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More Astroturf: “Faces of Coal” are actually IStock Photos

Rule #1 for being an organization even pretending to be a grassroots movement: Actually have some grassroots supporters.  Even manufactured outrage groups ginned up by Freedomworks or the Tea Bag people or United Health Care actually have people who believe and will regurgitate their corporate PR spin.  But, presumably because the coal industry couldn’t find and photograph any actual human beings who supported their agenda, they have had to resort to buying and using internet stock photos.

As DeSmogBlog had previously reported,

“The Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security (FACES of Coal).” the latest “grassroots” organization to join the public conversation on behalf of the coal industry, appears to be a project of the K-Street public relations firm, the Adfero Group, one of industry’s most accommodating voices in Washington, D.C.

The FACES website, which includes no contact information, is registered to Adfero.

And now the Front Porch Blog from Appalachian Voices has reported that

We’ve touched on the fact that the new coal industry front group “FACES” has yet to come forward with a list of their members.  Well, thanks to a few new media> gumshoes, including our own Jamie Goodman and our friends at DeSmogBlog, we’ve learned that not only is FACES hosted by a K-Street firm called Adfero, but all of the “FACES” of coal are actually just istockphotos. They couldn’t even get real photos of their supporters.

You can see the actual photos and screencaps by going to the Front Porch Blog.

If Big Coal wanted to hire models to be the faces of coal, we could’ve saved them the trouble and recommended these photos:

ZoolanderCoalMine

I think Im getting thwe black lung, pop!

"I think I'm getting the black lung, pop!"

And let’s remember that it is not that far of a drive to get out to coal country even from Washington DC, where both West Virginia and Pennsylvania coal-centric communities are less than a 3 hour drive.  It just must really be that hard for fat cat K Street lobbyists to take time out of their busy schedules wining and dining at $2300 / plate fundraisers and take a camera out to coal country to see the actual faces of coal.

Here’s an example of what they might actually find if they did:

Real voices from coal country know that coal is killing us.  It kills their local economies and destroys precious landscapes and water supplies and kills workers because greedy mine owners care more about profits than human lives, such as in the case of the Crandall Canyon disaster in Utah last year.  It pollutes our air and contaminates our water when we burn it, so much so that a USGS study this week found that every fish they tested in the US had mercury contamination.  And even after it’s burned, the coal ash waste is a problem.  From when they dig it up out of the ground to when they try to store the ash, coal is dirty, cradle to grave.  And grave here is meant in the literal sense.

Don’t be fooled by expensive-cocktail-drinking, $1000-shoe-wearing lobbyists in Washington and their stock photos.  The real faces of coal are against it, and we should be moving away from it as quickly as possible.