Coal Industry Pays Fake Activists $50 To Wear Pro-Coal Shirts At Public Hearing

"Activists" offered $50 to wear pro-coal shirts.

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:

People needed to attend a public meeting (Tinley Park /Chicago)

Reply to: (email address no longer valid)

Looking for people THIS THURSDAY, MAY 24 who want to make a couple of dollars for a few hours of your time.

All you need to do is wear a t-shirt in support of an energy project for two hours during the public meeting. We will be departing the Tinely Park convention center at 8:15 am for the meeting and we will be back by 1:30 pm. For your time we will pay you $50 cash and provide you lunch once we return to the convention center.

If you can’t beat ’em, cheat ’em.

17 Responses to Coal Industry Pays Fake Activists $50 To Wear Pro-Coal Shirts At Public Hearing

  1. Artful Dodger says:

    gee, i thought the going rate was 40 pieces of silver…

  2. Will Fox says:

    Disgusting, but actually not that surprising, as it’s just the kind of underhand tactics we’ve come to expect from the fossil fuel industry.

  3. morgansher says:

    Wow. King Coal is really scraping the bottom of the barrel with that kind of act!

  4. 17andscared says:

    I hope these photos make those losers social pariahs in 10-20 years.

  5. facts lean left says:

    There are no pro-coal activists?


  6. squidboy6 says:

    sell your soul for $50? What great country!

  7. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Allowing for inflation.

  8. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    From underneath.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘Those are my moral convictions, sir-if you do not like them-I have others’, to paraphrase Groucho.

  10. Merrelyn Emery says:

    What is wrong with now? ME

  11. Mittington says:

    Good thing these stupid kids don’t vote

  12. Mike Roddy says:

    This is nothing for those guys. Most of the coal execs and owners would sell their mothers for a $10 bill.

  13. Gary says:

    The next time one of those ads appear progressives should get all the spots, show up and then when we get to the meeting switch shirts and show how we honestly feel.

    Probably won’t get the $50 though.

  14. dwilson says:

    Their folks are cheap! Takes a lot more than $50 to get a miner’s kinfolk into Sierra Club t-shirts. Matter of fact, I don’t think there is a ‘going rate’ for that. The Craig’s List recruitment ad promised lunch, fifty dollars, the shirt, and a bus ride into the heart of Chicago or DC, But did they get to keep the shirt? (Yo! Bill Maher should look into this.)

    At such prices, a homeless veteran could get three 40-oz beers, two packs of smokes, and a Hardee’s egg biscuit. Capitalism’s finest hour, heh?

  15. Gregory Purcell says:

    too bad you didn’t run this a week ago, I could signed up for the shirt, made that meeting, and painted the shirt with big red letters ” I am being paid by big coal to wear this shirt”

  16. 50 bucks?!? What cheap bastards!

  17. jEREMY says:

    No surprise there. Bet they also pay folks to make bogus comments on articles featured on the web to discredit Climate Science. They have developed a “machine” and it is well greased. We are in big trouble because it looks like no action will be taken to reduce emissions until after 2020. We know what that means…a day late and a dollar short.