"Astroturf Gone Wrong: Fake Protesters Offered $20 To Stand At Anti-Wind Energy Rally"
Most Americans like clean energy. So when conservatives wage campaigns against clean energy initiatives, they have typically resorted to fronting astroturf groups and paying fake protesters to generate noise.
Needing 100 anti-wind protesters by next week and apparently unable to find them, a mysterious firm advertised a “quick and easy $20″ on Craigslist. According to the ad, the only thing the “volunteers” would need to do for their pay is “stand next to or behind the speakers and elected officials/celebrities” at a rally against a wind turbine project in the UK.
View the screenshot (the ad was quickly pulled down after Grist made the catch):
We do not know who is behind the ad, but there is at least one wealthy opponent of windmills in Scotland, since they would obstruct the view of his golf course.
There is nothing new about anti-clean energy and anti-EPA campaigns fronted by corporate interests. Last year, coal groups threw its cash at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing, paying astroturfers $50 to wear pro-coal T-shirts. Wind has faced a particularly uphill battle against corporate interests, with a leaked strategy memo showing conservative think tanks leading an astroturf strategy to take down clean energy, at the same time a lobby group linked to the Koch brothers mobilized to defeat wind credits in Congress.