Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Sponsored by...

Have the tube on right now while I putter 'round ye olde homestead, and hear that some news break or other on CNN was sponsored by "Americans for Balanced Energy Choices". I thought....hmmm, interesting. When I turned around I saw the logo. It was a piece of coal, with a tagline under it.

Yeah, well, those "Americans"? They're a [air-quote]non profit group[end air-quote], whose "Research Identifies Benefits of New Coal-Fueled Power". Yeah, because why not trade one fossil fuel for another...that'll create balance, right? We can keep using finite resources, instead of replaceable, renewable resources. Great idea.

Fishy, no? I dug a bit deeper. Seems David Lazurus at SFGate.com had these guys' number more than three years ago. (Just call me, "Mara-Come-Lately"!) Check this out:

It's a sophisticated ploy that's being used more and more by large companies to sway public opinion.

"There's a name for it -- Astroturf," said Gail Hillebrand, a senior attorney with Consumers Union in San Francisco. "It's when you try to make something look like a grassroots movement when it's not."

For ordinary citizens, this represents a new challenge.

"You want to know if it's an industry-sponsored message," Hillebrand said. "This helps you understand the validity of what you're hearing."

On its Web site, Americans for Balanced Energy Choices says only that "initial funding for this worthwhile project" was provided by "America's coal- based electricity industry."

It doesn't say that the coal industry -- which in reality has provided virtually all funding for the group since its establishment in 2000 -- contributed nearly $4 million to politicians in the 2000 election cycle, primarily Republicans.


Lovely. There's more:

Americans for Balanced Energy Choices, which bills itself as nonpartisan, also doesn't say in its ad or online that it receives logistical support, including staff members and other resources, from the Center for Energy and Economic Development, a coal-industry trade group.

The center has aggressively lobbied against limits on greenhouse-gas emissions, widely seen as a cause of global warming.

On its Web site, the center says it rejects "the theory of catastrophic global climate change" and takes credit for helping persuade Bush not to support the Kyoto Treaty on reducing emissions.


Nice, eh? And to think, if I hadn't turned around, I'd still think there was some wonderful group out there looking out for our planet's best interest with regard to how America generates it's energy.

5 comments:

Bond said...

too many groups are like this one...hidden agendas galore...

Bond said...

ummmm am I missing something here?

Where are you?

barb michelen said...

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Sara said...

are you still posting???? Where are you?

Mimi Lenox said...

You've been royally tagged by Mimi Queen of Memes. Have fun!
Message In a Bottle