"Controversy over LNG [liquid natural gas] terminals is growing as demand soars," reports the Boston Globe. There are four proposals for new LNG terminals in Massachusetts -- and one has its own astroturf group. The Coalition for an LNG Solution, which describes itself as "a grass-roots neighborhood organization," supports new LNG terminals on Boston Harbor islands.
When Citizens Against Unfair Health Care Taxes called Californians warning that a proposed state tax on Botox might lead to new taxes on other drugs, the group failed to disclose that it had been created by a PR firm working for Allergan Inc., the maker of Botox, according to the Sacramento Bee.
When White House Budget Director Joshua B. Bolten introduced a "single mom" from Iowa to promote President Bush's plan to dismantle Social Security, she was presented as one of the "regular folks" in favor of private savings accounts. But Sandra Jaques, who addressed a White House economics conference on Thursday, "is not any random single mother," the New York Times' Edmund Andrews wrote.
The Daily Kos recently uncovered an astroturf (fake grassroots) initiative by the George W. Bush campaign, which generated ghostwritten letters to the editor that found their way into at least 60 newspapers. This isn't the first time that the Bush administration has tried this trick, as we've reported in the past.
Small, growing cities are trying to use their authority, "under California law... to assign themselves rights to the infrastructure that developers of new housing and commercial tracts," or greenfields, "install for electricity, natural gas and any other utility." Municipal officials believe they can provide electricity at lower rates while generating income for local governments.