Verizon Wireless is hearing us now

Verizon Wireless is hearing us now

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Verizon Wireless has responded to pressure from current and potential customers who expressed outrage at its sponsorship of a pro-coal, anti-environment rally on Labor Day. In a letter to the Center for Biological Diversity, Verizon Wireless’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, asserted that his company’s sponsorship of the rally “was not a statement of our position on any public policy issue, and it certainly was not an expression of support for mountaintop removal coal mining or in opposition to climate legislation.”

This explanation falls far short of a definitive public apology and a withdrawal of support from the rally. We have mailed the 4,564 signatures and comments of Friends of the Earth activists to Mr. McAdam, along with the following letter, letting him know that his company cannot choose when and where to “walk the talk” on global warming and demanding a definitive public apology.

September 24, 2009

Lowell McAdam, President & CEO
Verizon Wireless
295 N Maple Ave
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920-1002

Dear Mr. McAdam:

When it comes to protecting the environment and averting climate catastrophe, talk is cheap and action is essential. Your company’s recent action to co-sponsor the pro-coal, anti-environment Friends of America Rally on Labor Day runs counter to your claim that, “Verizon Wireless works every day to protect our environment” and sends a hypocritical message to customers.

Enclosed with this letter are the signatures of 4,564 current and potential Verizon Wireless customers who care deeply about real solutions to global warming. They signed and added personal comments to the following petition by Friends of the Earth:

Verizon Wireless is co-sponsoring a pro-coal, anti-environment rally on Labor Day. This event will feature speeches by prominent global warming deniers. Your company must issue a public apology and immediately withdraw all support from this extremist rally.

Your company’s sponsorship of the rally may have been pursued for publicity and not as a statement about public policy, as you asserted in a recent letter to the Center for Biological Diversity; however, this is not a valid excuse. Verizon was clearly aware of the extremist message of the rally—and still chose to enable its anti-environment platform. You cannot choose when and where to “walk the talk” on global warming. The stakes are simply too high.

We urge you to take these signatures and comments seriously and issue a definitive public apology for supporting the “Friends of America” rally.

Erich Pica, President
Friends of the Earth

Come on, Big V, the Earth needs your support, not those who destroy it. – Gerald A., NE

Sponsoring this event is obviously a political statement. You are deliberately supporting dangerous ignorance and total disregard for the common good. – Donald W., PA

I am anti-coal, pro-environment, and you should be too. This weekend I will use my Labor Day to find a new cell phone provider. – Janet B., CA

Stop funding the destruction of our environment! Can you hear us now!!! – Gordon G., FL