According to Visa's website, the credit-card company is a proud environmental champion. They brag about office buildings with Energy Star efficiencies, formal recognition of green accomplishments from the EPA and the Department of Transportation, and more. In Europe, the company even offers carbon-neutral cards. Yet despite this rhetoric, Visa continues to make campaign contributions to right-wing lawmakers bent on distorting climate science and destroying the EPA.
Visa's lobbyists are this year's biggest contributor to Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, one of the biggest environmental villains in Congress. And in 2010, two of Visa's PAC's three largest House contributions were to Hensarling and the even more anti-environmental House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Cantor is the man helps lead the tea party caucus and who sets the House agenda - an agenda that included over 100 anti-environment votes last year. That means he is a major player in virtually every recent assault on the Clean Air Act, every attempt to curb the EPA's authority, and every bill that would roll back subsidies for green jobs and the clean energy industry.
Hensarling is the House Republican Conference Chairman, so helps Cantor with that agenda. Grist.org describes him as a "vociferous foe of climate action and the EPA," and he has publicy stood with the Koch Brothers on climate change. Sadly, Hensarling is the co-chair of the deficit "Supercommittee," so sits in a ready position to make even deeper environmental cuts to the U.S. budget next year.
The environmental harm Visa does by supporting these politicians outweighs all the good its internal corporate policies accomplish. If Visa's executives want us, their customers, to see them as truly beneficial to our environment and our society, then they need to help hold Cantor and Hensarling accountable for their harmful records on climate change, science, and the Clean Air Act. Tell Visa: Be consistent, and withhold further contributions until these politicians take serious climate action.