Environmental Policy Alliance
The Environmental Policy Alliance is a front group operated by the PR firm Berman & Co. It has been accused of attacks on environmental advocacy groups and fights against environmental regulation by the US government.
The Alliance describes itself as 'devoted to uncovering the funding and hidden agendas behind environmental activist groups and exploring the intersection between activists and government agencies'. It is a project of the Center for Organizational Research and Education and consists of four sub-front groups, including Big Green Radicals, EPA Facts, Green Decoys, and LEED Exposed.
The organisation shares a mailing address with notorious lobbyist and front-group operator Richard Berman and his firm. Berman & Co. operates a network of dozens of front groups, attack-dog websites, and alleged think tanks that work to counteract minimum wage campaigns, keep wages low for restaurant workers, and to block legislation on food safety, secondhand cigarette smoke, drunk driving, and more.
Research analyst Anastasia Swearingen, who has published materials on behalf of the Alliance and its projects, has previously worked for other Berman-associated organizations Center for Consumer Freedom and the American Beverage Institute and is a Berman & Co. employee.
Accusing Colorado anti-fracking groups of 'astro-turfing'
In May 2014, Big Green Radicals (BGR) launched a PR campaign against various Colorado groups seeking to block fracking in the state, calling it "ground zero" in the fracking debate. BGR sought to define the groups -- including the Colorado branches of Food & Water Watch, Water Defense, and Sierra Club, as well as Americans Against Fracking and Artists Against Fracking -- as astroturf organizations, groups that claim to be grassroots but are really primarily created by special interests.
Big Green Radicals further asserted that these "extreme groups, mostly based far from Colorado in San Francisco, New York, or Washington D.C., are spending millions and spreading their anti-science message to scare voters into approving ballot measures in November to send the oil and gas industry (and the jobs and affordable energy it provides) packing from the Centennial State."
Attacks on New Obama Administration Regulations
On June 2 and 3, 2014, EPA Facts, a project of Berman & Co's Environmental Policy Alliance, ran full-page ads in both Politico and USA Today in reaction to the Obama administration's announcement of new federal rules limiting carbon emissions from the nation's existing power plants. The ad insinuates the regulations threaten to shut down 25 percent of the United States' electric grid and compares the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to terrorists, saying:
- "What would you call a radical organization that threatens to shut down 25 percent of our electric grid?"
It lists "anarchist," "militia," and "terrorist" -- all struck out -- and leaves "Obama’s EPA."
- "Obama's Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations that threaten to shut down about 25 percent of the energy that powers America's electric grid. With radicals like this in power, who needs enemies?"
The Environmental Policy Alliance
1090 Vermont Ave., NW Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: (202) 420-7875
Resources and Articles
- Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Berman Exposed, BermanExposed.org, accessed June 12, 2014.
- Environmental Policy Alliance, "Home Page," corporate website, accessed February 20, 2014.
- Anastasia Swearingen, Mis-LEED-ing green buildings, USA Today, March 12, 2014.
- Environmental Policy Alliance, Big Green Radicals Colorado page, BigGreenRadicals.com, accessed June 12, 2014.
- Environmental Policy Alliance, Full-page Ad Highlights EPA Threat, EPA Facts website, June 2, 2014.