Coal's Imaginary Friends July 5, 2012 : 4:29 PM

The coal industry reaches a new AstroTurfing low, submitting a petition to the White House that contained hundreds of fake names:

“The U.S. coal industry is so deeply unpopular, it has now turned to its imaginary friends for help.”

“That’s according to a linguistic analysis of a recent petition opposing new regulation of toxic coal ash. The petition, which was sent to the White House by the coal industry last year, featured more than two thousand Chinese names. That raised the curiosity of the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). So the organization commissioned an analysis of the signatories.”

“EIP says the analysis shows that hundreds of the names are complete fakes. When translated, many of the Chinese “people” supporting the coal industry’s petition have names like “Steamed Bun Little Sister” and “Come to China Donkey.” The translator who examined the signatures determined that “most of the Chinese names in the petition are not authentic, and … appear to be generated by a piece of software or a group of individuals.”

Source: Climate Progress