A petition to close down a coal plant from the green group listed some supporters who say they hadn’t signed on.
by Jillian Kay Melchior
A leading national watchdog group monitoring nonprofits has put the Sierra Club on its watch list after reports that three western North Carolina businesses accused the green group of listing them without permission as co-signatories on a “businesses beyond coal” campaign letter.
The Sierra Club listed 80 businesses as co-signatories last October in a letter it widely publicized, calling for Duke Energy to retire its coal plant in Asheville. But as veteran investigative reporter Michael Cronin reported in the Asheville Citizen-Times, out of 19 businesses contacted, three said they had not authorized the Sierra Club to use their name on the letter. One more business owner had signed on but wanted his name removed because he felt the Sierra Club had misrepresented what the letter would say. And the Sierra Club had also listed a business that was no longer in existence as a signatory…
Cronin, the Asheville Citizen-Times reporter, says that when he confronted the Sierra Club with the allegations, they refused to provide him proof that all of the small businesses listed had actually given consent.