the top 50 companies in the Fortune 500 have left ALEC since 2012…

just 13 of top 50 Fortune 500 remain ALEC members, down from 36

Companies in Bold below have left ALEC
Fortune 500 Rank
1 Wal-Mart Stores  out
2 Exxon Mobil in
3 Chevron in
4 Berkshire Hathaway  out
5 Apple not
6 Phillips 66 (spun off from ConocoPhillips 2012) out
7 General Motors  out
8 Ford Motor was member 1999
9 General Electric  out
10 Valero Energy not a member
11 AT&T in
12 CVS Caremark  out
13 Fannie Mae  out
14 UnitedHealth Group  out
15 McKesson not
16 Verizon Communications in
17 Hewlett-Packard  out
18 J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. not
19 Costco Wholesale not
20 Express Scripts Holding  out
21 Bank of America  out
22 Cardinal Health not
23 IBM  out
24 Kroger not
25 Marathon Petroleum in
26 Citigroup not
27 Archer Daniels Midland member in 2003
28 AmerisourceBergen not
29 Wells Fargo  out
30 Boeing member in 1998
31 Procter & Gamble  out
32 Freddie Mac not
33 Home Depot  out
34 Microsoft  out
35 Amazon.com  out
36 Target not
37 Walgreen Co.  out
38 WellPoint  out
39 Johnson & Johnson  out
40 American International Group not
41 State Farm Insurance Cos. in
42 MetLife not
43 PepsiCo  out
44 Comcast in
45 United Technologies not
46 Google  out
47 ConocoPhillips  out
48 Dow Chemical in
49 Caterpillar funder, not member
50 United Parcel Service in
BP out
51Pfizer in
52Lowe’s Companies  out
53Intel Corporation  out


Corp That Have Left ALEC since 2012 Market Cap Dec 2 2014 (billion $) Fortune 500 rank
Microsoft $398.73 34
Berkshire Hathaway Energy $366.86 4
Google $363.86 46
Johnson & Johnson $302.58 39
Wells Fargo $278.58 29
Wal-Mart $277.36 1
General Electric (GE) $261.15 9
Roche Diagnostics Corporation $250.84
Procter & Gamble $243.00 31
Nestlé USA Inc. $241.70
Facebook $208.43
Coca-Cola Company $194.52
Intel $180.83
Bank of America $177.30 21
Merck $172.56
IBM $160.37 23
Entergy $151.98
Amazon.com $150.28 35
PepsiCo $149.99 43
Home Depot, Inc. $130.04 33
Amgen $125.43
Unilever $123.29
BP $121.27
GlaxoSmithKline $113.57
Union Pacific Corporation $103.48
CVS Caremark $103.05 12
3M $101.91
Bristol-Myers Squibb $97.67
Novo Nordisk Pharmaceuticals $96.96
UnitedHealth Group $94.99 14
McDonald’s $93.13
AstraZeneca $92.46
SAP America $86.68
ConocoPhillips $84.04 47
Medtronic $72.55
Hewlett-Packard $72.51 17
Walgreens $63.80 37
Occidental Petroleum $62.83
Lowe’s Companies, Inc. $61.68
Express Scripts/Medco $61.39 20
General Motors (GM) $52.70
Yahoo Inc. $47.35
Emerson Electric Co $43.70
Reckitt Benckiser Group $37.93
Kraft $35.33
PacifiCorp $35.21
WellPoint $34.67 38
YUM! Brands $33.87
John Deere & Company $31.97
Freeport-McMoRan $27.34
Intuit $26.83
Dell Computers $24.38
The Pacific Gas and Electric $24.13
PG&E $24.03
International Paper $22.46
Brown-Forman Company $20.31
Reed Elsevier $19.65
Sprint Nextel $19.27
Symantec $18.10
Xcel Energy $17.46
Visa $16.13
Motorola $15.72
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, $14.30
MillerCoors (Molson Coors) $14.09
Best Buy $13.03
Publix Super Markets $11.46
Endo Pharmaceuticals $10.97
Ameren $10.52
Western Union $9.46
News Corporation $8.83
Darden Restaurants $7.57
Alliant Energy $7.06
MidAmerica $5.46
Sallie Mae $4.09
Yelp $4.02
AOL $3.55
Alliant Energy $3.52
Wendy’s $3.20
Overstock.com $0.59
Blue Cross Blue Shield private
Cargill private
EMD Serono private
Kaplan private
Mars private

Posted by Kert Davies