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Amazon lobbied to squash climate bill

by on05 April 2023

Wasn't it a climate change champ?

Amazon has branded itself as a climate crusader, touting its commitment to renewable energy and sustainable practices, but a local politician claims it has been  lobbying for a bill which would prevent carbon emissions from its data centre.

In a bid to save the polar bear, Oregon wanted to set a 100 percent carbon emissions reduction deadline of 2040 for high energy users. Its goal was to rein in industries with outsize carbon footprints, like cryptocurrency mines and data centres.

Amazon was planning three datacentres in the state.

Though the bill would have matched the timeline of Amazon's own "Climate Pledge," which promises net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and yet the company helped kill it, according to Oregon state Rep. Pam Marsh.

Marsh said Amazon's representatives were in the Capitol lobbying against the bill from the very first moment of discussion. Amazon never publicly testified against the bill did not testify publicly, Marsh said the company's lobbyists helped organise the opposition.

She said that Amazon "successfully nurtured fear that our energy requirements would drive away the development of data centres… no one wants that… but we do want them to use energy responsibly and sustainably."

Amazon spokesperson David Ward said that "several organisations, including Amazon, opposed the law because it did not address the build-out of electric infrastructure that is needed to bring more clean energy to the grid."

"Building new renewable projects requires infrastructure investments in the grid and today there are hurdles in key areas like permitting and interconnection," he said. "Accelerating energy infrastructure permitting and interconnections for renewables like solar and wind would have a greater impact on reducing emissions, bringing more clean energy to the grid, and helping achieve our goal of accessing more clean energy in Oregon."

Amazon has pointed out that its data centers in Oregon are already powered by 95 per cent renewable energy,  and worked with Umatilla Electric Cooperative (UEC) in Oregon to create an innovative solution that safely and  reliably powered its operations and keeps Amazon on a path to meeting 100% renewable energy by 2025.

It insisted that Amazon will be fully powered by renewable energy by 2025, with 85 per cent of its business currently powered by renewables—five years ahead of its original Climate Pledge commitment.



Last modified on 06 April 2023
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