Apple-backed group lobbying against U.S. budget bill, says analysis

"Major corporations love to tell us how committed they are to addressing the climate crisis and building a sustainable future, but behind closed doors, they are funding the very industry trade groups that are fighting tooth and nail to stop the biggest climate change bill ever"

What you need to know

  • Analysis claims Apple-backed groups are amongst those lobbying against the United State's $3.5tn budget bill.
  • Watchdog group Accountable.US claims many companies including Apple are backing business groups lobbying against Joe Biden's $3.5tn budget, which includes spending to tackle climate change.
  • One group that counts Apple as a member has vowed to stop the bill because of tax raises.

A new report claims that groups backed by businesses including Apple are trying to lobby against the U.S.'s proposed $3.5tn budget bill, which includes big spending to tackle climate change.

Analysis from Accountable.US reported by The Guardian reportedly shows that Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Disney are counted among businesses represented by lobby groups trying to stall the bill. From a report Friday:

Some of America's most prominent companies, including Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Disney, are backing business groups that are fighting landmark climate legislation, despite their own promises to combat the climate crisis, a new analysis has found. A clutch of corporate lobby groups and organizations have mobilized to oppose the proposed $3.5tn budget bill put forward by Democrats, which contains unprecedented measures to drive down planet-heating gases. The reconciliation bill has been called the "the most significant climate action in our country's history" by Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader in the US Senate.

The original report emphasizes the bill's aim at tackling climate change through a large spending package, and contrasts the lobbying with the promises of companies like Apple to reduce their own emissions, however does not provide any link that the lobbying has anything to do with climate change, at least in Apple's case.

Kyle Herrig, president of the watchdog behind the analysis claimed "major corporations love to tell us how committed they are to addressing the climate crisis and building a sustainable future, but behind closed doors, they are funding the very industry trade groups that are fighting tooth and nail to stop the biggest climate change bill ever."

The report cites the US Chamber of Commerce as one group lobbying against the legislation, however Apple left that group because of climate change scepticism more than ten years ago. The only group cited that Apple is a part of is Business Roundtable, which numbers Tim Cook amongst its ranks as well as Sundar Pichai and Amazon's Andy Jassy. This group's quarrel with the bill, however, is described in terms of raising taxes:

Another group, the Business Roundtable, has said it is "deeply concerned" about the passage of the bill, largely because it raises taxes on the wealthy. The organization is made up of company chief executives, including Apple's Tim Cook, who has called for stronger action on the climate emergency from governments and businesses. Other members include Andy Jassy, chief executive of Amazon, Sundar Pichai, who heads Google's parent company Alphabet, and Darren Woods, chief executive of the oil giant Exxon.

Accountable.US claimed this week companies lobbying "against the Biden agenda on corporate tax fairness" are doing so over tax concerns:

An Accountable.US report found several major corporations lobbying against the Biden agenda on corporate tax fairness were awarded tens of billions of dollars from the 2017 Trump tax cuts, including AT&T, Walmart, Apple, FedEx and JPMorgan.

In April, Apple published its 2021 Environmental Progress Report, reaffirming its 2020 commitment to carbon neutral by 2030. Apple says it has reduced its CO2 emissions from 25.1 million metric tons in 2019 to 22.6 million tons in 2020. It saved some 2 million metric tons by removing the charger from the iPhone 12 last year, a move it continued with this year's best iPhone, the iPhone 13. Previous reports of Apple lobbying politicians extend to the right to repair bill as well as App Store legislation.

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