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Investigation Launched Into Clean Coal Coalition Forged Letters

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The House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming will investigate a string of fraudulent letters addressed to lawmakers that criticized the House's climate change bill.

The Select Committee has discovered 14 forged letters sent to members of Congress that can be traced to the lobbying firm Bonner & Associates. The firm was working with the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity to build a supposedly grassroots lobbying campaign in opposition to climate change legislation.Reported last month in the Washington Post:

Lisa Camooso Miller, a spokeswoman for the coal group, said that it had brought the letter to the committee's attention in the first place, after an internal investigation could not confirm it was legitimate. But she said the group is still not certain the letter is fake, even after talking to the person whose signature is on it.

A hearing slated for later this week will focus on the specific events surrounding the letters as well as the controversial practice of "Astroturf," or corporate-funded activities that create the false appearance of a grassroots effort.

According to a press release:

WHAT: Select Committee hearing: "Fraudulent Letters Opposing Clean Energy Legislation."

WHEN: Thursday, October 15, 2009, 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: 210 Cannon House Office Building, Washington DC

WHO: Witnesses to be announced.