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  • Thursday, 29 February 2024
Dark money eco group appears to be astroturfing opposition to major oil project

Dark money eco group appears to be astroturfing opposition to major oil project

A dark money environmental group has been accused of astroturfing opposition to a major oil project in Alaska. Astroturfing is the practice of creating a fake grassroots movement to advance a political agenda.

The group, which calls itself the "Alaska Climate and Energy Project," has been circulating flyers and social media posts that appear to be from local residents and business owners, but are actually written by the group's staff. The flyers and posts urge people to oppose the proposed Willow oil project in Alaska, which is being developed by ConocoPhillips.

The project, which is estimated to produce up to 160,000 barrels of oil per day, has been the subject of intense debate in Alaska, with supporters arguing that it will create jobs and boost the state's economy, while opponents say it will damage the environment and contribute to climate change.

The Alaska Climate and Energy Project has been accused of misrepresenting itself as a local group in order to gain support for its anti-oil agenda. The group has received funding from several national environmental organizations, including the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Critics say that the group's tactics are dishonest and misleading, and that they do not represent the views of the majority of Alaskans.

"The Alaska Climate and Energy Project is a sham organization that is funded by outside interests and has no real connection to the people of Alaska," said Mike Satre, president of the Alaska Chamber of Commerce. "They are trying to deceive people into opposing a project that would bring much-needed jobs and revenue to our state."

The accusations against the Alaska Climate and Energy Project are part of a larger debate over the role of dark money in politics. Dark money refers to political spending by groups that do not disclose their donors, making it difficult to trace the source of their funding.

Critics say that dark money groups have an unfair advantage in shaping public opinion and influencing policy, since they can spend large amounts of money without being held accountable to the public.

Supporters of dark money groups argue that they are necessary to protect free speech and prevent government intrusion into private affairs.

The Alaska Climate and Energy Project did not respond to requests for comment. ConocoPhillips has defended the Willow oil project as a vital source of energy and economic development for Alaska.

The debate over the project is likely to continue, as the company seeks regulatory approval to move forward with the development. In the meantime, the role of dark money groups in shaping public opinion and policy is likely to remain a contentious issue.

 

A dark money environmental group has been accused of astroturfing opposition to a major oil project in Alaska. Astroturfing is the practice of creating a fake grassroots movement to advance a political agenda.

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