“Clean Energy. Good Jobs. Reliable Power.” Sound familiar? For years we put up with Entergy’s PR campaign for Vermont Yankee, pitched over photos of Yankee workers: “Safe. Clean. Reliable.”
Entergy has been using this same pitch in New Orleans — this time to build a natural gas plant which would be paid for and maintained by Entergy customers. The gas plant would be built in New Orleans East, a black, Vietnamese and Latino neighborhood. The local Sierra Club is not alone in labeling Entergy’s plan environmental racism. Plus, “According to projections by the U.S. Geological Survey, portions of New Orleans East, including the southern edge of the Michoud site, could be underwater before ratepayers cover the full cost of construction.”
Facing an uphill battle, Entergy hired a PR firm to sway opinion. That firm hired a fake company, Council for Responsible Governance, which is two guys who hire actors to act like citizens. The actors attended public hearings wearing orange, pro-Entergy tee shirts. Some actors received $200 to make public comments based on scripts at utility hearings. They also filled the room to capacity, which meant “real” citizens were unable to get into the hearing and speak.
In other words, fake grassroots activists.
Now this all really sticks in my craw.
Entergy claims it knew nothing about the paid actors, and that it was all the fault of the PR firm they hired. Do we believe them? Remember: a few years ago, Entergy created a fake grassroots group of African Americans to push for a project on Long Island.