Front Groups

Keep America Beautiful and Cigarette Litter

Keep America Beautiful is probably the best-known litter awareness group in the United States, yet they have flatly refused to touch the issue of cigarette litter, the most prolific form of litter in the world. KAB has a joint program in cooperation with Philip Morris that blames the cigarette litter problem on a lack of ashtrays -- a way of spinning the issue that Philip Morris favors. Some Philip Morris employees have even boasted that more public ashtrays serve as a subtle advertisement for the popularity of their product.


Corporate Front Group Created to Support Arctic Drilling

The oil and gas industry has launched the Energy Stewardship Alliance, aimed at winning access to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. ESA claims to be a non-profit coalition of "professional organizations" and "individuals" who believe opening the Refuge to oil drilling is worth the human and environmental risk.


"Astroturf" Lobbyists Overshadow Grass-roots Efforts

Front groups with high-minded names often obscure the financial interests behind them. Examples cited in this story include a "nonprofit" group called the Asia Pacific Exchange Foundation that accepts corporate money to pay for trips to Asia for politicians; a campaign by drug gian Glaxo Wellcome to mobilize asthma patients against rules that would phase out inhalers using ozone-harming propellants; and front groups created by utility companies to campaign on both sides of the electricity deregulation issue.



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