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Walmart backs anti-environmental lawmakers while pushing ‘sustainable’ image

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Although Walmart has heavily promoted its sustainability initiatives, the company has given millions to lawmakers who oppose stricter environmental regulations.

“Walmart talks big about sustainability, but doesn’t put its campaign money anywhere near where its mouth is,” states a report (PDF) by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “Whatever the company may say about the importance of legislative action on climate change or other environmental issues, its money is signaling the opposite, telling lawmakers that it’s perfectly fine to vote against environmental protection.”

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The mega-retailer labels itself as a “leader in sustainability,” and touts its purchase of renewable energy and its other efforts to reduce its environmental impact.

However, Walmart’s political donations favor candidates who oppose environmental regulations like cap-and-trade, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.

Some of its biggest donations have gone to members of Congress who deny that man-made climate change exists. Since 2005, Walmart’s political action committee has given $25,000
to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), $30,000 to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), and $29,500 to Sen. John Boozman (R-AK).

At the state level, 80 percent of Walmart’s $9.9 million in donations have gone to Republican candidates since 2003, most of whom opposed stricter environmental regulations.

“Even as Walmart was winning kudos for a public statement in support of government action on climate change, it was funneling millions in campaign cash to lawmakers who would ensure such legislation never became law,” the reported concluded.

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[Image via Jared C. Benedict, Creative Commons licensed]


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