Apparently unable to find real activists, the coal industry paid astroturfers $50 to wear pro-coal t-shirts at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing yesterday.
The EPA hearings, held yesterday in Chicago and Washington, D.C., were focused on the agency’s first-ever carbon standards for new power plants. The industry has adamantly opposed these standards, as well as standards on mercury — a pollutant that even Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) admits is harmful.
This year, coal is throwing around its weight by spending tens of millions of dollars on media advertising and political contributions.
Coal is also engaging in fake advocacy campaigns, known as astroturfing. In a Craigslist ad found by the Environmental Law & Policy Center in Chicago, a coal group promised participants $50 to “wear a t-shirt in support of an energy project.” Upon further digging, the Sierra Club blog pieced together much of the deleted Craigslist ad…