The Wheeling Intelligencer in August: “Special interests and powerful politicians seeking to influence us are wasting their time”
Yeah, right. Then why is it astroturfing us with a Koch-backed energy industry lobbyist pushing fossil fuel propaganda?
The quotation in today’s title is from an August Intelligencer editorial celebrating their anniversary. Unfortunately for its readership, their willingness to bow to special interests (especially in the fossil fuel industries) is once again borne out on its front page.
The morning paper’s headline read:
Report: Shale Has Energized W.Va
while the afternoon’s told us:
Shale Is Powering W.Va Economy.
The article that follows is Heather Ziegler’s rewrite of a Consumer Energy Alliance PR release dated September 18. Her article begins:
This week, Chris Ventura, executive director of the Alliance, said the consumer advocate organization’s latest report, “Powering West Virginia,” shows Mountain State energy consumers are the winners when it comes to lower natural gas prices.
The article is a glowing report of the natural gas industry in West Virginia as described by the Consumer Energy Alliance and transcribed by Heather Ziegler. (Note – Ziegler offers no balance, nor does she question any of the evidence.)
But who is the Consumer Energy Alliance? Simply put, it’s a pro-industry public relations organization with ties to the Kochs disguised as a consumer-backed energy organization. It’s a lobbyist and, as this article demonstrates, an astroturfing organization. Here’s how Sourcewatch describes the organization:
The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is a nonprofit organization and a front group for the energy industry that opposes political efforts to regulate carbon standards while advancing deep water and land-based drilling for oil and methane gas.
And from the Energy and Policy Institute:
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) likes to call itself “the voice of the energy consumer” but it really is a fossil fuel-funded advocacy group run out of the offices of the PR firm HBW Resources.
In particular, EPI’s analysis notes how CEA has attacked solar energy while pretending to be its friend.
Watch @SenWhitehouse expose "fake consumer group" @CEAorg for creating a "fake initiative" in Kentucky called "Kentuckians for Solar Fairness." The group is supporting legislation - HB 227 - that would kill net metering in Kentucky and take away a homeowner's choice to go solar. pic.twitter.com/JdQdPcA2y1— TASC (@alliance4solar) February 15, 2018