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Amazon is getting comfortable with the oil sector — and a few employees aren’t pleased about it.

The online shopping giant, which currently works with BP and Shell, was attempting to woo more gas and oil businesses to use its technologies to help them find drillable oil faster, angering employees who’ve been compelling Amazon to do more to combat climate change.

The employees say the business should drop its job with the business entirely, arguing it should not contribute to damaging the environment. Employees at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters spreading the word, are meeting frequently and encouraging participation to put pressure.

The issue came to a boil when employees publicly published a letter to CEO Jeff Bezos which has been signed by more than 4,000 Amazon employees.

“Amazon absolutely shouldn’t be helping oil and gas companies extract oil from the floor,” explained Emily Cunningham, a user experience designer in the firm who is a part of a team of employees who’ve pushed Amazon to lower its carbon emissions.

The company is courting oil producers into Amazon Web Services, which offers cloud computing solutions to government agencies and leading companies, including video-streaming agency Netflix and digital scrapbooking website Pinterest. AWS is among Amazon’s largest money makers, accounting for more than 70 percent of Amazon’s total profit last year.

It is uncertain how large of a business oil and gas businesses are for AWS; BP and Shell have been customers for years. Nonetheless, it seems Amazon has stepped up its courting of this sector lately.

Andy Jassy, that runs AWS, spoke at the month’s gas and oil conference CERAWeek at Houston. Amazon was also among the sponsors of the event, which brings together executives in a number of the gas and oil producers around the world. At among Jassy’s discussions, he clarified how Shell was using Amazon’s machine learning technologies to determine which wells would produce the most oil before drilling.

“That is a true game-changer,” he said in the summit.

Questions delivered to Amazon to the oil sector about its ties were not answered. Rather, AWS spokesman Jason Kello delivered a URL to its sustainability site, which said the business uses solar and wind electricity to some of its data centers.

Workers at big tech companies are emboldened to urge issues they care for. For instance , high-paid workers walked from their offices to protest the technology firm’s mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against executives.

Amazon workers say they got the enterprise to budge somewhat on climate modification. Approximately 30 Amazon employees, including Cunninghamhave filed a shareholder resolution late last year asking the company to reduce its use of fossil fuels to electricity Amazon’s data centres and the jets and trucks used to deliver Amazon’s bundles.

In February, Amazon announced it would launch its carbon footprint to the first time later this season and said it would make half of its shipments carbon neutral by 2030, but provided no specifics on how it will do that. But employees say the announcement wasn’t enough.

In the letter published Wednesday, Amazon workers list lots of grievances, for example that the firm does not have any in depth climate change plans and that it’s seeking the work of fossil fuel businesses.

“Amazon has the resources and scale to spark the world’s imagination and redefine what is possible and necessary to deal with climate catastrophe,” the letter stated.

More young workers are demanding that their employers do more to combat climate change, said Sue Reid, a senior president of energy and climate at Ceres, a nonprofit which operates with big investors and organizations to produce sustainability changes. She said that ignoring worker demands could hurt worker morale and bring more negative focus on the organization. Making since reducing energy use, the companies are benefited by the modifications can indicate prices.

“It is kind of baffling businesses don’t line up to try it,” Reid said.

“I’ll be surprised if Amazon gives in the needs,” he explained.

Nonetheless, employees like Rajit Iftikhar, a software engineer at Amazon, are earning a push. Iftikhar said climate change is a personal problem for himHe’s of Bangladeshi decent, a country that’s been hurt by flood and other natural disasters which were linked to global warming.

He said large companies like Amazon who are leading to climate change should be doing more to reduce their influence.

“That is extremely concerning to me,” he said. “The individuals that are least responsible for climate change may bear some of its worst effects.”


Follow Joseph Pisani at


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