California businesses are quietly lining up behind a grassroots campaign aimed at building support for liquefied natural gas. The campaign?initiated late last year by the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA)?is emphasizing that LNG will be the key to the state?s long-term economic and environmental health. The move in part counters environmentalists and others who ratcheted up their own campaign against onshore terminals (<i>Circuit<\/i>, Feb. 18, 2005). While the initial announcement of the campaign promised high-profile advertising, that approach is on hold as pro-LNG organizers analyze the results of a recent public opinion poll, said Beth Miller Malek, a partner in Wilson-Miller Communications. The campaign coalition?Californians for Clean, Affordable, Safe Energy?polled state residents this winter to discern their awareness of and attitudes about LNG and other energy issues. Earlier announcements that the campaign would consist of a major advertising blitz may have been erroneous. ?We have to be really strategic about it,? said Dorothy Rothrock, senior vice-president of government relations for CMTA. Rothrock said that the campaign is part of CMTA?s overall mission of supporting the investment in infrastructure?including more power plants and water facilities?needed to support continued economic growth in California. Now, instead of an immediate advertising approach, the coalition is wooing influential groups and opinion leaders to join the campaign. Coalition leaders, for instance, have been successfully pitching business groups up and down the state for support. The group also has been reaching out to environmental and consumer organizations and various government associations. While not all of them may join the campaign officially, Miller Malek said she expects some environmental and consumer groups to work independently to support LNG. Recently, for instance, three environmental organizations joined with a number of heavy industries in Washington through the Alliance to Save Energy to call on Congress and the Bush administration to conserve and diversify energy supplies. One of their key recommendations was to build more LNG import terminals. Next, the coalition will coordinate placement of editorials in newspapers across the state arguing that LNG is essential to keeping down energy costs and cleaning up the state?s air. Later, the group may set up community forums, which Miller Malek said will showcase the safety record of LNG in other nations and discuss its economic and environmental benefits. The coalition will invite the Schwarzenegger administration to participate in the meetings, Miller Malek said. Wilson-Miller is one of three public affairs firms working on the campaign. The other two are Malcolm and McDowell and DC Navigators.