Fake letters opposing climate change legislation were sent to members of Congress, on behalf of general citizens, including those staying in nursing homes, according to emerging news reports.
The findings are the results of a House committee that opened an inquiry into letters forged by Washington, D.C., lobbying firm Bonner & Associates, reports the Guardian UK.
This follows the news, earlier in August, that letters sent to a member of the House of Representatives, under the guise of the NACCP and Hispanic advocacy groups opposing the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, were forged. In this case also, Bonner & Associates was the lobbying firm involved.
After that, the House select committee on energy independence and global warming began its inquiry, and now has confirmed a total of 13 faked letters.
One of the letters purported to be from a woman staying at a nursing center, the Guardian reports.
“We are concerned about our electricity bills. Many of our seniors, as you know, are on low fixed incomes,” said a letter to Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper that claimed to be from the Erie Center on Health and Aging. “Please don’t vote to force cost increases on seniors.”
The committee is still investigating 45 other letters that were sent to mostly junior representatives from coal states.
This comes against a backdrop of companies and advocacy groups pushing harder than ever, and spending more than ever, to make their voices heard on climate change. In the 12 weeks leading up to the House of Representatives’ vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act, more than 460 new businesses and interest groups jumped into the fray.
Nearly 1,150 different organizations are known to be paying a lobbyist to influence climate legislation one way or another, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
On the other side of the line, unions and green groups are starting to turn up the heat on their messaging.
The “Made for America” jobs tour kicked off in Ohio and will visit 50 sites in 22 states, reports Yahoo.