Facebook's Zuckerberg Angers Enviromental Activists with Keystone XL Pipeline Ads

FWD.us social-engagement group funding controversial ads

By Chris Roberts and Scott Budman
|  Wednesday, May 1, 2013  |  Updated 8:32 PM EDT
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Mark Zuckerberg has clicked

Mark Zuckerberg has clicked "Like" on the Keystone XL Pipeline -- and now his timeline is going to be chock-full of angry. Scott Budman reports.

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Mark Zuckerberg has clicked "Like" on the Keystone XL Pipeline — and now his timeline is going to be chock-full of angry.

The Facebook founder and CEO recently started a political advocacy group called FWD.us — and the group is running a series of television ads in support of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

His PAC was created to support immigration reform, but it is also going to support such things as drilling. There are those in Congress who support immigration reform, but who also support drilling, and some say that the PAC funding might be a means to an end.

Feared and loathed by environmentalists, the pipeline would open up Canadian tar sands for oil and gas exploration.

Activists in the San Francisco Bay Area say they are "angered and mystified" over Zuck's turn for the pipe, and a group of about 50 protested Wednesday at Facebook's world headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The protest was timed just before the company released its first-quarter earnings. . Wednesday is also "May Day," a day where many took up immigrants' rights and a path to citizenship as the key causes of the day.

The protesters questioned why Zuckerberg would "spend millions in support" of the pipeline, "among the dirtiest projects on Earth."

And they created an online petition to stop "running ads supporting fossil fuels" which as of Wednesday afternoon had collected more than 18,000 signatures.

Zuckerberg did not come outside the building when the protect occurred about noon, nor did he issue any statement on his Facebook news website.

Supporters, however, point out that that building the pipeline means thousands of jobs.

FWD.us's ads feature Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) bashing President Barack Obama for not being supportive-enough of the pipe.

Credo Mobile, the socially-active mobile carrier, says that Facebook has refused to run its ads that blast the pipeline and FWD.us's support for it.

Even though experts say Zuckerberg's primary directive in effecting change in social policy is immigration reform, some are not going to agree with using the pipeline ads as "cover" for that change.

"But invariably there is going to be people who don’t understand and the inevitable result is going to be this type of press fire," Dan Schnur, a political science professor at the University of Southern California, told the Los Angeles Times.

Ironically, the Zuckerberg critics have a Facebook page dedicated to their cause.

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