Environmental Groups Tout Their Astroturfing Campaign As “Unanimous” Opinion

The Natural Resources Defense Council staff blog is touting their efforts to flood the EPA with form letters as a massive endorsement of EPA over-reach.

Yesterday, the public comment period closed, and the numbers thus far are bad news for the mining partnership — and very good news for everyone else. Of an estimated 204,000 comments received by EPA so far, 200,000 support EPA’s assessment and urge regulatory action to stop the Pebble Mine. Only 4,000 comments urge EPA to stay away. Stated another way, 98% support EPA’s engagement and a mere 2% do not. And this isn’t even the final tally.

That’s as close to a unanimous endorsement as will ever be found in the world of public policy.

No, that’s a pathetic astroturfing campaign trying to take to place of scientific review and the state and federal permitting process (which environmental groups work to keep laborious) to get the EPA to stop a project not yet even proposed.

Here are some numbers they don’t mention…

National Wildlife Federation claims “over 4 million members (in their 2011 annual report), the Natural Resources Defense Council has 1.3 million members (on their About page), The National Parks Conservation Association claims 600,000 members (via their About page), and there was no data for the Pew Environment Group, though it is probably safe to assume that they have at least 100,000 members.

So that’s 6 million members who were asked (probably more than once) to spend 15 seconds to fill in their name and address, then click the submit button.

The total number of messages sent – they claim – is 200,000, which is a whopping 3.67% of their combined membership. Assuming that the four organizations that we could find who had action alerts sent form letters, the 204,000 comments represented 4,004 original thoughts with lots of “me too’s.”

Considering the $40-plus million wealthy sports fishermen have spent to oppose Pebble and the millions of members of these groups, to only get a few hundred thousand to take the time to click and send a form email is a sign that their position has little real grass-roots support.

The well-funded lobbying campaigns are akin to stifling free speech through mob rule – shouting down others who you don’t want to be heard. Sadly, these spam email campaigns have nothing to do with providing substance to the discussion and everything to do with making sure dissenting voices are watered down.

Drowning out opposition views is the new “free speech” for the left.

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