New “Clean Energy Under Siege” Report Details Dirty Energy Misinformation Tactics

A new report by the Sierra Club follows the money trail behind the “attack on renewable energy.” A few of the key points are as follows:

  • The tremendous growth in clean energy in recent years has made it a threat, and therefore a target from “oil, coal, and gas interests.”
  • Those interests have launched a coordinated, well-funded, multi-pronged assault at the federal level (e.g., Congressional attacks on the Production Tax Credit, harping on the Solyndra non-“scandal”), as well as in the states, by groups like the dirty-energy-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which “provide[s] state lawmakers with ‘model legislation’ that will carry out the goals of its corporate members.”
  • Many of the self-appointed “experts” and anti-clean-energy groups “masquerade as think tanks,” maintaining a veneer of impartiality while being funded by oil and gas interests — people like the Koch brothers, etc. (see the graphic above for a schematic of how the money flows).
  • Key “think tanks” involved in the dirty energy-funded assault on clean energy include the Heartland Institute, Americans for Prosperity, the American Tradition Institute and many others.
  • In addition, “John Droz Jr. of the American Tradition Institute, Lisa Linowes of the Industrial Wind Action Group, and Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute form an eclectic snapshot of the anti-renewable Merchants of Doubt.”
  • “The oil and gas message is now focused on touting the benefits of fossil fuels — including a veritable fountain of cheap natural gas from hydrofracking — while constantly pushing out tired and inaccurate lines about clean energy being too expensive, unworkable because of intermittency, and the like.”
  • The bottom line is that while clean energy “is truly under siege,” it continues to maintain high approval ratings among the American people. It also “retains its inherent advantage as the best set of solutions to help us face a warming world and its attendant challenges.”

As we’ve written before, this is a full-contact competition — one the clean energy industry must play to win.

This blog was originally published on Scaling Green and was republished with permission.

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Editor of Scaling Green ( Worked at the U.S. Energy Information Administration as an international energy markets expert for 17 years. Currently a consultant to dedicated cleantech PR firm Tigercomm.

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