"Astroturf" to crowd out grassroots in U.S. cap-and-trade debate

Fake grassroots groups funded by lobbyists, modeled on Town Hall healthcare protestors

It’s by now widely acknowledged that U.S. President Barack Obama has lost control of the health care debate to Town Hall agitators with thinly veiled financial ties to big business. Obama can expect more of the same this fall when the landmark Waxman-Markey climate change bill, which proposes to establish cap-and-trade in the U.S., reaches the Senate, writes Russell Gold at the Wall Street Journal’s Environmental Capital blog. “Following on the heels of the so-far successful anti-health-care backlash, advocates and opponents on the climate bill are ‘funneling cash into groups designed to rally at town halls and to “educate” voters,’ ” writes Gold, quoting fellow Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Talley. The phony grassroots groups now have a new and clever name: astroturf. Meanwhile, supporters of the bill, including former VP and climate change guru Al Gore, are engaged in the same sort of conduct.

The Wall Street Journal

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