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Mark Zuckerberg’s Political Group Promotes Offshore Drilling & the Keystone XL

Mark Zuckerberg’s new political group, FWD.us, promotes itself as a bipartisan group working towards immigration reform.  The group was co-founded by Facebook’s Zuckerberg, NationBuilder’s co-founder Joe Green, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman, and Dropbox’s Drew Houston, among others in the industry.  While immigration reform is its stated agenda, FWD.us has been funding subsidiary organizations that openly support the construction of the Keystone XL and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), Thinkprogress reports.

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The first subsidiary Zuckerberg’s group funds is a GOP-lead group called Americans For A Conservative Direction.  The funding this group receives is meant to be used for TV ads to push FWD.us’s overarching immigration agenda, however the ad produced makes no mention of immigration reform.  Instead, it pushes for the construction of the dirty and destructive Keystone XL and attacks Obamacare.  See the ad here:

The second group is called Council for American Job Growth, and although led by democratic strategists and supposedly tailored to more liberal audiences, the ad they’ve produced applauds ANWR drilling and commercial fishing to boost the economy and, again, makes no mention of immigration reform. See the ad here:

The goal to reform immigration policy is certainly commendable and necessary since current exclusionary and exploitative immigration laws are tantamount to modern day slavery.  The Sierra Club has recently come out in strong support of immigration reform, bringing to light the plight of undocumented peoples and the systemic exploitation of their labour to keep afloat the American economy.  From the Sierra Club board:

“Currently at least 11 million people live in the U.S. in the shadows of our society. Many of them work in jobs that expose them to dangerous conditions, chemicals and pesticides, and many more of them live in areas with disproportionate levels of toxic air, water, and soil pollution. To protect clean air and water and prevent the disruption of our climate, we must ensure that those who are most disenfranchised and most threatened by pollution within our borders have the voice to fight polluters and advocate for climate solutions without fear.

The Sierra Club takes a position to support an equitable path to citizenship for residents of the United States who lack official documentation. America’s undocumented population should be able to earn legalization and a timely pathway to citizenship, with all the rights to fully participate in our democracy, including influencing environmental and climate policies. The pathway to citizenship should be free of unreasonable barriers, and should facilitate keeping families together and reuniting those that are split whenever possible.”

So, with a commendable goal like supporting equitable pathways for citizenship and basic civil rights, why is Zuckerberg’s group pouring so much money into ad campaigns supporting dirty, unsustainable and socially exploitative “energy security” measures like the Keystone XL and ANWR drilling?  Why are right wing economic agendas overshadowing the stated goals of FWD.us, especially after Zuckerberg released this article about turning our old, dirty fossil-fuel driven economy into a clean and equitable “knowledge” economy?  The Facebook founder is certainly sending out mixed messages.

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